Anyone who has picked up the latest Guitar Hero 5 may have noticed Kurt Cobain's likeness making an appearance, along with two Nirvana songs "Lithium" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit." However a post by blogger Everett True highlighted that the Cobain avatar can be used to play any number of songs in the game, some of which put the late singer in some rather uncharacteristic poses, with some even seeing him rapping.
Now, Cobain's widow Courtney Love has apparently spoken out against the use of the singer's image in the game on Twitter.A 70-post rant on the feed of user courtneylover79 (which has been purporting to be that of Love for months) claims, "FOR THE RECORD I DID NOT APPROVE KURTS AVATAR FOR GUYITARHERO5." It adds thatshe loathes the game and finds it "odious," as well as suggesting that Cobain would "despise this game" and his representation in it. This comes contrary to reports that Love, former bandmate Dave Grohl, and Universal publishing all signed off on the deal with Activision.
The tirade of posts, some of which verge on nonsensical, also threatens legal action against Activision. She also mentions that she "saw a piece of the [Cobain] avatar on the nightly news I actually had to vomit."
Despite denying any involvement with the game, another of the posts says "i was forced with literally a GUN to sell RIGHTS ask KARSH and MESTEL why teh f**k activision has a f*****g moving avatar," though it is not clear whether this refers directly to the game or overall rights to Cobain's estate. The feed acknowledges being involved in the approval process for the avatar, but courtneylover79 that she was only doing so to "drag [her] heels" and had no intention of approving it.
[UPDATE] Blogger Everett True has since responded to Love's Twitter musings, many of which were in response to a blog post of his highlighting the below video. True said he has it "on good authority" that Love "owns the rights to Kurt's image and likeness" and that her action to sue was "odd."
[UPDATE 2] Activision has since responded to the above claims, stating that Cobain's estate, and specifically Courtney Love, did in fact sign off on having the late artist appear in Guitar Hero 5. "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 publisher said in a statement.
The video brought to light by blogger Everett True that was the source of the controversy.