segunda-feira, 15 de maio de 2006

Gus & Kurt

par GUS VAN SANT

LIBERATION.FR : vendredi 06 mai 2005 - 11:40

I remember that Kurt, when introduced to me, looked at me as if I wasn't nodding to him and saying hello. He just stared at me like a kid will do when watching a television. He had short blond hair in a kind of bowl cut. It was summer of 1991, and we had contacted his manager, Danny Goldberg, to help us in a fundraiser in Los Angeles, to battle a particularly vicious anti-gay initiative in Portland Oregon, that would have made it illegal to have out gay teachers in schools, and also as any kind of state worker, which would have meant politicians, road workers, police, etc.

Courtney had been particularly big on Danny helping us, which he told us when we first met him, and wanted to get as many people involved as he could. And we organized the fundraiser with Tom Arnold and Rosanne Barr's help at the home of my agent John Burnam in Tony Bel Air California. The night before the actual event, we were invited to the home of Dany Goldberg, and it was the occasion of meeting Kurt and Courtney, who showed up late as we were eating dinner with Bob Guccione Jr, who ran Spin Magazine, and Rosemary Caroll, Danny's wife, and D-J Haanraadts, my boyfriend. Kurt sat a couple of places away from me and just stared down the table, in a very odd way.

I started to guess that maybe he had just gotten out of a rehab, because of his short haircut, and his wide eyed stare, which was particularly open and fresh and innocent, which can happen when people just get out. I remember him sitting there not saying anything, but the presence in the room was tilted all of a sudden, like the big rock star had entered and was sitting at the end of the table not saying anything. The others were perhaps used to it, I wasn't.

Courtney on the other hand was very talkative. Then, later we were all sitting in the back yard smoking, and Courtney was reading from a rock and roll magazine, and doing a kind of stand up routine, dissing the quotes from the magazine, referring to long standing arguments between rock performers in the northwest music scene, people I didn't know, I think it was probably Eddie Vedder, or a grunge star like that who the article was about.

The thing that I noticed the most was Kurt. He was laughing like a very kept audience at Courtney's diatribe. And we started to laugh along partly because Kurt was laughing - and sometimes adding a few comments along with Courtney. They were really into this magazine article. I pretty much just listened and started to realize that I was really fascinated by Kurt. And at the same time, realizing some of this fascination was probably what drew everyone to him.

He had a lot of unexpected charisma. It was also a time for me when I didn't really know his music so much, mostly just the legend, and the rock star image. Other bands in the northwest that I did know were Greg Sage, Napalm Beach, and Poison Idea. Napalm Beach was the band the had the most "grunge" sound, Sam Henry was the band leader, and it was a sound that we used to call Penitentury Rock, in the mid eighties.

When we left Danny Goldberg's house Kurt and Courtney got into a very small red toyota rental car. Kurt was driving. They turned and said "We're down here in LA, we don't know how long we're going to be here. We don't have any friends." D-J and I said, "We'll be your friends. Come to the fundraiser tomorrow, there will be people that you probably know. Danny and Rosemary will be there. "They said okay, they'd come to the fundraiser, but they never showed up. Kurt later volunteered to play a fundraiser the next month in Portland, which he did with Nirvana. But that night was the last time that I saw Kurt, when he and Courtney drove away in their red toyota.

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