Under the Radar

Seriously, This is Just Wrong

When I first heard that the new Guitar Hero 5 game would feature a Kurt Cobain avatar, I figured he'd be playing a left-handed Jagstang guitar and it would be a little weird but ultimately OK. As the video capture above shows, what actually happened is just gross.

Once you unlock the KC avatar, you find out he's the lead singer and not the guitarist. He's wearing the fuzzy sweater and singing songs by Billy Idol, Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder and (worst of all) Bush. No matter what you think about Gavin Rossdale's career, does anyone seriously think Bush's first album would've had a chance if radio didn't need to fill the playlist void created by Kurt's death? Bush: slightly creepy then, incredibly creepy here in Guitar Hero.

I'm not sure how much control the Cobain Estate gave up when they made what now seems like an ill-advised deal with Primary Wave Music Publishing in 2006, but Karaoke Kurt tears down an icon instead of teaching a young audience why they should care about Nirvana.

I've got some history here: I've worked with the Cobain Estate on the catalog and know (and respect) many of the principals over at Primary Wave. I'm sympathetic to the problems that come with making money from Nirvana, because Kurt's rebellion was far more than a pose and that anarchic spirit always shows through in the end. But still, really bad choice here.

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Under the Radar