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Kurt & Courtney Banned From Sundance

January 20, 1998 12:00 AM ET

The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, has canceled the Jan. 16 premiere of Nick Broomfield's documentary Kurt And Courtney, about late Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain and his widow, Courtney Love.

According to Billboard Bulletin, a statement issued by the festival says that the film was yanked due to "unresolved legal matters between the filmmaker and others -- including uncleared music rights." However, a source confirms reports that Love, through her attorneys, had threatened to sue Sundance for defamation of character if the festival showed the film.

Broomfield, best known for his 1996 film on Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, denied the festival's claims about the music in a New York Post interview. He added that he offered to cut the songs at issue -- Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Hole's "Doll Parts" -- so that the premiere could go on.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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