Grohl & Novoselic Talk Nirvana's Hall Of Fame Night
April 17, 2014
Last week, Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the show ended with the group's surviving members (Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, plus touring guitarist Pat Smear) playing four of their classic songs with four different female singers filling in for the late Kurt Cobain. After the show, the band played a surprise gig in Brooklyn with multiple special guests on vocals. Now Rolling Stone has revealed the behind-the-scenes story of the once-in-a-lifetime night.
Grohl told the magazine that "We didn't even start talking about playing until about eight weeks ago," says Grohl. "It just seemed practically impossible. It was hard to imagine jumping onstage and playing those songs. It takes a little bit of musical preparation, and a lot of emotional preparation.
The article says that when it came to finding someone to sing with them, a "handful of A-list male rock stars" were "nervous" about playing with the band, but Joan Jett signed on right away. Grohl said that they asked PJ Harvey, who Cobain was a big fan of, but she was unavailable. Then they realized, "'Wait, it has to be all women. Don't even ask anyone else. If we can fill the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance with these incredible women singing Nirvana songs, then we'll have achieved our own revolution.' It also added a whole other dimension to the show. It added substance and depth, so it didn't turn into a eulogy. It was more about the future."
Rolling Stone says the four women who played with Nirvana were presented in a specific order: "Joan Jett, who formed the Runaways, changed rock & roll for women," said Grohl. "Kim Gordon, from Sonic Youth, was this beacon of light in the predominantly macho, male underground punk rock scene. St. Vincent is a wicked musician that's pushing boundaries now. And Lorde has an incredible future ahead of her as a writer, performer and vocalist."
From there, Grohl and Novoselic decided to play the surprise club show, bringing in J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. and Deer Tick frontman John McCauley. The post-show gig was also filmed, and Novoselic says that Grohl has the footage but doesn't know what will become of it.
The article also revealed that the show was supposed to end with an all-star jam session on AC/DC's "Highway To Hell," but because Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band segment of the night ran too long, it was axed and the ceremony closed with Lorde and Nirvana doing "All Apologies."
Grohl summed up the night by saying, "We looked at that evening as a night that may never happen again. That's what made it so powerful and beautiful and meaningful. And it may never happen again, so we made the most of it. And it was f***ing great."
The entire article, which also shines a light on Grohl's interactions with Courtney Love at the ceremony, can be read here.