September 17, 2009 15:34

Guitar Hero CEO on Nirvana dispute: 'Kurt Cobain's estate cashed the cheque'

Dan Rosensweig tells NME.COM he's open to dialogue with the parties

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'Guitar Hero' CEO Dan Rosensweig has told NME.COM that Kurt Cobain's estate has "cashed the cheque" allowing the late singer after agreeing a contract to allow the Nirvana singer to be used in the game.

Love had threatened to sue Activision, the game's makers, for allowing Cobain to be used in 'Guitar Hero 5' to sing songs by other artists.

Cobain's former Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Kris Novoselic slammed Activision too, requesting they re-programme the game so the frontman could only appear performing Nirvana songs.

Rosensweig suggested Courtney Love was fully aware of the contract she agreed to with regard to Cobain's character's use and had accepted the agreed fee. He added that he was "disappointed" Grohl and Novoselic objected, but said he would be happy to talk to them to try and clear things up.

"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.

"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."

Rosensweig added that he was not opposed to opening dialogue again if it would help to smooth things over.

"We love engaging in dialogues with artists," he said. "We always want to hear from artists. In this circumstance there seems to be some confusion between the estate and we would love to clear that up. We're not avoiding any dialogue."

Jon Bon Jovi, whose music features in 'Guitar Hero 5', recently sided with Grohl and Novoselic. "To hear someone else's voice coming out of a cartoon version of me?" he said. "I don't know. It sounds a little forced."

"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].

Reacting to Rosensweig's comments by posting on Twitter Love denied any money had changed hands.

"Call me and tell me what cheque and for how much. You liquidate Kurt and you tell me I've cashed a cheque? We didn't get a cent," she wrote. "Now Mr Activision if you want to fix that I'd very much appreciate it. You've humiliated me and my daughter. People think we did 'Guitar Hero 5' for money when in fact we got not one cent. My understanding was you would pay me personally as I stated."

'Guitar Hero 5' was released on September 11. Watch a video of Cobain's character in action in the game by clicking below.


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