Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
has garnered almost unanimously rapturous praise since its official release last month, but there’s one person who’s still not sold on the documentary: Melvins founder and Cobain’s longtime friend, Buzz Osborne.
Last week, Osborne wrote a scathing review of the film for The Talkhouse, slamming the documentary for its inaccuracy. “First off, people need to understand that 90% of Montage of Heck is total bullshit,” he said. “That’s the one thing no one gets about Cobain—he was a master of jerking your chain.” Riff You spoke with Osborne on Tuesday about his stance on the project, and he’s not backing down.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Osborne said of the film. “I’m never surprised, because generally speaking [Cobain’s story] has never been right.” He said his savage critique is just an effort to stick up for a friend who’s no longer around to defend himself, and that he doesn’t understand why audiences are so willing to accept everything in the movie as fact just because it earned Courtney Love’s seal of approval and featured members of Cobain’s family. “If they want to take her word (Courtney Love’s) for things, then go ahead,” Osborne said. “Do you feel better? Then everything she says is the golden rule.”
Osborne’s also mentioned that he wasn’t invited to participate in the documentary, but it doesn’t affect how he viewed it. “If people want to question me and they want to question my authenticity, [I’d say] ‘why would I defend him (Kurt) in a way that makes him look better?’” he told Riff You. “They want to portray him in a way that makes him look worse.”
Montage of Heck director Brett Morgen said prior to its release, “I feel like the film is a little bit like having an experience of meeting an old friend for the first time.” Osborne has earned plenty of backlash for his opposing point of view, but he doesn’t see why fans would doubt someone who knew Cobain before Nirvana became famous and stayed friends with him until the end. “If they want to argue and say that I’m wrong, then okay, I’ll play their game,” he said. “Would they feel better if Kurt Cobain did ‘fuck a fat retard’? Do they feel better now? Do they feel better if he actually was suicidal? That makes you feel better?”
Ultimately, Osborne said that he has “no reason to disagree” with the film, and that he gains “absolutely nothing from being honest about this.” If Montage of Heck is truly as inaccurate as he claims, then his defense of Cobain is admirable. Still, he doubts his opinions will have much of an impact. “If people want to believe it and think he was capable of doing all those things, that’s their problem,” Osborne said. “But, I am not going along with it.”