Lawyers will battle it out over Kurt Cobain's 'Guitar Hero' cameo

Posted on Mon Sep 14 2009

Maybe it sounded like a good idea at the time, with even the Beatles becoming video game avatars, for Kurt Cobain to come back from the dead and digitally appear in Activision's Guitar Hero 5. So, his widow Courtney Love signed a licensing deal for Cobain to rock out to Nirvana's groundbreaking hit, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," as well as any number of frothy pop ditties. Only now, Love claims she never consented to the deal, and she's threatening via Twitter (celebrities' favorite mode of breaking their own news these days) to sue Activision. Meanwhile, former bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, who allowed the music to be used in the game but don't control Cobain's likeness, say they're "dismayed and very disappointed" with the outcome. They're asking Activision to lock up that avatar so he won't suffer the indignity of performing "You Give Love a Bad Name." Activision is sticking to its guns, saying it has a signed agreement in hand. Obviously, we've not heard the end of this. Love has suddenly protected her Twitter updates, which is probably for the best. (They made no sense anyway.) But I did understand this threat from Love to Activision: "Wait for my esq." Good day, sir!

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Kurt Cobain is brought back to life for Activision's 'Guitar Hero 5'

Posted on Fri Aug 28 2009


Kurt Cobain is making his first appearance in a video game. Clad in his trademark cardigan, the deceased rocker has been resurrected for Guitar Hero 5. Now, I was never alive to see Jimi Hendrix and some of the other rock gods who have passed on, so the idea of pretending to be them in a video game doesn't bother me that much. However, I did see Nirvana live and was one of the fans caught up in the whole grunge thing. Maybe that's why the creepy rendering of him that Activision sent me seems bizarre. For full disclosure, I haven't gotten hooked on Guitar Hero like some of my friends, so perhaps I'm missing the point. But really, the idea of emulating Cobain is absurd even if it just involves performing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (this is first time the song has been licensed, so Courtney Love must really need cash) or "Lithium" in a video game. I'm not sure why anyone would want their kids pretending to be someone who did a bunch of heroin and blasted himself in the face with a shotgun.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein



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