Chicago Sun-Times
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Nirvana's survivors: Kurt Cobain shouldn't be a Guitar Hero cartoon

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KurtCobainCollage.jpg

These dueling press releases tell the whole story. (Me, I agree with Grohl and Novoselic. And shame on you, Courtney!)

ACTIVISION, GROHL AND NOVOSELIC RESPOND TO GUITAR HERO ALLEGATIONS Activision is responding to queries regarding the usage of Kurt Cobain's likeness in Guitar Hero 5 with the following statement "Guitar Hero secured the necessary licensing rights from the Cobain estate in a written agreement signed by Courtney Love to use Kurt Cobain's likeness as a fully playable character in Guitar Hero® 5."

Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, the two surviving members of Nirvana, have no say whatsoever in the usage of Kurt Cobain's likeness.

And:

KRIST NOVOSELIC, DAVE GROHL STATEMENT RE: NIRVANA, GUITAR HERO AND LIKENESS OF KURT COBAIN This is a statement regarding Nirvana, Guitar Hero and the likeness of the late Kurt Cobain.

We want people to know that we are dismayed and very disappointed in the way a facsimile of Kurt is used in the Guitar Hero game. The name and likeness of Kurt Cobain are the sole property of his estate - we have no control whatsoever in that area.

While we were aware of Kurt's image being used with two Nirvana songs, we didn't know players have the ability to unlock the character. This feature allows the character to be used with any kind of song the player wants. We urge Activision to do the right thing in "re-locking" Kurt's character so that this won't continue in the future.

It's hard to watch an image of Kurt pantomiming other artists' music alongside cartoon characters. Kurt Cobain wrote songs that hold a lot of meaning to people all over the world. We feel he deserves better.

-- Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl

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3 Comments

My only issue with this whole thing is the press whore wars between Love and Grohl/Novoselic over the idea that his image is somehow sacred. For that matter, it's quite asinine to be arguing about "misusing" Cobain's image when his name has been attached to a line of Converse shoes and lunch boxes sold at Hot Topic-esque stores. The genie is out of the bottle at this point. Of course this whole deal is cheesy, but making it a full on controversy is just a vanity play at this point.

On a side note......Personally, I think it's kind of funny that you can make Cobain rap along to Public Enemy.

Jim,

That's picture is not of Kurt Cobain from the game. That looks like a fan recreation via the build-a-character feature from an earlier game...the avatar in Guitar Hero 5 looks exactly like Kurt.

Jim-Didn't Kurt agree to alter In Utero's artwork and track listing (Rape Me to Waif Me) in order to be sold at Wal-Mart? My point being, let's stop all this talk about how Kurt Cobain's image is sacred and should not be subjected to commercialization. As a guest on Sound Opinions said earlier this year, Kurt really was all about the sales.

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