Courtney Love and Jack Black in Nirvana squabble

It’s one of the more bizarre squabbles in the music business. In one corner: Jack Black. In the other: Courtney Love. In the middle: the Muppets. Rolling his eyes in celestial exasperation: Kurt Cobain. Here we are now, entertain us . . .

The dispute concerns the furry puppets’ use of Cobain’s Smells Like Teen Spirit in their latest film. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is understandably tricky to see how the screeching anthem of nihilist alienation might fit into a Muppets movie, but Nirvana’s Dave Grohl was sufficiently persuaded by the script integrity to appear in the film.

Love was not so impressed, claiming that the Muppets had "raped the memory" of her late husband, and that she had not given her permission for use of the track. The producers countered by pointing out that Love had sold half her rights to a licensing company, Primary Wave, who gave permission.

Black, who joins the Muppets for the song, told E! Online that Love’s objections were "absurd, absurd, absurd". He added: "I personally hold no one in higher esteem in the world of rock. Kurt Cobain for me is at the top of the pyramid. He was the king. When he died it was sort of the end of rock."

Love may or may not be mollified by the news that she will get a slice of the income for the licensing deal. The film has taken £95 million worldwide, so you would think Love might be grateful for the continued exposure of a track that is nearly 25 years old.

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