Sunday, April 7, 2024



“It's better to burn out than to fade away.”

Final words of Kurt Cobain, in his suicide note.

Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)

Cobain was an American singer-songwriter, best-known as lead-guitarist and singer of the grunge-rock group Nirvana.

Cobain was quoting from Neil Young's 1979 song My My. Hey Hey:
My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay
It's better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey.

Cobain suffered from bronchitis and intense stomach pain since childhood and he later experienced bouts of depression. In 1986, being already a heavy user of various drugs, he had begun to self-medicate his chronic health problems with heroin. He later stated in an interview:"It started with three days in a row of doing heroin and I don't have a stomach pain. That was such a relief,"

After one failed suicide attempt and a subsequent failed detox programme, Cobain shot himself, at home in Lake Washington, on 5 April 1994.

The conclusion of his suicide note:
…but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along and have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess. Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I'm too much of an erratic, moody, baby! I don't have the passion anymore, and so remember, it's better to burn out then to fade away.

Peace, Love, Empathy. Kurt Cobain.

Cremated, his ashes were given to Courtney Love, who divided them; she kept some in a teddy bear and some in an urn. She took another portion of his ashes to the Namgyal Buddhist Monastery in Ithaca, New York.


“Oh wow. Oh, wow. Oh, wow.”

Last words of Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Steve Jobs

Jobs' sister Mona Simpson was by his side at his death. She discussed his last statement when she was giving his eulogy, according to the New York Times. As she tells it, in Jobs' final moments of consciousness, he looked at his family, then stared past their shoulders into the great beyond behind them, and uttered the repeated phrase: "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow."

Jobs (pronounced as in employment jobs) was an American businessman, inventor, and investor best known for co-founding the technology giant Apple Inc. Jobs was also the founder of NeXT and chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar. He was a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with his early business partner and fellow Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

In 2003 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His response was to ignore medical advice and to undergo a regime of alternative medical treatments. This path wasn't a successful one and he died at his Palo Alto home in October 2011.

Near the time of his death, he was estimated to have a net worth of $8.3 billion, making him one of the top 50 richest Americans. He was listed as either the primary or co-inventor of 342 U.S. patents, all dealing with computer technologies.


Jobs is buried in Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California. At his family’s request, the gravesite is unmarked. The leafy cemetery in the Palo Alto foothills is the final home for a wide range of artists and technologists, according to web site Find-A-Grave. They include country singer country singer ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford and Grateful dead member Ronald ‘Pigpen’ McKernan. Technologists buried nearby include Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard and engineer Lewis Terman, who mentored Packard and HP co-founder Walter Hewlett.


“Bugger Bognor!”

Reputed to be the last words of King George V, being his response when his doctor told him he would soon be well and able to visit Bognor Regis again.

King George V, (1865–1936)

It is famously alleged that the last words of King George V were "Bugger Bognor", in response to a suggestion that he might recover from the illness that took his life and and that he visit Bognor Regis. It is unlikely they were his last words.

On the evening of 15 January 1936, the King took to his bedroom at Sandringham House complaining of a cold; he remained in the room until his death. He became gradually weaker, drifting in and out of consciousness. Prime Minister Baldwin later said:
... each time he became conscious it was some kind inquiry or kind observation of someone, some words of gratitude for kindness shown. But he did say to his secretary when he sent for him: "How is the Empire?" An unusual phrase in that form, and the secretary said: "All is well, sir, with the Empire", and the King gave him a smile and relapsed once more into unconsciousness.
By 20 January, he was close to death. His physicians, led by Lord Dawson of Penn, issued a bulletin with the words "The King's life is moving peacefully towards its close."

Dawson's private diary, unearthed after his death and made public in 1986, reveals that the King's last words, a mumbled "God damn you!", were addressed to his nurse, Catherine Black, when she gave him a sedative that night.

Dawson, who supported the "gentle growth of euthanasia", admitted in the diary that he ended the King's life:
At about 11 o'clock it was evident that the last stage might endure for many hours, unknown to the Patient but little comporting with that dignity and serenity which he so richly merited and which demanded a brief final scene. Hours of waiting just for the mechanical end when all that is really life has departed only exhausts the onlookers & keeps them so strained that they cannot avail themselves of the solace of thought, communion or prayer. I therefore decided to determine the end and injected (myself) morphia gr.3/4 [grains] and shortly afterwards cocaine gr.1 [grains] into the distended jugular vein ... In about 1/4 an hour – breathing quieter – appearance more placid – physical struggle gone.
Dawson wrote that he acted to preserve the King's dignity, to prevent further strain on the family, and so that the King's death at 11:55 pm could be announced in the morning edition of The Times newspaper rather than "less appropriate ... evening journals". Neither Queen Mary, who was intensely religious and might not have sanctioned euthanasia, nor the Prince of Wales was consulted. The royal family did not want the King to endure pain and suffering and did not want his life prolonged artificially but neither did they approve Dawson's actions. British Pathé announced the King's death the following day, in which he was described as "for each one of us, more than a King, a father of a great family".

At the procession to George's lying in state in Westminster Hall, the cross surmounting the Imperial State Crown atop George's coffin fell off and landed in the gutter as the cortège turned into New Palace Yard. The new king, George's eldest son Edward, saw it fall and wondered whether it was a bad omen for his new reign. Edward abdicated before the year was out, leaving Albert to ascend the throne as George VI.


Initially interred in the Royal Vault beneath the Quire at St George's Chapel, King George's body was transferred to a monumental sarcophagus in the North Nave Aisle on 27 February 1939. It is surmounted by tomb effigies of George and Mary, sculpted by Sir William Reid Dick (1878–1961). Queen Mary was laid to rest next to her husband following her funeral at St George's on 31 March 1953.


“I'm shot. I’m shot.”

Lzt woeds of John Lennon as he was shot outside his apartment building in New York.

John Lennon (1940-1980)

The Beatles' huge fame in the 1960s drove them from performing on stage, where the audience's screams were so loud that they couldn't hear themselves play. Off stage, things were little different and no member of the group was able to appear in public without being mobbed.

Lennon was told by David Bowie that life might be easier for him in New York, where celebrities were more often left alone. In a BBC radio interview on 6th December 1980, Lennon made this remark about his move to the USA:
"That's what finally made me stay here... Yes, you can walk on the street."
Two days later, and after firing his bodyguards, Lennon was shot in the street by Mark Chapman.

When the singer was leaving his apartment Chapman gave him an LP, which he duly signed:

Lennon signing a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman several hours before the murder.

According to Chapman he actually had the gun in his pocket when this photo was taken, but he chickened out. He hung around in front of the Dakota getting his nerves up until John and Yoko came home later that night.

When Lennon returned home later in the day, Chapman shot him four times in the back. Lennon staggered into the building, said "I'm shot" twice and collapsed.

The first to respond after the shooting was a security guard from The Dakotas (the apartments John and Yoko lived in) who approached Chapman as he sat reading Catcher in the Rye. All the security guard could do was sob and kept asking Chapman “Do you know what you did?”.

Chapman had grown up idolising Lennon, but after becoming a born-again Christian he was angered at the singer’s claim that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”. He had come to the conclusion that John Lennon was a hypocrite and a phony: A rich man singing about peace and love, however unwilling to actually make changes in the world.

Chapman pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years to life with a stipulation that mental health treatment would be provided. In 2000, Chapman became eligible for parole, which has since been denied 13 times. Chapman appeared before the parole board in early March 2024, and he was again denied parole. Chapman's fourteenth parole hearing is scheduled for August 2025.


Lennon’s ashes were scattered in New York’s Central Park by his widow, Yoko Ono. This area was transformed into a memorial and renamed as the "Strawberry Fields" in Lennon's honour. The Strawberry Fields have been built as a living memorial rather than a statue. They are a 2.5 acre landscaped section of Central Park and is named after the Beatles' song "Strawberry Fields Forever" (also written by Lennon). The song itself is named for the former Strawberry Field children's home in Liverpool, England, located near Lennon's childhood home. Strawberry Fields is lined with tall elm tree, shrubs, flowers and rocks and has been designated as a quiet zone within Central Park.

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