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I cite my sources and they may differ from other people’s accounts, so I don’t guarantee the actual accuracy of my videos. Guitar Hero and Rockband were some of the most popular video games for about half a decade starting around the mid-2000’s. Personally. I was a huge Rock Band fanatic. The developers behind the Rock Band franchise, Harmonix were releasing new songs every week for six years straight until 2013. I remember waiting every week to see what the new songs would be. Because of Rockband, I got introduced to a lot of music I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise and got interested in picking up an instrument and taking music lessons. You have to remember, I grew up in a household where the most rock n’ roll music my parents played was Kenny G. From 2007 to 2010 both Guitar Hero and rock band seemed to release new games every year and it eventually led to the downfall of music games. They just oversaturated the market without really innovating, you guys remember that ridiculous rock band plastic guitar with all the buttons on it? As Guitar Hero got more popular instead of innovating they just started adding avatars of famous musicians including Billy Corgan, Shirley Manson, and today’s topic Kurt Cobain. In 2009 Rock Band developer Harmonix would release the highly anticipated Beatles version of Rock Band, while Activision released Guitar Hero 5 that year. Guitar Hero 5 didn’t really feature many new innovations or improvements. Just a new tracklist, some new playable avatars one of which was former Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain, alongside two songs from the band catalog smells like teen spirit and a live recording of lithium. It appears the master recording of lithium didn’t have the appropriate tracks to be used in the game or the masters couldn’t be found., It was around the release of guitar hero 5 that Activision put out a promotional trailer of Kurt Cobain’s avatar performing Smells like Teen Spirit. Of course, it garnered a strong reaction, most of which was negative. In order for Kurt Cobain’s likeness to be used his widow, Courtney Love had to approve it, while the surviving members of nirvana Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl had to sign off on the band’s music being included in the game. The whole controversy with Kurt Cobain appearing in the game took a strange turn when it came to light that his avatar could be used to perform non-nirvana songs. A video of the avatar performing Bon Jovi’s you give love a bad name hit the internet shortly after the game’s release and the reaction was universally one of disgust. Even Jon Bon Jovi would comment on the matter telling BBC news“I don’t know that I would have wanted it either,” “To hear someone else’s voice coming out of a cartoon version of me? I don’t know. It sounds a little forced.” It would come out that the Bon Jovi frontman was asked to be included as an avatar in the game, but declined. Fans would blame Courtney Love for allowing Cobain’s avatar to be used in the game and she would take to Twitter deflecting blame saying “It’s disgusting and vile and is the result of a cabal of a few assholes’ greed,” “Not in twenty JILLION years would I EVER have allowed this,” Here’s a snippet of the avatar performing a medley of songs from Guitar Hero 5’s tracklist including Public Enemy Bon Jovi and Bush, Someone Gives Love a Bad Name: Guitar Hero Starring Kurt Cobain The surviving members of Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic would put out a statement that read they were and I quote “dismayed and very disappointed in the way a facsimile (fak-simile)of Kurt is used in the Guitar Hero game,” adding, “The name and likeness of Kurt Cobain are the sole property of his estate — we have no control whatsoever in that area.” The pair would ask Activision to “re-lock” the Cobain character and state, “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.” Activision the game’s publisher would issue a statement that read ‘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.’I did come across another article where Activision said it was too expensive to lock the character.
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