Former Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson recently released his first book, Letters to Kurt, in which he reflects upon a terribly dark, but sadly real topic: Suicide. This includes the death of his friend Kurt Cobain. Though he tried to write a memoir in the traditional manner, it just wasn't working. Instead, Jim Harrison's Letters to Yesenin inspired him to tell his story in a different manner.
"When I started reading his poems, I realized I had a lot of suicide in my life, and [the book] really affected me." He says he started writing letters, and at first, "avoided Kurt, it was too obvious." But eventually, he touched upon stories of Cobain. The book references the '90s and it's "not really about kurt, I'm talking to myself, but using him as a muse." Erlandson spend time with Cobain filiming him and taking care of him, and even playing with him not long before his death. Erlandson will be reading from the book and answering questions at the Miami Book Fair International tomorrow about this endeavor.
"It's a sad story, and Eric captures it powerfully in his prose," says event moderator and music journalist Hans Morgenstern. "He's not about bitching about his burnt out relationship with Courtney Love (Eric was her boyfriend when they started Hole). His book really captures a sense of loss with a true kindred spirit, a fellow musician he had creative and personal relationship with. It's just tragic it went out with Kurt's suicide and there is a sense that Eric lost a bit of himself with him."
In Letters to Kurt Erlandson reflects on death, the concept of suicide, what it means to be a celebrity, and "the energy of emotions that you go through as a suicide survivor." He wants people to reflect on their own lives, examine where they are checking out. He notes thoughtfully, "In our society, we don't face death, and we don't mourn properly. So many people have the same story."
Morgenstern, a Cobain fan, concludes: "This book reads as a piece of healing while remaining smart to the social influences of suicide."
Letters to Kurt: Eric Erlandson in conversation with music journalist Hans Morgenstern at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 at Miami Book Fair International, Miami Dade College 300 NE Second Ave., Miami, Room 8502 (Building 8, 5th Floor). Visit the Facebook page.