Calling her a greedy, volatile “prima donna,” the two surviving members of influential grunge rock group Nirvana have sued to have the widow of Kurt Cobain thrown off the board controlling the band’s musical legacy.
Cobain’s widow Courtney Love last June sued to block the release of a boxed set of Nirvana greatest hits that would have coincided with the 10th anniversary of the band’s chart-topping “Nevermind” album.
Now the surviving band members, bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl, have counter-sued, saying Love is incapable of handling her obligations to their three-way partnership controlling the band’s music.
“In truth, her actions are only about the revitalization of her career motivated solely by her blind self-interest,” Grohl and Novoselic wrote in a letter to their fans, which was released to the media.
An attorney for Love, an actress and lead singer with the rock band Hole, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
The court battle includes a fight for control of the song “You Know You’re Right, recorded by Nirvana just months before Cobain’s suicide in 1994 and originally included in the boxed set.
Grohl and Novoselic claim Love wants to control that potential hit song, which she has performed publicly despite her refusal to allow the release of Nirvana’s original version.
Love also may be using the boxed set to bargain with Nirvana’s record company, Universal Music Group/Geffen, which she also is suing, Grohl and Novoselic say.
That case is “really about securing more money to support Love’s prima donna lifestyle,” and just one example of Love’s “irrational, mercurial, self-centered, unmanageable, inconsistent and unpredictable” behavior, Grohl and Novoselic allege in court filings.
The filings also paint a classic portrait of the band paying its dues on the road before hitting the big time, often sleeping in Novoselic’s van or on friends’ couches as they played small clubs for little money.
While they concede that Cobain was a gifted songwriter, lead guitar player and singer, Novoselic and Grohl claim the three men formed an equal partnership, sharing expenses and working on their music together for countless hours.