05/16/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT
Kurt Cobain's suicide (PEOPLE, April 25) devastated his fans but left many correspondents mystified and angry—at Cobain for his addictions and the waste of his life, at his widow, Courtney Love, for sharing the way that he lived and at PEOPLE for putting him on our cover.
Let's see if I have my facts straight. Kurt Cobain dropped out of school and crashed where he could. His days were "spent doing drugs. At night he vandalized cars and defaced buildings." He and his wife were regular heroin users, even though they had an infant girl. He overdosed on tranquilizers and booze a month before his suicide. Two days before his suicide, his wife was arrested for possession of drugs and treated for an overdose. At a candlelight vigil, his widow had the crowd chanting obscenities. All this and he is the "spokesman" for the younger generation and immortalized on your cover? No wonder this country is going to hell!
DANE HAWK, Smiths, Ala.
I don't believe any story as cold and unfeeling as yours could have been written by a human being. Kurt Cobain spoke for those of us who couldn't speak for ourselves. He didn't speak just to the grungy, longhaired, angst-ridden teenagers pictured in Nirvana's videos. From the 29-year-old computer analyst to the high school freshman cheerleader, he spoke to all of us. And most important, he spoke for us.
TIFFANY A. BAILEY, Arlington, Va.
Earlier today I was told that my 25-year-old brother had been murdered in Dallas. Then I saw your cover story about Kurt Cobain. I am hurt—indeed, I am infuriated at the coverage and idolatry Cobain has received for such an idiotic act, while my brother will become a statistic. My brother loved life. He was a good kid. He served his country well in the Army and National Guard. He had a full-time job and was a full-time student. How dare Kurt Cobain be put forth as the spokesperson for my generation and my brother's? Who, besides my family, is crying for my brother and all the other victims, while thousands cry for an ignorant millionaire who did not know the value of his own life?
GAIL TURLEY, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Have some respect! And if you don't have any—which apparently you don't, based on those tasteless photos of Kurt Cobain's body and the death scene—at least give him, his family, his friends and his fans some! Whatever his personal problems were, he was a brilliant musician who changed the face of rock and roll.
STUART HUBBARD, West Newton, Mass.
It is heartening to see so many people trying to understand Kurt Cobain's death, and to see an article that portrays him as he was: a person. Like any person, he had problems and doubts about himself. This proves to us that he was only human, like his millions of fans.
REBEKAH L. DAVIS, San Jose, Calif.
Ex-Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek is calling Kurt Cobain a poet, just as Jim Morrison was posthumously called? When are people going to see what these "fallen idols" really were? Drug addicts, angry at the world, who happened to write some angst-filled music. Dying by one's own hand before reaching 30 does not a poet make.
ROB RANNARD, North Vancouver, B.C.
It is unbelievable to me that society asks "Why?" about a young man's suicide when he was rejected by both parents, given sedatives and speed by doctors as a child to help "normalize" him, became hooked on heroin as an adult and went from street criminal to musical hero in a few years time. Kurt Cobain's reaction was almost predictable, though certainly avoidable.
PEGGY GOODWIN, Beverly Hills
I've never heard of Kurt Cobain, grunge rock or Nirvana. I don't feel like I missed a thing. Let's mourn those that deserve it.
MARILYNN STEVENS, Prescott, Ariz.
Kurt Cobain, God rest his soul, was the voice of the "lost generation." Lost from what? The last time I looked these kids did not have the draft, the Vietnam War, student riots, police riots, race riots, Kent State, etc. disrupting their lives. These whiners don't have to worry about being beaten up, thrown out of school or denied jobs if they let their hair grow over their ears. Nor do they have to be shipped overseas to fight the wars my parents' and grandparents' generation did. Kiddies, you just don't know how good you have it.
North Haven, Conn.
When Roy Orbison died, PEOPLE chose to bury the story. Now you deify another dead druggie with an eight-page tribute resplendent with fold-out cover and some idiot who carves his name in her arm with a razor blade. Do you folks work at being stupid or does it just come naturally?
MIKE PARISH, Woodland Park, Colo.