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My stomach is turning and bleeding for KC.

Posted by Explorer | May 24, 2007 11:19 AM

That is fucked.

Posted by Carollani | May 24, 2007 11:20 AM

Oh my god....

I can't even begin to express how much that pisses me off... Using Cobain Joey and Strummer like that is just unreal.

However, for some odd reason, it seems to piss me off more then Vicious is shown in heaven. Kinda odd...

Posted by Keven | May 24, 2007 11:20 AM

Um, wouldn't he be in hell?

Posted by bang! | May 24, 2007 11:20 AM

As somebody who helps produce and manufacture books about dead celebs to line the pockets of the estates/children/spouses of said dead celebs, I see nothing surprising about this ad.

Cobain is already at the top of Forbes' 2006 highest-earning dead celebrities list, beating out perennial dead favorites Elvis and Marilyn Monroe.

Posted by jackie treehorn | May 24, 2007 11:22 AM


Posted by shrubbysteve | May 24, 2007 11:27 AM

Oh god... this smacks of one of my biggest pet peeves: The Celebrities in Heaven pictures.

You know, those stupid paintings of Marylin Monroe and James Dean and Humphrey Bogart all sitting in some divine malt shop.

Later ones had Jimi Hendrix with Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin all sitting together at some bar.

I guess the newest one will have 80's/90's rockers in some Great CBGB's in the Sky. Blech.

Posted by JC | May 24, 2007 11:28 AM

In response to #5

Is it suprising? No, not really.

Is it right? I don't even think it comes close.

Posted by Keven | May 24, 2007 11:31 AM

Apparently, Courtney claims to have not been aware of this until the ad started to run (in the UK, only). I don't know if laws there are different regarding restrictions on using other people's likeness in ads...,,20040033,00.html

Posted by Tom | May 24, 2007 11:32 AM

Although, I'm not really one to defend her... I think she's a stupid whore.

Posted by Tom | May 24, 2007 11:33 AM

I usually love Courtney, but this fucking sucks.

Posted by David Schmader | May 24, 2007 11:36 AM

I think it's the funniest thing I've ever seen.

Posted by Fnarf | May 24, 2007 11:40 AM

great. now he'll have to kill himself again.

Posted by adrian! | May 24, 2007 11:46 AM

I'm sort of baffled why Doc Martin actually thought this was a good idea. Didn't it occur to them that it was as likely to offend/nauseate/piss off as many people as it attracts? It certainly doesn't make me want to buy a pair of their boots. Ugh.

Posted by SDA in SEA | May 24, 2007 11:48 AM

@ 14: AMEN!

Posted by adrian! | May 24, 2007 11:49 AM

@1 &2: Well said. *tear*

Posted by Monique | May 24, 2007 11:50 AM

According to Dr. Martens, this ad has already been pulled and they will no longer be working with the responsible agency.

Posted by Matthew | May 24, 2007 11:50 AM

the image of KC in heaven is a bit crass, yeah. but my understanding is that DM has stopped running the ad and fired the agency (

anyway, as if Kurt Cobain is a paragon of pureness or integrity. he was an out of control and mentally ill heroin addict who left behind a baby girl. his music may have been great, but he's no role model.

rock and roll sold out decades ago.

Posted by wtf? | May 24, 2007 11:52 AM

It looks like it was only a spec ad, and (thankfully) Doc Martens fired the group that made it. BoingBoing has the details here.

Posted by Chase | May 24, 2007 11:52 AM

The ad actually never ran, it was leaked by the ad company, which has now been fired:

Posted by Ari Spool | May 24, 2007 11:54 AM

i love when four people post the same comment at the same time!

Posted by Ari Spool | May 24, 2007 11:55 AM


Human nature is sort of disappointing, though. What if your dead _____ was a famous cultural force who, in addition to being a beloved and world changing and awesome artistic icon, was also a virtually bottomless source of revenue (as advised by your lawyers). If you found yourself the executor of that person's estate, you might find yourself being offered ridiculous amounts of money on a very regular basis to use the likeness of your beloved _______ to sell who knows what. Maybe at first you resist 100%; you tell every Tom, Dick, and Harry offering you $500,000 to slap your ______'s face on the side of a billboard promoting Gas-X to fuck off and die, and that you love _____ too much and respect their memory and what not to ever "sell them out" to soulless advertisers.

But eventually, and I mean eventually, it might turn out that you (and by you I mean the royal you), too, have a price, and be it because you've simply been worn down or because you fell victim to the perfect pitch or because you suddenly realize your life would be better and that ______ would want your life to be enhanced by purchasing, say, a yacht, or some other ostentatious hallmark of success, and you sign on the dotted line and receive a giant Publisher's Clearing House-sized check with a lot of zeros on it and all that $$$ turns out to be a fucking seductive siren that pulls you off your high moral horse and into a more Republican tax bracket and before long you've accepted enough dead _____ cash and done enough blow that you probably don't care so much about whether or not people think you're a cunt or not for selling out ______ to sell sneakers or guitars or "Best Of" MTV Unplugged CDs or lube or Segways or Emo buttons or sweatshirts or literally anything that can be branded because now that you've crossed over and sold _____ once, it becomes easier and easier to do it again and again for increasingly meaningless swag because now you've got a rich lifestyle to support and you'll be damed if you're going to stop buying blow and yachts and hookers and treasure just because somebody who went to _______'s funeral at the Seattle Center when they were in junior high says you're a bitch.

I think the majority of people would take the money; it's the exceptional person that would sit on the rights of their famous dead spouse and not capitalize on it in some arguably sleazy way.

Posted by jackie treehorn | May 24, 2007 12:03 PM


Just read this statement from Courtney's handler:

""Courtney had no idea this was taking place and would never have approved it. She thinks it's outrageous that a company is allowed to commercially gain from such a despicable use of her husband's picture."

"It does appear that in the U.K. 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 think she's just pissed because she didn't get that big check from Dr. Marten's yet. They probably realize she's too much of a mess to get a real lawsuit together.

I think there's a band called Kurt Cobain in Heaven (wearing boots) playing at some KEXP local band show coming up. Probably will be.

Posted by jackie treehorn | May 24, 2007 12:08 PM

The people that should be upset are the ones at Converse. I don't think I ever saw Kurt wearing anything but Converse Chuck Taylors. Doc Martins? Hell No!

Posted by a mosquito | May 24, 2007 12:20 PM

i'm not sure what all the fuss is about. the guy was a total sellout douche when he was alive. why would you expect anything less of him when he's dead?

Posted by brandon | May 24, 2007 1:48 PM

Doc Marten has got to be thrilled that they're getting so much negative publicity from an ad that they rejected. Good old Internet...

Posted by Tone | May 24, 2007 1:48 PM

According to the Bible, you can't get into heaven via suicide. So look at it from an evangelical standpoint: it HAS to be fiction.

Posted by Jason Josephes | May 24, 2007 2:00 PM

gawd, please enough! every time someone from seattle WHINES about kurt cobain a kitty dies, okay?? we get it, you love him, but he's DEAD.

now let's move on shall we?

Posted by toasty | May 24, 2007 2:10 PM

Geez, yeah good thing we don't ever see the likenesses of George Washington, Elvis, Mozart, Einstein or a million other dead people being leveraged in advertising every day. I'm surprised everyone is so shocked and dismayed. They are cultural icons. Fair game.

Posted by BenskiBeat | May 24, 2007 2:36 PM

in other news, heroin is still a bummer.

Posted by kerri harrop | May 24, 2007 2:41 PM

the only problem i have with this ad is that his brains aren't splattered all over his robe. shouldn't the lower half of his face be missing?

Posted by Bubba BaBoom | May 24, 2007 3:06 PM

the real reason the ad got pulled...

"The image above comes from a Doc Martens campaign designed to "communicate that Dr. Martens boots are 'made to last,' "

everyone know shoes don't get worn out while walking on clouds

Posted by come again | May 24, 2007 5:49 PM

Once a Broadway bead store skank, always a Broadway bead store skank.

or how about...

You can take the skank out of the Broadway bead store, but you can't take the Broadway bead store out of the skank

Or just...

skankety skank skank skank

Posted by skank-o-rama | May 24, 2007 7:55 PM

I believe I just threw up a little.

Posted by Vivian | May 24, 2007 8:22 PM

Dr Martens was sold to Guess, and now they're made in China instead of England.

Posted by Justin | May 25, 2007 12:55 AM

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Poor baby being used for profit..Seattle and their golden cows.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | May 25, 2007 4:33 PM

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