Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic has said in a post on his blog that Joan Jett was his first choice for the group’s performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and that Dave Grohl “ran with the idea of having all women lead.” The group’s surviving members felt that having women sing the songs would be a good tribute to Kurt Cobain and what the group stood for and, ultimately, Novoselic said, “I feel we conjured the spirit of the band.”
Novoselic praised all four of the women who performed, calling Jett and Sonic Youth‘s Kim Gordon the “matriarchs of punk rock” and praising St. Vincent and Lorde as “the powerful up-and-coming women in rock.” “Every one of these performances nailed a Nirvana tune in their own way,” he wrote. Lorde’s performance of “All Apologies” was the most fun for Novoselic, “because I got to play accordion and all of our guests were on stage for a gala closing!” He also thanked Dinosaur Jr.‘s J Mascis and Deer Tick’s John McCauley for playing with the ensemble at their “club gig” at Brooklyn’s St. Vitus venue following their induction.
“I got an email from Dave personally, but it was the day before April Fool’s Day, so I didn’t really get my hopes up,” McCauley told Rolling Stone of how he came to be included in the performance. “It could have been anybody with a fake email account that says, ‘Hi I’m Dave Grohl.’ That would have been a pretty good prank to pull on me. I don’t know if I would have fallen for it because I was skeptical for a couple days. But then I got an email from their manager. And then it got real legit. And then I was like, ‘Holy shit! This is weird, man. But let’s do it.'”
Nirvana were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10th with a speech by R.E.M.‘s Michael Stipe, who called them “artists in every sense of the word.” Novoselic, Grohl, Cobain’s mother Wendy and his widow, Courtney Love, all spoke. It was a rare moment for Love and Grohl who put aside their differences to acknowledge the importance of the band.
Read Krist Novoselic’s comments in full:
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.