A new wave of Kurt Cobain licensed products is about to flood the collectible market. A visit to the National Entertainment Collectables Association’s web site, necaonline.com, revealed numerous new items featuring the likeness of the deceased grunge pioneer. Among the items are a lunchbox, a keychain that doubles as a small liquor flask, a wallet, a wristband, dog tags and two seven-inch action figures (one with an electric guitar and one from Nirvana’s Unplugged performance, complete with tattered librarian sweater, music stand and Martin acoustic guitar).
Cobain's image was licensed to NECA by his widow, singer Courtney Love, who also sold a 25 percent stake in her husband's song catalog last year for $50 million.
The value of the Nirvana catalog sale put Cobain ahead of Elvis Presley on Forbes magazine's 2006 list of the top-earning dead celebrities. The magazine also reported that the licensing of dead celebrities was nearly a quarter-billion dollar business last year.
Love's manager, Peter Asher, insisted that none of Nirvana's songs will be used for anything that Cobain would have opposed, explaining, "We believe if we say yes to the right things, we can do both—make money and do the right thing for the catalog."
Love recently protested the unauthorized use of her husband's image in a British ad campaign for Dr. Martens boots, after which Dr. Martens CEO David Suddens issued this apology: "We are really, really, really sorry. We do think that it is offensive. We made a mistake. My message to Courtney Love is: This is something we shouldn't have been doing."
See the Cobain Dr. Martens ad here.
In other Cobain news, the Seattle-based record label Barsuk announced that they will be releasing the soundtrack to the motion picture Kurt Cobain About a Son on September 11, 2007. The film is told in Cobain’s voice from audiotaped interviews conducted by journalist Michael Azerrad for his book Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. The movie will feature the Azerrad interviews and combine them with a score written by Northwest musician and producer Steve Fisk, who produced Nirvana’s Blew EP, and Ben Gibbard, lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service.
The soundtrack will also feature the music of more than 20 artists who had an impact on Cobain during his life, ranging from childhood favorites Arlo Guthrie and Queen Bad Brains and Big Black, to legendary rockers Iggy Pop, David Bowie and R.E.M. The soundtrack will not contain the music of Cobain or Nirvana, though it will include audio excerpts of Cobain speaking.