Published May 01, 2000What, or more specifically who, do Van Halen and Courtney Love have in common? Nerf Herder, the nerd rock quartet and authors of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme song. They scored a minor hit two years ago with their loving tribute to high school idols Eddie, Alex, Michael and David Lee, and now Nerf Herder has set their sights on the notorious Mrs. Kurt Cobain. The resulting up-tempo pop punk ditty has bolstered sales of their sophomore effort, How to Meet Girls. But it very nearly didn't happen that way, and not for the reason you might think.
The band’s label, Fat Wreck Chords, was worried about a Love-ly lawsuit, vocalist/guitarist and chief songwriter Parry Gripp recalls. "Courtney Love has this reputation of suing people and hitting people and stuff, so the record company was really worried about it. We all agreed to send the song to her and ask if she would sue us if we put it out. Her lawyer said she was cool with it.
"It's cool, but it's a little anti-climactic. There were different reasons why people wanted it on the record. Fat wanted it on because it's a pretty catchy and fun song, and our management wanted it on because they thought it was going to cause trouble and get promotion for the band. I'm sure they would have been happy if she came and murdered me or something. The only thing her lawyer said she didn't like, was being called saggy — but that's understandable."
Like King Missile's profanity-laden “Martin Scorsese” or the Rotters' “Sit On My Face Stevie Nicks,” Love wasn't being maliciously targeted. The same goes for their earlier ode to Van Halen. In both cases, the subjects are almost secondary to the point he's trying to make. "Those songs are more about the person who's obsessed with the rock stars," says Gripp. "They're really about nostalgia and how much a band means to you when you're a kid. When you hear the guy singing about Van Halen you can sort of relate to him, but you also think he's an idiot."