Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 08:26 UK

Bon Jovi supports Cobain protest

By Mark Savage
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Jon Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi have sold more than 120m albums worldwide

Rocker Jon Bon Jovi says he understands why Nirvana's former members protested over the use of Kurt Cobain's image in video game Guitar Hero 5.

Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl said last week they were "very disappointed" that Cobain's avatar could be used to play songs by other acts in the game.

"I don't know that I would have wanted it either," Jon Bon Jovi told the BBC.

"To hear someone else's voice coming out of a cartoon version of me? I don't know. It sounds a little forced."

Guitar Hero 5 entered the UK games charts at number one last weekend, beating its heavily-promoted rival, The Beatles: Rock Band.

The late Nirvana frontman features as an unlockable character, allowing players to see his image performing a multitude of other tracks, including Bon Jovi's You Give Love A Bad Name.

'Breach of contract'

In a joint statement last week, Grohl and Novoselic said they "didn't know" Cobain's image would be used in this way.

"We are dismayed and very disappointed in the way a facsimile of Kurt is used in the Guitar Hero game".

The pair also urged game makers Activision to "do the right thing in 're-locking' Kurt's character".

Guitar Hero screenshot
Guitar Hero allows players to recreate rock riffs on replica instruments

Activision said permission to use Cobain's image had been granted by the singer's estate.

The company said Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, had provided a written agreement which allowed the singer's likeness as a fully playable character in the fifth game of the series.

Writing on Twitter, Love claimed she had "never signed" a contract on the game, and threatened legal action against Activision.

"For the record, this... is breach of contract on a bully's part and there will be a proper addressing of this and retraction," she wrote.

Jon Bon Jovi, who is promoting his band's 11th studio album, The Circle, said he had declined the offer to appear as a playable character in Guitar Hero.

"I had the paperwork, they wanted me to be on that game and I just passed," he said.

"But no-one even broached the subject with me that I would be singing other people's stuff. I don't know how I would have reacted to that. I don't know that I would have wanted it either."

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