This evening, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic released an official statement in response to the open use of a Kurt Cobain avatar in Guitar Hero 5, in which the late grunge icon can be made to perform any song by any artist in the GH catalog.
Said the pair: “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.”
Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, has already threatened to sue the parent company Activision; she tweeted today: “wait til you see what MY lovely lawyer has cooked up, i never ever signed off on this … btw we get NO money for this, travesty, Frances gets NO money for the rape.” Activision responded: “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.”
Watch the pixelated Cobain, in his trademark fuzzy green cardigan, perform snippets of Public Enemy and Billy Idol below before busting into songs that are the antithesis of his sound — namely, Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name,” Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” and Bush’s “Comedown” — and tell us if you agree. Is it blasphemous, or all in good fun?