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Love Sues Nirvana

Courtney Love sues Universal, Nirvana for rights to the band's material

October 2, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Courtney Love filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Group, Geffen Records, the surviving members of Nirvana -- Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic -- and Nirvana L.L.C., a partnership formed in 1997 to manage the affairs of Nirvana, in a Los Angeles Superior Court on September 28th.

The suit cites three causes of action, including declaratory relief, asking that the contract between Nirvana and Geffen be recinded and that all rights pertaining to Nirvana revert to Love, and breach of contract for an undisclosed amount.

The contract dispute echoes Love's own with Universal regarding her band Hole. Love is trying to dissolve that contract under the seven-year statute law, which states that, under California labor laws, personal service contracts are limited to seven years.

At press time Grohl and Novoselic's attorney, Warren Rheaume, had not had an opportunity to review the complaint but did say, "This litigation is not going to change Dave and Krist's objective, which has always been to get Nirvana's music in the hands of the fans."

Love also has a lawsuit pending against the former Nirvana members seeking to effectively dissolve Nirvana, L.L.C., the partnership to manage the affairs of Nirvana, formed between Love, Frances Bean Cobain (her daughter with late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain), Grohl and Novoselic. That lawsuit, which was filed in June, has held up the release of a Nirvana box set, scheduled to coincide with the ten year anniversary of the band's breakthrough, Nevermind. The forty-five-track set had been slated for an October 23rd release date, but was put off indefinitely due to the lawsuit.

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Song Stories

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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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