In 1996, the album Grunge Lite featured Muzak-style versions of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Mudhoney classics, turning them into elevator music before anyone else did. It seemed like an attempt to inoculate the music's legacy by injecting a shot of irony before anyone else did. It didn't work. Today you can get a "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ringtone for your cellphone (just Google "Nirvana ringtones" and take your pick).
Nothing really shocking about that. After all, Courtney Love has got to eat, right? Well, in furtherance of that, starting in mid-May you will be able to buy a pair of new Converse Kurt Cobain high-top, pre-distressed tennis shoes (in black or white). The shoes are covered graffiti-style in reproductions from the musician's hand-written journals. Apparently, they are just like the pair he was wearing when he died! (No mention if the shoes are pre-blood-stained, too.)
And since talent and tragedy apparently run in families, it's also reported that Kurt and Courtney's 15-year-old daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, is "in talks" with Karl Lagerfeld and company to be the new face of Chanel. Protective mom Courtney is apparently involved, just to make sure her daughter isn't taken advantage of, of course.
Kurt Cobain is not the only Northwest giant being exploited for pop-culture purposes. The notoriously shy Bigfoot better get himself a good intellectual property rights lawyer because somebody is now making electric guitars in the shape of the creature's signature imprint. No word on whether Converse has made a Cobain suicide sneaker big enough to fit Sasquatch and thus reap the rewards of cross-promotion, but it's an idea.