Photo by Katarina Benzova
September marked the 25th anniversary of Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses’ showdown at the MTV VMAs. Though Axl Rose was initially a fan of Nirvana and invited them to join Guns N’ Roses on the road, Kurt Cobain considered Rose a sellout and frequently spoke negatively about him in the press. Things came to a head at the 1992 VMAs when Courtney Love famously taunted Rose by asking him to be her and Cobain’s daughter’s godfather. Rose responded by telling Cobain to “shut your bitch up, or I’m taking you down to the pavement!”, to which Cobain himself responded, “Shut up, bitch!” The band’s respective bassists, Krist Novoselic and Duff McKagan, also exchanged words backstage, and later, Nirvana’s onstage performance of “Lithium” concluded with Dave Grohl repeatedly shouting “Hi, Axl!” into the mic. The death of Cobain of course changed things: McKagan was actually one of the final people to see Cobain alive, as the two shared a flight to Seattle in the days prior to his suicide, and GNR drummer Matt Sorum personally reached out to Grohl to offer his condolences almost immediately after the news broke.
Fast forward to present day and the former rivals are now collaborators. Last year, after Axl Rose broke his foot, Grohl offered him usage of his throne so that GNR’s reunion tour could proceed without disruption. And last night, Grohl made a surprise appearance onstage during GNR’s show in Tulsa, Oklahoma to join the band in performing “Paradise City”. “He just happened to be in the neighborhood,” Rose said in introducing Grohl (Foo Fighters are scheduled to play the same venue later tonight as part of their Concrete and Gold tour). Watch fan-shot footage above.