Dave Grohl Says Nirvana Legal Battle Not Worth The Anguish

But he will continue to fight, he says, to serve best interests of band and its fans.

The Courtney Love vs. Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic case is on its way to

court, and in late September the world should know more about the fate of

unreleased Nirvana material.

But Grohl is beginning to question whether all the legal mumbo jumbo is

worth the hassle.

In April the surviving members of Nirvana asked that Love be forced to

undergo a psychiatric evaluation to test her sanity, and later in the month

a judge denied the request, causing Grohl to bang his head against the wall

as forcefully as he pummels his drum kit (see [article id="1453599"]"Courtney Love Not Required To Get Head Examined,

Judge"[/article]).

"At the end of the day it's just not worth all the pain and the anguish,"

Grohl recently told MTV News. "God, I had to get up at 9 a.m. to do a

deposition today, and it's just not worth that to me because my contribution

has been made. The band is over and forever that music will be there. There

are times when I honestly don't give a sh-- who's running the cash register.

I'll always be the guy who played drums in that band, and to me that's more

important than control or power or money or whatever."

In addition to being stressful and time-consuming, the litigation threatens

to demean all that Nirvana stood for and accomplished, Grohl said.

"Rolling Stone recently had a cover that read, 'Who Owns Kurt

Cobain?' It's just absolutely everything the band stood against and has

nothing to do with why the band was a band in the first place."

Despite the headaches, Grohl is determined not to relent in the fight with

Love because he doesn't feel she's qualified to represent the best interests

of the band and its fans.

"She wasn't in the rehearsal space writing the music," he said. "She wasn't

involved in the human records, she wasn't onstage every night playing or in

Aberdeen in 1987, hanging out with Krist and Kurt on tour in that tiny van.

She wasn't there for the majority of the band. So it would be different [if

she wins control of Nirvana's music]. It would be like handing Microsoft to

me."

Love's attorney, O. Yale Lewis, refuted that argument, calling it a

"misperception of the law" and adding that under federal copyright law

Cobain's heirs have the right of first publication for previously unreleased

songs.

"If David Grohl was Bill Gates' heir, he would in fact be handed Microsoft

upon Mr. Gates' death," Lewis said. "But he's not Bill Gates' heir. Neither

is he Kurt Cobain's heir, so he's not going to be given what Kurt Cobain

owned because that's given by law to Cobain's heirs."

Last month portions of the last song Nirvana recorded, "You Know You're

Right," surfaced on the Internet, creating a new wrinkle in the relationship

between Cobain's wife and his former bandmates (see [article id="1454079"]"Snippets Of Nirvana Song At Center Of Lawsuit Appear

Online"[/article]). Grohl and Novoselic wanted to include the track on a

planned Nirvana box set, but Love claimed she owned the track and sued to

prevent it from being included in the project. After the song was leaked,

some accused Grohl of uploading the track to the Net to diminish its value

— a claim Grohl vehemently denies.

"Someone got a hold of a copy of that song, but not from me," he said. "I

didn't give it to anybody. This person in Spain put clips of it up on his

Web site, and immediately lawyers came down on this kid going, 'Where did

you get that song?' And he says, 'I got if off of a Probot CD,' which was a

side project of mine. So the lawyers just go straight to me: 'Why are you

distributing this song?' And I had absolutely nothing to do with it."

Grohl is a supporter of file sharing, though, likening it to the underground

tape trading that helped empower the '80s punk-rock movement.

"When I was a kid in D.C., before a band's album came out you'd have a copy

of it, albeit seventh-generation," Grohl said. "It was cool because it

wasn't about selling records, it was about filling the club and people

singing along with the songs. I think it's cool that you can share music and

you don't have to stick a nickel in something just to hear a song. To me it

has nothing to do with 'Are they going to buy the packaging? Does it have

the same quality? Does it have whatever?' You know what? Kids want to hear

the music. And so you play it for 'em. And if your album gets leaked and a

million people go out and copy it, in a weird way that's kind of

flattering."

Grohl added that if he and Novoselic weren't enmeshed in a court battle with

Love he wouldn't have any problem with unreleased Nirvana songs being on the

Internet.

"If everything was peachy keen and moving along just fine, then I would

think that it's kind of cool that some people actually got to hear the music

rather than it being caught up in a bunch of f---ing legal bullsh--. I do

want people to hear the songs. The stuff that's on the box set is stuff like

the craziest, most freaked-out Butthole Surfers/Scratch Acid flip out that

you've ever heard in your life. But I'm fortunate because I'm rich beyond my

wildest dreams and I don't gotta worry about selling CDs anymore."

For a full-length interview with Dave Grohl, check out [article id="1455222"]"Dave Grohl: Rock Royal."[/article]

—Jon Wiederhorn, with additional reporting by Kurt Loder