The Leather Trench Coat

This is just a follow up on the Jeffrey Ofelt comment made in the 2007 Stranger article (Beerly Deloved) about Courtney Love picking up a leather trench coat for Kurt Cobain in the early 1990s. Like I said, although it’s possible, I’d be surprised if Cobain ever wore a leather trench coat. But what I think is interesting about that comment is it links together the incident where Chris had his belongings taken in 1996 and I witnessed belongings thrown out into the yard of a rented home that had been temporarily abandoned around 2003. When I was reading through Charles Cross’ book on Kurt Cobain, it looked like Cobain too had something like that happen.

Among the belongings that were thrown out in 2003 were a little 1970s paperback (like, almost a zine), sort of small press book called something like How To Play Guitar Left Handed that I was told had belonged to Kurt Cobain. It included a version of “In The Pines.” I sort of wish I could have held onto that somehow, though it wasn’t mine, but it was lost in this incident. I have an old paperback Pete Seeger folksong book from the early 1960s that belonged to my dad, and it has the same song in it. Leadbelly was a popular folk artist for several decades. The other thing that Kenny had that supposedly had belonged to Kurt Cobain, and got thrown out, was a leather jacket, that supposedly a cat had peed on. How Kenny got these things, he said, was he was in a band where one of Cobain’s cousins played drums. No idea whether any of this is true. I didn’t think at first that Cobain had ever been seen wearing a leather jacket, but later I saw that in fact he did wear a leather jacket like the one Kenny had in The Year Punk Broke. So maybe it had been his jacket.

And then there was that thing where Courtney Love left a beige oversized trench coat in the back of the Napalm Beach van when she jetted off to Europe in 1981, and Chris picked it up and wore it onstage. So that Ofelt story looks to me like it combines two coats into one – the leather coat that had allegedly belonged to Cobain that showed up in my life, and the Columbo coat that had belonged to Courtney, that Chris later wore. If I’m correct – and that’s what Ofelt was doing, it shows the surveillance going on, and likely the manipulations as well. Also, it makes me think that Courtney may have actually been behind Kenny and the Kurt Cobain linked items he brought with him. She had a tendency to spread Cobain’s belongings around.

I have reason to believe that Cobain was under heavy surveillance. These kinds of things, getting all your belongings thrown out or destroyed are traumatic. Those of us who are under this kind of surveillance are treated this way for the benefit of pleasing and/or controlling and/or traumatizing the viewers. Other things, like leaving something for someone to find and seeing what they do for it, also seems to be a form of entertainment.

This. surveillance. must. end.