Muppets, trainers, musicals and more
Gaby Whitehill

12:39 4th April 2014

Saturday, April 5 marks 20 years since Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's death at the age of 27.

Already a household name whilst he was alive, Cobain has been elevated to icon status in the years since his death. His tragic end has spawned dozens of wild conspiracy theories, his posters still adorn bedrooms around the world and the fascination with the mysterious, troubled musician proves to be ever-enduring. 

If Cobain was still alive, he would be 47 years old; but the question is would he have want to be transformed into a video game avatar? Would he sign off on 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' being used in a children's film? And would he want there to be a stage musical written about his life?

The anti-establishment attitude Cobain almost let define him during his career tells us "well, probably not". Just like Jimi Hendrix, Tupac, Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson, Cobain's legacy has been posthumously exploited in a number of ways. Here are 7 of them. 

  • The shoes: In 2008, Converse released a special edition collection of Kurt Cobain sneakers in collaboration with Courtney Love. The trainers were covered in sketches, scribbles and musings from Cobain's diaries. Cobain famously wore Converse on and off the stage. Other than being bad taste, the shoes are also super ugly.

  • The video game: Fans of Cobain weren't best pleased when dead-eyed "avatar" of the musician was featured in Guitar Hero 5, choogling his way, oddly, through Bon Jovi's 'You Give Love A Bad Name'. The other Love, Courtney (sorry) denied she had any involvement and blamed it on Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Kris Novoselic, who released a statement saying they were "dismayed and disappointed" by Cobain's appearance in the video game.

  • The comic: It's recently been announced the Nirvana frontman's life will be chronicled in comic book style by artist Jayfri Hashim who has already penned similar tributes to Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and Keith Richards. Best of all? It's for children. "It is a great tool for kids to read about him in a different medium," says publisher Darren G Davis. Hmmm.

  • The Muppets: Kermit and co took on 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' for a barbershop quartet scene in the feature-length movie version of the popular puppets, and Courtney Love was a bit pissed off, comparing the usage to "rape". A little bit much, although we can't quite get behind it either - despite Dave Grohl and Kris Novoselic giving their permission for the classic song to be used (Grohl also starred in the film).

  • The beer advert: Dutch brewery Bavaria inexplicably decided to flog their new fruity beer with an eye roll-provoking advert that imagined deceased icons NOT DEAD AT ALL but just hiding out on a beach - with fruit beer- to get away from the world. "Featuring" Cobain, Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Elvis and more, it was stupid, tasteless and pulled from the internet faster than you could say: "Who the fuck drinks fruit beer anyway?".

  • The Memorial Day: February 20 is now officially Kurt Cobain Day in the musician's hometown of Seattle. Even worse, Hoquiam, Washington, have also announced their own Kurt Cobain Day falling on April 10 - despite the fact Cobain only lived there for a short period of his life. Oh dear.

  • The musical: After previously declaring she had no plans to stage a Kurt Cobain musical, Courtney Love recently declared that a surge of support from fans had changed her mind about taking to Nirvana to Broadway. Reportedly working on the musical with her is her and Kurt's daughter Frances Bean, she says they'll only work with the "most respected" producers and writers. Please, please not Andrew Lloyd Webber.

  • The publication of his personal items: Was there REALLY any need for the Seattle police to make a note found on Cobain at the time of his death, describing his wife Courtney Love as a "bitch with zits", public knowledge? After all, Cobain's not here to explain himself and whatever your opinion of Love, it must be rather hurtful for her to have this private note available to millions. [Photo via CBS]


Photo: WENN