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article imageOp-Ed: Courtney Love objects to shoe ads featuring Kurt Cobain

By kurtrat     May 24, 2007 in Entertainment
Courtney Love might auction off some of her late husband Kurt Cobain's things, but she doesn't want to give the image of Cobain away. She is furious over new ads featuring Cobain alongside other dead rockers.
Love has objected to ads for Dr. Martens shoes that feature images of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, the Clash's Joe Strummer, Ramones' Joey Ramone and Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious wearing Doc Marten boots while sitting on clouds in heaven.
Courtney Love's representative said:
"Courtney had no idea this was taking place and would never have approved such a use. She thinks it's outrageous that a company is allowed to commercially gain from such a despicable use of her husband's picture."
Courtney Love did not give permission for Kurt's picture to be used. However, her rep said, "It does appear that in the UK what Dr. Martens has done is allowed. Courtney did not, and would not, approve of such a use of Kurt's name and likeness."
I am a Nirvana fanatic. I have looked at thousands of pictures of Kurt Cobain; I have every Nirvana book I could find. I have never seen Kurt Cobain in Doc Martens. He used to wear really cheap shoes, mostly sneakers. He absolutely refused to ride in limousines that were sent to collect him and he dressed like an ad for a thrift shop.
Joe Strummer in heaven--photo courtesy of aol news
Joe Strummer in heaven--photo courtesy of aol news
Joe Strummer wore Doc Martens; the Clash helped make them the punk shoe of choice. However, I was really shocked by the picture of Joe Strummer supposedly sitting in heaven. Joe Strummer is a huge hero to punks, especially politically-minded punks. He stands for peace and justice, political activism, rock against racism. The music he wrote while he was in the Clash and his music after the Clash is revered. For many, the Clash is still "the only band that matters." Using his image in an advertisement is insulting. For many punks, Dr. Martens were the only shoe that matters. I wonder how people will feel now.
Kurt Cobain was an anti-fashion statement. His entire ethos was against this kind of commercialism.
I don't know what Dr. Martens was thinking in using the image of Sid Vicious; he is not exactly a good example to follow, arrested in the stabbing death of his girlfriend and fellow heroin addict Nancy Spungeon and then overdosing. As for Joey Ramone, I again find the use of his image offensive.
In the United States, Dr. Martens shoes are usually, at least to me, prohibitively expensive. Buying them in the UK used to make sense; they were shoes for regular working people and inexpensive. I don't wear mine anymore because I don't wear leather, and the vegan Doc Martens are even more expensive than the leather ones.
I can't imagine Joe Strummer condoning the purchase of such expensive shoes while people are starving to death. Anyone who heard his diatribe against America during the US festival knows what I mean. And I can't imagine Kurt Cobain using his own image to promote something which now is fashionable.
Punk is not supposed to be about fashion or commercialism. Not true punk.
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