• Gameshow in attempt to steal music foundation’s name
• Public fight back by targeting Nirvana track for Christmas No.1
The annual public backlash against Simon Cowell’s TV gameshow The X-Factor is off to an early start – with a campaign to promote the purchase of Nirvana track Smells Like Teen Spirit in time to make it Christmas Number One.
The move is a reaction against show bosses’ attempts to steal the name of a charity which has used music to help over 40,000 young people since opening in 1999.
Rhythmix owns the trademark to the title – but that hasn’t stopped the X-Factor from using it to name one of their competitor acts, then refusing to discuss the theft.
The aim is to rob Cowell’s show of the coveted Christmas Number One spot, a position of honour which he spends millions of pounds each year to secure, even though he no longer appears in the series himself, opting to star in the US version.
Russ Grooms, regional director of the Rhythmix charity, tells Rock News Desk: “The X-Factor are refusing to back down. We believe it would be simple and appropriate for them to change the name. We see no reason why they shouldn’t.
“But we’re now involved in a costly legal debate which takes valuable funds away from delivering services to young people. We’re at a loss as to why anyone would even consider trying to find a legal loophole to ensure a band can continue to use the name of a small yet highly-respected charity.”
In 2009 a public campaign successfully placed Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name on the top spot despite Cowell’s best efforts – so the feat can be pulled off.
Nirvana For No.1 organisers say: “This year the X-Factor have decided to effectively bully a children’s charity.
“Well, fuck you, X-Factor. We’re not impressed. We’re going to download the Nirvana classic Smells Like Teen Spirit to stick the proverbial finger up at you.
The page explains they’ve chosen the twenty-year-old track because it’s important to achieve crossover interest for a victory. “Yes, tracks like Heart Shaped Box and Tourettes are awesome tunes, but to actually get the number one we’ll need a lot of mainstream sales,” organisers say. “Besides, imagine being able to mosh to the Christmas Number One. It felt good in 2009 so it’s about time we did it again.”
Grooms adds: “Everyone at Rhyhmix is blown away by the moral support shown by the Nirvana campaign, and for the publicity it has drawn to our cause. Being that everyone who works for Rhythmix is a musician, we would absolutely love to see this iconic track get to number one.
“We hope everyone can see the serious side to our situation – the inappropriate usage of our name. But if it also gets an awesome track to the top of the charts, we’ll thoroughly enjoy playing it repeatedly at high volume at our Christmas bash.”