Nirvana enters Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, surviving members jam with Joan Jett
Here we are now! Entertain us! And for during the late ’80s and early ’90s that’s exactly what Nirvana did. The band’s meteoric rise to fame was saluted on Thursday night as they were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Though Kurt Cobain passed in 1994, his bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic were on hand at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. to accept on behalf of Nirvana.
R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe was chosen to deliver the induction speech and he spoke about the band’s amazing ability to connect with audience, explaining, “They spoke the truth and people listened.” He later added, “The band were artists in every sense of the word.” And, of course, no induction speech would be complete without mention of the band’s late frontman Kurt Cobain. Stipe could only offer up, “And that voice … that voice,” as he marveled over Cobain.
Stipe then welcomed the surviving inducted members of Nirvana to the stage, as Dave Grohl took the microphone first. Being the class act that he is, Grohl made a point to praise the four drummers that came before him and gave huge props to Chad Channing, who manned the kit on the band’s debut disc, ‘Bleach.’
He also used part of his speech to thank his parents, but in a jovial manner. “Thanks mom for letting me drop out of high school, muwahaha,” said Grohl while waving his Rock Hall statue. “I listened to some really f—ed up s—. But my parents never told me not to. So thanks Mom!”
Novoselic kept his speech short and sweet, first thanking the fans for all of their support over the years. He stated, “Nirvana fans walk up to me every day and say thank you for the music. When I hear that, I think of Kurt Cobain.” Speaking of Cobain, he added, “I wish Kurt was here tonight … I want to thank Kurt Cobain.” It was Novoselic and Cobain who met all those years ago in high school and went on to found the groundbreaking band. He went on to add of his late bandmate, “Kurt was an intense artist and he really connected with a lot of people.”
One of those speaking on behalf of Cobain was his widow, Courtney Love. But those expecting some drama didn’t get it. Love stated, “I have a big speech, but I’m not gonna say it. We all start bands when we’re kids and this is my family I’m looking at right now.” She then got a little emotional, adding, “I just wish Kurt could have been here,” before shocking many by embracing Novoselic, Cobain’s mother and her frequent adversary over the years, Dave Grohl. She then continued, “Tonight he would have really appreciated it. I just want to give this to our daughter Frances Bean, who couldn’t be here because she was ill.”
After a little break in the action, it was time for the surviving Nirvana members to take the stage for their much-hyped performance, marking the first time they played Nirvana songs live since Cobain’s death. While news of Joan Jett‘s appearance with the group had surfaced in recent days, she wasn’t the only female performer joining Grohl, Novoselic and guitarist Pat Smear.
Novoselic tipped off that “ladies” would be joining them, and Jett got things off to a raucous start with a well-received rendition of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’
Next up was Sonic Youth‘s Kim Gordon lending her vocal chops to a rousing distortion-filled performance of ‘Aneurysm.’ Gordon was followed to the stage by St. Vincent indie songstress Annie Clark, with the guitar distortion really kicking in on ‘Lithium.’ And finishing out the run of ladies fronting the Nirvana members was pop sensation Lorde. During Lorde’s performance of ‘All Apologies,’ Gordon joined in on bass (while Novoselic rocked the accordion) and Jett and Clark also rocked onstage as part of the collaborative performance.
Apparently, there was supposed to be an all-star jam with Tom Morello, Ace Frehley, the Nirvana members and more, but the night ran too late and the jam was nixed. Check out footage of the Nirvana members performing with Joan Jett below, along with additional photos to the left.
UPDATED: Those in attendance at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at the Barclays Center arena last night were certainly treated to a nice surprise when the surviving members of Nirvana performed with various female singers to close out the event. But an even bigger thrill came for those lucky enough to make it into a tiny Brooklyn bar for an after-party where the Nirvana members performed a full set!
Following the Hall of Fame performance, the three surviving Nirvana rockers took the party to the intimate Saint Vitus bar to once again jam with guest singers.
At the small club, they were not only once again joined by Joan Jett, Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) and Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent), but also Deer Tick’s John McCauley and Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis. While various outlets are reporting between 15 and 19 songs were performed, the latest setlist to be posted on the usually reliable setlist.fm can be seen below along with a few video clips of the club show.
Nirvana’s Rock Hall After-Party Setlist at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn:
1. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ (with Joan Jett)
2. ‘In Bloom’ (with Joan Jett)
3. ‘Breed’ (with Joan Jett)
4. ‘Territorial Pissings’ (with Joan Jett)
5. ‘Aneurysm’ (with Kim Gordon)
6. ‘Negative Creep’ (with Kim Gordon)
7. ‘Moist Vagina’ (with Kim Gordon)
8. ‘Lithium’ (with St. Vincent aka Annie Clark)
9. ‘All Apologies’ (with Joan Jett) (Krist Novoselic played accordion)
10. ‘About a Girl’ (with St. Vincent)
11. ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ (with St. Vincent)
12. ‘Drain You’ (with J Mascis)
13. ‘Pennyroyal Tea’ (with J Mascis)
14. ‘School’ (with J Mascis)
15. ‘Serve the Servants’ (with John McCauley)
16. ‘Milk It’ (with John McCauley)
17. ‘Very Ape’ (with John McCauley)
18. ‘Scentless Apprentice’ (with John McCauley)
19. ‘Tourette’s’ (with John McCauley)