Guitar Hero CEO On His Game’s Cobaintroversy: “The Check Has Been Cashed”


Someone at the Web site associated with the hyperbolic British music tabloid NME decided to ask Dan Rosensweig, CEO of the Guitar Hero franchise, about his take on the whole uproar over the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s avatar being used in the game, and singing songs like Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name” to boot. After finding out that Cobain could be used to sing songs that weren’t by Nirvana, Courtney Love freaked out on Twitter and threatened lawsuits; shortly after that, surviving members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic asked the game to lock down Cobain’s karaoke ability. But Rosensweig says that it’s all legit!

“I do know that there’s absolutely a contract and we know that the cheque has been cashed,” he told NME.COM. “I can only deal with the facts. It’s very clear what the terms are.”

He went on to claim that the real dispute should be between Love, who controls Cobain’s estate, and the two former Nirvana members.

“We care about the artists more than anyone else and we would like to make artists happy in every circumstance,” he said. “I’m disappointed in this case that there seems to be confusion between the band and the estate.

“It’s really not Guitar Hero’s confusion. We went and spoke directly to the estate and made it crystal clear, got the rights, paid for the rights, and really we’ve done what we’ve always done. The fact that the rest of the band and the estate did not communicate – I’m not aware of those facts [about their communication].

“I can’t speak for everybody being happy, [but] it gets done with complete consent from artists. These are the artists who fans love. We hope over time that the estate will appreciate that.”

Expect 4,387 Tweets from Courtney Love about this soon.

Meanwhile, Jon Bon Jovi has joined the side of the Generation X warriors, saying that he wasn’t so into having Cobain sing his songs because it seemed “a little forced.” Well, at least they didn’t try to give Kurt a big-haired, toothy-grinned makeover, right?

Guitar Hero CEO on Nirvana dispute: ‘Kurt Cobain’s estate cashed the cheque’ [NME]
Earlier: Dave Grohl And Krist Novoselic Would Like Activision To Lock Kurt Cobain’s “Guitar Hero” Avatar Down, Please

  • drunkwithpower

    Jon Bon Jovi clearly thinks Kurt Cobain isn’t worthy of singing his songs

  • whoneedslight

    Wow, I am shocked, SHOCKED, that this indeed might’ve been Courtney’s doing. Or that she didn’t read the fine print. Or that she needed the cash and thought that dramatic outrage would point fingers in a different direction.

  • Firecloud

    Maura – Is the quote you used in the title actually a real quote? Because I can’t find it in the original piece at all, or even a loose paraphrasing thereof. Not trying to pee on your ice-cream or anything, but that’s more than a bit misleading… especially with the quotations around the comment.

  • dyfl

    I’m not a Cobain fan and never was, so frankly, the ability to make him sing “The Humpty Dance” or whatever is a feature, not a bug. That said, I assume that’s what Courtney et al. are afraid of: the idea that somebody, somewhere, would not show the legally mandated amount of deference to Poor Dead Saint Rock Star.

  • Maura

    @Firecloud: It’s a paraphrase, but you’re right. I’ll take out the quotes.

  • sicksteanein

    If I were the CEO, I’d be pissed that I had to actually explain all this.

  • Firecloud

    M- now I feel like a dick. But I still think you’re the bee’s knees (and elbows).

  • Here_Now

    OK, it was weird enough that Firecloud said (s)he couldn’t find the check-has-been-cashed quote — or even a loose paraphrasing — in the original piece. But it’s downright bizarre that Maura then responded by calling it a paraphrase and conceding that it was kind of iffy. Because “the check has been cashed” is right there in original piece, in the very first sentence used in the excerpt here.

    (Granted, the mag has used the British spelling “cheque,” but that doesn’t matter.)

    What the heck?

  • Here_Now

    Oh, never mind. Now I see the URL. You didn’t just take out the quote marks, you took out the entire passage they enclosed.

  • Maura

    Yeah, sometimes when you’re your own editor you make mistakes that need to be rectified. It’s definitely an imperfect system.