Cobain-Inspired Converses Court ControversyE! Online, May 30, 2008 11:00 am PDT
A year ago, the Nirvana frontman's widow, Courtney Love, kicked to the curb print ads in the U.K. that featured her late husband modelingDoc Marten boots in heaven.
How things change.Now, the ex-Hole singer is giving thumbs up to a line of Converse sneakers paying tribute to the grunge icon, who committed suicide in 1994. The shoes will hit stores this fall, along with footwear inspired by the Grateful Dead, to help mark the manufacturer's 100th anniversary.
"They are the renegades of sound, the league-changers, champions of underachievement, the paint drippers and those with flawless style," Scott Patt, Converse Global Footwear's creative director, touted in a press release Friday.
"These pioneers follow what's inside and do what they believe to be right."
And that apparently includes making the most of commercial endorsements.
The Cobain collection comes in three different styles—Chuck Taylor All Stars, Jack Purcell and One Star—and sports artwork and scribbles taken from his personal notebooks and lyrics from such seminal songs as "Come As You Are."
As for the Dead's line, they ain't Birkenstocks. Instead, the shoe company is selling designs sporting some of the legendary jam band's artwork from the '60s and '70s, including the red-and-blue skull logo and those famous dancing bears.
Both sneaker lines will retail between $50 and $65.
While Cobain did wear Converse when he was alive, to some Nirvana faithful the deal smells like a sellout by his estate, and many are ridiculing the shoemaker's claim to honor him. Here's a quick sampling:
• "They're my favorite brand of sneakers. I've also worshiped Nirvana since I was 13. That being said, this is disgusting. Courtney Love is disgusting! The whole thing makes me ill," wrote a fan atEarsucker.com. • "Kurt would had of hated this filth...I am disgusted with Courtney he would have never wanted it to be like this," an anonymous commenter wrote at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's reader blog. • "I just threw up in my mouth. This is repulsive," opined another. • Another simply quoted lyrics from Nirvana's "Rape Me." This isn't the first time Love's been called out for cashing in on Kurt's legacy.
A year ago, Love put up for auction the bulk of the rocker's belongings, including many of his flannel shirts. That came a year after the cash-strapped "Doll Parts" singer struck a $50 million deal with Primary Wave Music Publishing to sell off a 25 percent stake in the Nirvana catalog.