I see (rich) dead people

92859__cobain_lCongratulations, Kurt Cobain (pictured)! Thanks to your widow’s decision to sell your songs to a commercial publishing agency for $50 million, you’ve ascended to the number-one spot on Forbes‘ Top-Earning Dead Celebrities list! That’s right, you crazy grungeball — it’s only been 12 years since your tragic suicide, but you’re already making more than Elvis, John Lennon, and Marilyn Monroe!


Speech! Speech!

(A ghostly blue light fills the room, followed immediately by the smell of sweaty wool and mothballs, with a lingering hint of burrito. The opening notes of "In the Pines" can be heard emanating quietly from a guitar that may or may not be played by Leadbelly. Who, it should be noted, is not on the list.)

COBAIN: Uhm, thanks. I guess this is supposed to be an honor, but mostly I just feel like I sold out again. I mean, CSI: Miami? Really, Courtney? That’s what you’re going with?



Now if you’ll excuse me, my stomach hurts.

addCredit(“Kurt Cobain: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images”)

(The light fades, and with it we hear the clattering of a drum kit being destroyed.)

Comments (14 total) Add your comment
  • aramis

    “…with a lingering hint of burrito.”
    WP – you kill me. I needed that jolt of humor today. Thanks.
    As for the news itself…eh…is anyone out there still actually BUYING this guy’s music? I mean, to once a person dies, I don’t really see a point in buying or REbuying anything they’ve done. It’s not like they are going to appreciate my hard-earned dollars. Probably get a fresh flower or something near the headstone.

  • Aron

    aramis, I think its more about a new generation of people discovering his music and others reliving it.

  • almost 40

    I was never a fan of Mr. Cobain or that style of music but he seemed to not care about the money. He was a talented musician doing what he wanted to do. I’m not sure he would approve of this list that he is on. It is sort of stupid.

  • fan of WP

    As I read down through this blog item and snickered, I wondered who wrote it? Ah yes, Whitney — of course.
    “With a lingering hint of burrito” made me laugh almost as hard as the flaming twirler on youtube today.
    Deep bow.

  • Stephanie

    Cobains lyrics were unintelligable when sung, but abstract when read. I never thought that he was original. However, his biggest accomplishment was bringing thrash punk which college radio stations embraced, into the mainstream. I always thought that “Bleach” was a lot harder than “Nevermind”. “Nevermind” had catchy riffs that had pop chart written all over it.

  • Ep Sato

    Agreed with Stephanie that Bleach was a better album.
    Regarding Courtney, it’s not a surprise that she was quick to make some $$$ off the catalog.
    I think she and K-Fed should get together and start a band called the “Bloodsucking Harpies”. Though if K-fed got into heroin, he might get so thin that we won’t see him…

  • Stephanie

    She needed the money. Heroin, pain killers, and plastic surgery? It adds up. The only surgery she should get is laser for her track marks. She could have done something a bit more professional though. Selling the songs is just the easy way out.
    And that comment on K-Fed is too funny.

  • Mr. Show

    Somewhere right now, Kurt Cobain is trying to pick up another shotgun with his incorporeal hands and failing miserably.

  • Kate

    It upsets me to know he has become so rich (well, not even HIM really, his “estate”…OK, I’ll say it, COURTNEY) on account of a quarter of his songs being sold. Will Smells Like Teen Spirit finally be on a deodorant commercial? How about the opening bars of Lithium played over an anti-depressant ad? Oh this sucks. poor Kurt has become a post-humous shill. :(

  • Jill

    Obviously, Kurt would hate what Courtney is doing. But she does have a daughter to support, not to mention her numerous trips to rehab.

  • Allie

    I think it’s funny that people think Curt would disapprove of the decisions Courtney has made. First, he didn’t go on MTV Unplugged at gunpoint. He went to promote his music and make some money. No body does MTV for charity, they do it to make money. If he wanted to be all grungey-struggling-artist, he could have stayed in Seattle at dive bars his whole life.
    No, he wanted to be a successful musician. But alas, he had demons which made his music great and his life short. But don’t bag on Courtney for selling the stuff. It’s been almost 15 years since his death and it’s time for her to move on, make as much as she can off the tragedy, and get back in the saddle with her own struggling career.

  • Ken Epp

    This all makes me terribly sad. A son of my friends committed suicide while listening to Cobain, and this all brings back those terrible memories.

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