Former Nirvana Members "Dismayed" Over Guitar Hero 5

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Former Nirvana Members "Dismayed" Over Guitar Hero 5


Ex-Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic have issued a statement saying they are "dismayed and disappointed" about the appearance of Kurt Cobain as a playable character in Guitar Hero 5 [http://gh5.guitarhero.com/].

The joint statement from the former drummer and bassist for Nirvana comes a day after Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, accused Activision of "breach of contract" and threatened via Twitter to "sue the shit" out of them [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/94589-Courtney-Love-Enraged-At-Guitar-Hero-5s-Cobain-Cameo] over his appearance. Grohl and Novoselic are considerably more coherent in their reaction to the game, which should come as no great surprise to anyone, but it's clear they're not too happy about the way the late singer's image is being treated.

"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," the pair said in the statement.

"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," they said. "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," they added. "We feel he deserves better."

In response to yesterday's outburst, Activision issued a statement of its own claiming that Love herself had signed a contract allowing Cobain's inclusion in the game. "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," the company said.

I personally don't care one way or the other about Cobain's inclusion in the game but I am curious about why so many people seem to be up in arms over it. Recycling dead guys is nothing new; The Beatles: Rock Band [http://www.thebeatlesrockband.com/] certainly didn't shy away from it and Cobain is sharing the Guitar Hero 5 stage with the late, great Johnny Cash, yet nobody says a word about his presence. I can't help but think there's a certain loss of perspective at work here. Maybe it's still too soon (perhaps Activision should have held off until Guitar Hero X) but at what point does it become okay to start using dead people to sell your crap?

Source: GamesIndustry [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/surviving-nirvana-members-disappointed-at-cobain-use-in-guitar-hero-5]


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squid5580

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Feb 20, 2008
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He is done with respect. They didn't have some zombie Kurt jammin on the guitar. Having an avatar playing other people's music doesn't demean his own deep meaningful music. I don't understand people. I just don't. If it were me I would be honored.
 

GamerLuck

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Jul 13, 2009
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Like i commented on the Love article the other day, Why didn't they something before? i am pretty sure Cobain as not only an appearance but a playable character was hyped at some point, so why did it take so long for these people to notice?

Also, I don't really think Activision is using dead people to sell their crap... i don't know why, but to me it just feels a little far fetched and pretentious to say that they are. maybe i am naive and deluded, but hey, who isn't these days?
 

Woodsey

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Aug 9, 2009
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This whole thing with Courtney Love is stupid, she must of signed a contract about using his likeness - maybe she should read it?

I doubt Activision would just lie in a contract. They want to make money, not get bent over the knee of a law suit and pay for it.

There must be other artists who are dead on there or who have featured in previous games?
 

lumpenprole

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Apr 15, 2009
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Just another example of the weird cult of cobain. Wouldn't make all the news sites if it was Hendrix or Blind Lemon Jefferson, or Buddy Holly.

Although, I can see people getting upset about Stevie Ray Vaughn, so maybe it's just a time thing.
 

Cpt_Oblivious

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Jan 7, 2009
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xmetatr0nx said:
Haha, yea he was the drummer.
Oh right, I've only ever thought of him as being in the Foo Fighters. But then again I don't really like Nirvana so I wouldn't have known.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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They have nothing to use against Activision. They signed a contract, what's done is done.

The guy died fifteen years ago, give us a break.
 

squid5580

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GamerLuck said:
Like i commented on the Love article the other day, Why didn't they something before? i am pretty sure Cobain as not only an appearance but a playable character was hyped at some point, so why did it take so long for these people to notice?

Also, I don't really think Activision is using dead people to sell their crap... i don't know why, but to me it just feels a little far fetched and pretentious to say that they are. maybe i am naive and deluded, but hey, who isn't these days?
Boobs and dead celebrities is all they need to sell games dontcha know. We gamers are a........simple bunch (sorry I saw a shiny).
 

The Bandit

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I wouldn't mind it if he was just a guitar player. But him singing some of the songs is just embarrassing.
 

esperandote

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I can totaly see where they are coming from, im not i big nirvana fan and i cant see why former band members and nirvana fans can be outraged by Kurt Kobain playing Jackson's Five ABC or other less honorable downloadable content.
 

esperandote

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Cpt_Oblivious said:
xmetatr0nx said:
Haha, yea he was the drummer.
Oh right, I've only ever thought of him as being in the Foo Fighters. But then again I don't really like Nirvana so I wouldn't have known.
He's on Queens of the stone age too. His the drummer again there.
 

Cpt_Oblivious

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Jan 7, 2009
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esperandote said:
Cpt_Oblivious said:
xmetatr0nx said:
Haha, yea he was the drummer.
Oh right, I've only ever thought of him as being in the Foo Fighters. But then again I don't really like Nirvana so I wouldn't have known.
He's on Queens of the stone age too. His the drummer again there.
Yea, I checked out his Wikipedia article, he also played drums for Nine Inch Nails at one point.
 

Hexenwolf

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Sep 25, 2008
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lumpenprole said:
Just another example of the weird cult of cobain. Wouldn't make all the news sites if it was Hendrix or Blind Lemon Jefferson, or Buddy Holly.

Although, I can see people getting upset about Stevie Ray Vaughn, so maybe it's just a time thing.
To be fair, Hendrix was included in World Tour, but he was playable only for his own songs.
 

Jhereg42

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Apr 11, 2008
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I think the point is that this is a guy who wrote "Rape me" as a love letter to the corporate recording industry. I'm sure that the other members of Nirvana have a pretty good idea how the man himself would react to seeing his image playing random songs in a video game. Love signed the contract, though. . . so no going back.
 

Froobyx

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Mar 22, 2009
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But but but, I already posted a link on the other one about Courtney Love sueing Activision :eek:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8249994.stm

:D
 

oMonarca

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Apr 23, 2009
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esperandote said:
Cpt_Oblivious said:
xmetatr0nx said:
Haha, yea he was the drummer.
Oh right, I've only ever thought of him as being in the Foo Fighters. But then again I don't really like Nirvana so I wouldn't have known.
He's on Queens of the stone age too. His the drummer again there.
Only as a guest, not as their regular drummer.
 

DaxStrife

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Nov 29, 2007
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Courtney Love only signed over the rights to her dead husband's face because she has no other form of income or use to society, and needed to pay for her drugs somehow. There, I said it.

Didn't Grohl get into a big legal to-do with Love some years back about this very thing? He and Novoselic were trying to get control of the rights to Nirvana's stuff away from Love because they were the actual band, even though she somehow inherited the rights; guess she retained them somehow.