Kurt Cobain in 'Guitar Hero 5': former Nirvana bandmates are 'dismayed and very disappointed'

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?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
No Beatles, but Norah Jones plays new song ‘Young Blood’ at Apple event
Guilty Pleasures, Round Three: Follow all the matchups here!
True Blood’’s Alexander Skarsgard: TV vampire, sexy Swede… guest DJ?
‘The Beatles: Rock Band’ is out today: Harmonix boss Alex Rigopulos gives us the scoop on working with Sir Paul and NOT being given hell by Yoko

Comments (54 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3
  • BigC

    lol, this is the lamest thing I’ve ever heard. If he wanted to have some say in what his likeness would be used in he probably should have left his brain intact. It doesn’t matter anyways, it’s just music, and it’s just a game, QQ over an emo who couldn’t enjoy being rich as hell.

    • Lori

      LOL – nice one, BigC. How silly – “oh no, a cartoon that looks like Kurt Cobain is singing Bon Jovi songs!”

      • CQ

        Exactly! Seriously people. It’s a VIDEO GAME. Making official ‘statements’ lends way more legitimacy to it. Relax.

    • Jason

      I agree. Someone so selfish that he would leave his young daughter fatherless should not be revered.

      • Belle

        Have you ever been suicidal? No

        He was sick, not selfish, sometimes people get so low that NOTHING can bring them back.

        Don’t judge what you know nothing about,

  • Stuart


  • Rachel

    I want to vomit.

    • will


  • TNewbold

    That is wrong on so many levels

  • Lance

    BLASPHEMY! *rolls eyes* big deal. it’s a game. and if Courtney Love wasn’t aware what she was signing off on, then she’s to blame. i also have a hard time believing Mr. Cobain didn’t rock out to a few of those songs at some point in time.

    • richardfoc

      You don’t know much about Kurt Cobain do you?

  • Rachel

    I really hate it wehn people use the image of a dead person to sell their product. Its wrong.

    • BadDay

      Happens all the time – its because their families and estates want the money. Elvis Lives Again!! and again, and again.

  • Nathan

    Won’t matter, everybody’s buying Beatles Rock Band anyway.

  • janiceGee

    This is so sad! This is wrong. His daughter is going to be a billionaire! This is bull!

  • silvio

    terrible, just terrible

  • The Daw

    The song is “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Shot Through the Heart is a different song.

  • shdrew

    I think this is extremely disrespectful. Shame on Activision for thinking this was an okay this to do, and Courtney Love for signing off on it (there’s no way I’ll believe that she didn’t get a handsome payout for this. That woman has been sucking Cobain’s teats for almost 20 years now. No chance that she allowed Activision to use Kurt’s image for free.)

  • Shamrock

    Cobain was so overrated. Why is he so untouchable. Grohl is way more talented.

  • couchgrouch

    how does Kurt play Public Enemy “songs”? is there a drum machine and computer sample feature?

  • Phnam Ngyuen

    nirvana music mean so many thinks to me and i fell that this wrong and not write think to do to mr. kurt. he not like sing like that think if he was not here any more.

  • MiamiMaria

    It is effed up on a ton of levels but Courtney shouldn’t have pimped out her dead ex to begin with.

Page: 1 2 3
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos in Music


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP