Courtney Love to Sue over Fake Nirvana Song

Immediate respect to Mr. John Jung for passing this on to me – how fascinating. If the individual who started this whole sorry tale wanted attention they’ve certainly got it. Incidentally, to focus on more positive issues worthy of attention, do check the Facebook pages for Monkeywrench and Bloodloss, two early Mark Arm bands – John supports both pages.

First things first, it’s very visibly a fake. If this was a Nirvana cut then it’d be near incredible for it to be so fully formed yet not to arise in the comprehensive record of Nirvana studio work. Similarly, a full Nirvana cut in this type of quality that wasn’t recorded in studio? Near impossible on the technology of the time – this isn’t a pre-digital or early-digital effort. if you wanted to dissect it further then instrumentally there are plenty of points where the ‘squareness’ of the backing doesn’t match Nirvana’s more fluid style – that’s even before one gets to the voice. The treatments applied in an attempt to make it sound more like Cobain, or at least to veil it, are pretty ineffective – it just isn’t Cobain.

Second things, do I believe there really is going to be a legal action? Not really. I feel it’s more like a ‘cease and desist’ situation. There is a valid claim that the back story the person has constructed involving thieving from Courtney Love, involving hacking into supposedly digitized archives, is pretty fair reason for a mild bit of legal action – they’re using Courtney as a source of legitimacy to try and back up the credibility of their fake. I think it’s a warning shot – but I’m also sure locating the individual concerned isn’t a difficult business. One view might be “why is Courtney bothering if it isn’t real?” I think it isn’t unreasonable for her to be pretty annoyed by the individual concerned and the way they’ve formulated things – I can also imagine that having been recently involved in the premieres of “Montage of Heck” perhaps issues involving Kurt Cobain are sensitive right now? But I’m speculating. I see no reason why the threat of legal action should make anyone doubt that this is a fake song.

A shame in a way, there’s clearly a talented musician or group of musicians at work behind the smokescreen. And I don’t mind fakes really – it keeps collectors on their toes, is an irritant at best, an understandable attempt to get a rise out of people…And sometimes, just sometimes, I can see why people would want to test themselves against the individuals they see as the finest examples of their art. On the other hand, however, it does soak up the time and the minds of people who put a lot into sourcing lost Nirvana material, it is a bit tiresome hearing another awful impersonation – the joke gets old pretty quick. I mainly shrug and feel a little bit sorry for people – it isn’t worth being annoyed about.

In the meantime, yep, guess you may have noticed, the team at my publisher for “I Found My Friends” arranged for the final chapter to be provided to SPIN and ESQUIRE magazine on Friday. I confess it was a nice surprise – I didn’t know about either, I only found out when people sent me the links. Naturally I blush that there’s a lazy factual error (Daniel or Calvin Johnson? Oops…) that came about when I was rushing during the post-completion editing process – I think I even seeing it but not reading it properly. Naturally though I just hope you enjoy the chapter. I wanted it to not be about Cobain’s death – this book was about the memories of the musicians who shared the stages with Nirvana, who shared the band’s life in the underground, so though it couldn’t be ignored, his death wasn’t as important to me as so many good lives in the book. Likewise, I wanted to make some small mark of respect to other people who lost someone close, to other musicians who didn’t survive. Having felt loss these past years I think it is a special feeling, I think our loved ones deserve our pain, and that both Kurt Cobain AND the others mentioned all deserve to be recalled by those who cared for them. Paying small respect was the least I could do.

Here’s the links if you didn’t see them. Book is out March 31 in the U.S., it’ll be much later on European sites.

Full chapter at Esquire:

As a passing comment, there are hundreds of comments on the relevant Facebook posts for Spin and Esquire. My favourite was the one stating that they suspect I’ve been paid by Courtney Love to write the book. Gosh, she’s one impressive woman – to pay off 210 people from 170 bands, plus my agent, the team at the publisher…Incredible. On a personal note, if anyone is looking for a ghost writer I’d totally go for it! 😉


4 thoughts on “Courtney Love to Sue over Fake Nirvana Song”

  1. A tremendously fair point! Makes me wonder less about the conspiracy theory and more about why she continued to use the services of a PI for quite a few years in the Nineties (if Tom Grant’s stated time of employment is to be believed.)

  2. Just reading even a few of the comments appended to the relevant Esquire facebook post stunned me with the level of ignorance on display. Where on earth do these people acquire their information? Or do they just make things up?

    1. Which ones particularly entertained you…? I admit I was impressed in a way to see how far the “Kurt was murdered” idea has spread at least among particularly vocal Internet commentators. They were far outnumbered by people just enjoying the article – but it seems ‘the cause’ attracts people with a tendency to shout and swear (just judging by the number of abusive comments there) while only a few people openly decided to growl back at them…

      1. The one I recall said that Hole were on tour at the time of Kurt’s death. But there were others suffering from similarly bizarre misinformation. Weird people.

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