You've probably heard that Kurt Cobain can be unlocked in the new Guitar Hero game, which allows players to make him do horrible, horrible things.
You may also have heard that Courtney Love — Cobain's widow and the person responsible for signing away his likeness — is claiming she had no idea that the late Nirvana frontman would be used in the game. Game-maker Activision says Love indeed gave them the rights to Cobain.
Yesterday, the other two guys in Nirvana — Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic — issued a statement regarding the matter.
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.
We're not sure where this is going. We certainly agree with Grohl and Novoselic that the sight of a pixelated Cobain throwing down like Flavor Flav and fronting the truly awful Bon Jovi song "You Give Love a Bad Name" is nauseating.
Then again, it's a videogame that pokes fun at rock-star cliches while still kinda embracing them. Does it sully Cobain's legacy? Not really. Does it make us a little uneasy to hear Cobain go hip-hop? Sorta. Is Courtney Love still one of the most batshit-craziest people on the planet? You bet. —Michael Gallucci