Frances Bean Cobain

During a recent interview with The Guardian, Lana Del Rey said a bunch of provocative things, the most widely quoted of which was this: “I wish I was dead already.” Now, there’s no reason to take her at face value there; anytime Del Rey says anything like that, she’s essentially doing character work. Still, she’s a massive pop star now, and you could certainly argue that pop stars have a responsibility to avoid glamorizing absolute and total self-destruction. And anyway, the last time I can remember an artist of LDR’s fame-level saying anything like that, it was when Kurt Cobain sang this; he was dead shortly afterward. And over the weekend, Frances Bean Cobain, Kurt’s daughter, took Lana Del Rey to task in a series of tweets. Here’s what she wrote:

I’ll never know my father because he died young. It becomes a desirable feat because ppl like u think it’s ’cool.’ Well, it’s fucking not. Embrace life, because u only get one life. The ppl u mentioned wasted that life. Don’t be 1 of those ppl ur too talented to waste it away.

(via Faster Louder)

Cobain has since deleted the tweets, writing this instead: “I’m not attacking anyone. I have no animosity towards Lana, I was just trying to put things in perspective from personal experience.”

UPDATE: Lana Del Rey has responded to Cobain’s tweets:

Comments (21)
  1. That’s good of her I think, Frances seems like an intelligent girl.

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    • I know, right? Where is Twitter headquarters, 1200 Pastiche Plaza??. It is impossible for me to respect anyone that didn’t have a mySpace in 2007. I mean if they weren’t cool then, they never will be..

      But for serious, Frances seems astoundingly well adjusted. Whodathunk that the daughter of Courtney and Kurt would be doing things like this while the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus is doing what she’s doing. Same age too.

    • I totally agree! It makes the person sounds like a massmedia product, which is rather sad.

  3. As much as I respect Frances’ view (especially as it’s personal to her), Lana can write about what she wants. But it’s clear that Frances didn’t mean it from a bad place so this is hardly beef.

  4. Taken from Rolling Stone January 27,1994.

    “One of your songs that you cut from In Utero at the last minute was I hate myself and I want to die. How literally did you mean it?” Cobain responded:

    “As literal as a joke can be. Nothing more than a joke. And that had a bit to do with why we decided to take it off. We knew people wouldn’t get it; they’d take it too seriously. It was totally satirical, making fun of ourselves. I’m thought of as this pissy, complaining, freaked out, schizophrenic who wants to kill himself all the time: ‘He isn’t satisfied with anything.’ And I thought it was a funny title. I wanted it to be the title for the album for along time. but I knew the majority wouldn’t get it.”

    Kurt Cobain titling a song as a joke in order to poke fun at the media’s portrayal of his public image is not the same thing as Lana Del Ray saying provocative things to The Guardian in order to get attention.

    • So, when Cobain talks about suicide, it’s to be taken seriously (because he committed suicide, and even though he brushed it off as a joke). But when Del Rey brings it up, it’s just trying to ‘get attention’, you know, for publicity, not for reasons that should be taken seriously, becasue for some reason. Did I get that right?


  6. What’s so wrong about romanticizing ‘Diane Young”, Great song!

  7. You know what I like about Lana? She carries her character all the way through from start to finish. When Lana is being interviewed it’s not her impersonator Elizabeth Grant, it’s a thoroughly thought-through character, and it takes a certain dedication to stick to it.

    Imagine Darth Vader being interviewed. Would you blame him for his unpacifist intentions, like, “Oh, come on, Dart! Could you please once in a while just drop that mask off!”

    Ok, I am saying this half-seriously. What I actually want to tell you is that you can’t expect different from Lana. Let her do her job.

    • The difference is that “Lana” comes across as 100% phony, fabricated, manufactured-by-corporate-suits-in an office “character”. Up to recently, a successful “character” had to come across as a natural extension of the artist in question. There’s a difference in presenting an artist with exaggerated qualities to highlight an existing personality- it’s another thing to craft one, from scratch, backed by tons of corporate ad money, for the sole purpose of selling records and hitting demographics.

      To use an example, “Madonna” would have been an artist either way. She had enough natural talent and drive to see her artistic vision through and it eventually resonated with fans, and worked. Her persona wasn’t that far detached for people to question whether or not they were experiencing a bogus product. Lizzy Grant was a mediocre, floundering nobody before some fat cat sunk in the corporate claws with eyes full of dollar signs. She didn’t even have an album before the overblown hype train began. But she’s pretty…very, very pretty…and that obviously sells. And her team (of who knows how many strategists, industry-folk, etc) found a marketing niche with the whole “tragic damsel” angle and is exploiting it, to the fullest, to the consumer.

      The fact that most music sites now openly acknowledge the Lana “character” further proves that the whole thing was just too transparent to even bother fight against. So instead of going through an endless cycle of fighting for Lana’s “authenticity”, now she’s just simply presented as this “detached character” that she “plays”. And that’s supposed to make the bullshit acceptable? It’s not as much “who” or “what” she is, but more importantly, “why” she is, that’s the worst part.

      • I very much appreciate your responce.

        I can clearly see why her recent behaviour and the reception she gets from media and folks can make one irritated.

        But you know what, that is also the part of her lifepath (I am not going to keep telling that on and on :-) ). Her being an unfamous singer-songwriter, going through surgeries, making changes, being chosen by corporate cats to become a couple-tricks pony who just pushes the pleasure centre buttons. That lady clearly has some story behind her, drama if you will. She makes an impression of a very fragile unconfident person who is not able to resolve the conflict between her lust for glory and glamourous life and the fear of not fulfilling people’s expectations. That also makes her a very endearing person, you care about her. I don’t care about Gaga, Perry, Bey, Britney and Ri the way I do about her, these tough ladies can take care of themselves.

        Ok, I see that I am not going anywhere. I am sorry :-) I guees I am just in awe with her.

  8. Criticizing Lan Del Rey for anything is like when people post articles from the Onion and are OUTRAGED.

  9. I dunno here. I think a generation of young women look up to Lana. It’s important to recognize that words have power and to say that you wish you were dead crosses that subtle line. Young impressionable girls might take that to heart. I side with Frances (who looks fabulous by the way).

  10. Every publication that has reported this story has said that Cobain “deleted” the tweets, but if you click Tweets and replies, you’ll see those direct tweets to Lana are still there, as they’ve always been. Are all you that fucking lazy?!

  11. this lana del ray sounds like a immature idiot

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