Heavier Than Heaven

Heavier Than Heaven is the name of a 2002 biography of Kurt. It was written by Charles R. Cross.

Cross, the former editor of Seattle magazine The Rocket, also conducted some 400 interviews with Cobain's family members, friends and associates during four years of research. Although Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, Cobain's friend since adolescence, is a frequent source in the book, drummer Dave Grohl did not participate. Cross said Grohl agreed to an interview but could never find time for it. Cobain's mother did not speak up because she is writing her own book, Cross said.

Cross said he gained access to Cobain's intimate material by winning the trust of the singer's family and friends. "[Love] felt that to understand him, I needed to read his inner thoughts," he said. "The diaries ... really changed this book dramatically because they gave me a place to have Kurt's voice."

Cross took the name "Heavier Than Heaven" from a tour Nirvana did with the band Tad in the UK. The lead singer, Tad Doyle, was very obese; the name which was thought up by the tour promoters, was meant in part to poke fun at the inaccurate idea that Tad alone weighed more than all of the members of Nirvana put together. It also summed both Nirvana's heavy sound and Tad Doyle's heavy weight.

While arguably the most complete Cobain biography, Cross opted to include his own impression of what Cobain's final days were like. Several people questioned the inclusion of fiction in what was claimed to be a non-fiction book. At the same time, Cross' desire for the book to be as complete as possible meant that he occasionally accepted secondhand (and incorrect) information as fact. The book was criticized as being a collaboration between Love and Cross by such friends as Everett True, who derided the book as being inaccurate, omissive, and highly biased; he said Heavier than Heaven was "the Courtney-sanctioned version of history" or, alternatively, Cross's “Oh, I think I need to find the new Bruce Springsteen now” Kurt Cobain book. However, beyond the criticism, the book contained many details about Cobain and Nirvana's career that had otherwise gone unnoted.

"It's clear to anyone who's read the book to that point that I've done an incredible amount of research and that I'm not making things up out of thin air," he said. "I'm not creating evidence; I'm just taking evidence that I have discovered ... and piecing it together to try to tell the story of those last few minutes."

"It's heavy," Courtney Love said. "I read it in one weekend, and I couldn't leave my house. Biographies always are someone else's projection, but it's the first one that's not nonsense. The facts are in there — names, numbers, dates. ... It sets the standard."

From livenirvana.com review:

Cross's book is a work of considerable scholarship, and his extensive research (over more than three years) uncovered many areas of obfuscation in the life of Cobain as set out in "Come As You Are", and also several outright lies. "Heavier Than Heaven" also re-examines the roles of many of the central characters in the Nirvana story, and reaches some startling conclusions. Cross devoted time to interviewing many people more loosely connected to the band than Azerrad as well as the main characters to give a more complete description of the events both books describe. The one character Cross could not cross-examine was Cobain himself, a difficulty he circumvents by quoting Kurt from press interviews, and in particular, from "Come As You Are" itself. He also quotes frequently from Cobain's personal diaries and unsent correspondence, to which Courtney Love, Cobain's widow, gave him unprecedented access.