Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Smells Like Mean Spirit: Courtney Love Collects Check From Guitar Hero, but Goes on Twitter Rampage Anyway


Courtney Love went into a Twitter frenzy yesterday, threatening to sue Activision Blizzard (ATVI) over of its use of the image of her late husband and grunge music legend Kurt Cobain in the latest version of its popular music game, Guitar Hero.

Some tweet gems:

“not in twenty JILLION years would i EVER have allowed this and this is lethal.”

“we get NO money for this, travesty, Frances gets NO money for the rape.”

Except, oops, Love signed the contract herself and also, sources said, the check has long been cashed from Activision.

Smells like mean spirit!

“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,” said Activision in a statement.

Cobain, who killed himself in 1994, is an “unlockable” character in the Guitar Hero 5 game recently released. When a character is unlockable, the avatar can play other songs too.

So, presumably Cobain could play Bon Jovi, which apparently pisses Love off.

In fact, Love’s lawyer told the TMZ.com Web site: “Activision is exploiting Kurt’s image in a manner anathema to the very essence of his music, spirit and essence. I along with Ms. Cobain hope those who love Kurt’s music strongly voice their sentiments to Activision and demand his image not be debased by singing the songs of Bon Jovi.”

But one still has to wonder why Love–who is now better known for her wacky antics than her own music (you can see a list of some of her frequent outbursts here from Entertainment Weekly)–chose to go nuts now rather than before the game was released.

Well, BoomTown has a very good guess, but I will keep it to myself!

So until the more dulcet meds kick in for Love, here’s a video from a recent tour I did at Guitar Hero HQ in Silicon Valley, on the release of GH5:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik