The Pulse of Radio reports: A Kurt Cobain playable character is making its way into Guitar Hero 5, due out September 1. Along with the avatar, for the first time, NIRVANA's songs will appear in the game. Fans will be able to rock out to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and a live version of "Lithium", from the group's 1992 headlining slot at England's Reading festival. Game manufacturer Activision released a statement saying, "Kurt Cobain is one of the most recognizable frontmen in rock & roll history, and it's an honor to have two of NIRVANA's masterpieces included in Guitar Hero 5."
Landing the rights to NIRVANA songs and creating a Cobain avatar has been a long time coming. First the game needed to get approval from a music publishing group and Cobain's widow Courtney Love, along with former NIRVANA drummer Dave Grohl. Activision's Vice President of Music Affairs Tim Riley told RollingStone.com, "There's a lot of moving parts to something like this. But it was about timing, not an issue of resistance. We almost did it for World Tour, but we couldn't get it together. Then after three years of working with the different parties, it was like the perfect storm."
Love played a major role in shaping what the Cobain character would look like. Riley said, "Courtney supplied us with photos and videos and knew exactly what she wanted Kurt to look like. She picked the wardrobe and hair style, which turned out to be the 'Teen Spirit' look, then we went back and forth over changes — some subtle, some not so subtle." He added, "She certainly had a physical image in mind. She wanted him to have that sort of athletic definition but not overly so." Riley said she was great to work with.
Several other bands have lent their music to Guitar Hero 5, including SUBLIME, BLUR, SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE and SONIC YOUTH.
The game's other playable characters include Carlos Santana, Johnny Cash, Shirley Manson of GARBAGE and Matt Bellamy of MUSE.
In other news, the classic 1992 NIRVANA performance at the U.K.'s Reading festival will be available on CD and DVD beginning November 3. "Nirvana Live at Reading" will feature songs from "Nevermind", along with early previews of "All Apologies" and "Dumb", as well as older tracks and covers, according to EW.com.