On Thursday night, the surviving members of Nirvana — Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear — reunited on stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where they performed Nirvana songs together for the first time in 22 years. They were joined by all-star cast of female rock singers — Joan Jett, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, and Lorde — who filled in for Kurt Cobain on “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Aneurysm”, “Lithium”, and “All Apologies”, respectively. Later that evening, they played a surprise show in Brooklyn, where they were again joined by Jett, Gordon, and Clark, as well as Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis and Deer Tick’s John McCauley.
I am so happy about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame event and how it went so well. Earlier that week there were three long days of rehearsals in NYC. I feel we conjured the spirit of the band, and we could not have done that alone. This, for me, is a bittersweet notion as we all miss Kurt so much. But considering we were inducted, the show had to go on. Joan Jett was first on my list to be out front. I spoke to Dave about it and he ran with the idea of having all women lead. We felt that would be a good tribute to Kurt and what Nirvana was about.
It was a good balance of females as Joan Jett and Kim Gordon are matriarchs of Punk Rock, while St. Vincent and Lorde represent the powerful up-and-coming women in Rock. Every one of these performances nailed a Nirvana tune in their own way. Joan – Smells Like Teem Spirit, Kim – Aneurism, St. Vincent – Lithium and Lorde – All Apologies. I had fun on the last song because I got to play accordion and all of our guests were on stage for a gala closing! Our set will be broadcast in high quality television in May so check it out.
We also did a club gig afterward that was a lot of fun. I will have more on that soon but thank you to J Mascis and John McCauley for your great contributions!!!!
Our “all female” Hall of Fame set also had me thinking about the political realm (Imagine that!) At FairVote we have done a report regarding the state of women’s representation. I will have more to say about this, especially how at-large districts tend to put more women in office, at another time. Until then, enjoy this short and engaging video about the study narrated by Marie Wilson.
Below, watch Nirvana perform “Lithium” with St. Vincent.