Green Room

Nirvana’s new front man: Paul McCartney, of course

posted at 8:25 pm on December 12, 2012 by

For one night only, but still.

It bugs me that people have been snarking about this all day on Twitter. Why shouldn’t McCartney step in for Cobain? He’s one of the band’s granddaddies. Scan Cobain’s list of his 50 favorite albums and there, amid punk classics famous and obscure, you’ll find “Meet the Beatles.” In fact, that album inspired one of his most memorable songs:

According to the 1994 Nirvana biography Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana by Michael Azerrad, “About a Girl” was written after Kurt Cobain spent an entire afternoon listening to Meet The Beatles! repeatedly. At the time, Cobain was trying to conceal his pop songwriting instincts, and he was reluctant to include the song on Bleach for fear of alienating the band’s then-exclusively grunge fan base.

Cobain himself once famously copped to his pop tendencies by describing Nirvana as Cheap Trick with louder guitars. If Grohl could have gotten John Lennon tonight instead, presumably he would have; as it is, performing with arguably the most influential pop songwriter alive seems okay as a consolation prize. (This isn’t the first time Grohl has worked with a classic-rock legend, either.) In fact, I bet he’s secretly enjoying the mindfark of having a guy whose career for the past 40 years has been defined by stuff like “Silly Love Songs” fronting for a band defined by “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” If punk is about defying conventions, well, there you go.


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Grohl has performed many times with McCartney (including at the White House) and is obviously a fan.

GreenBlade on December 12, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Sad.

Pork-Chop on December 12, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Stupid.

jawkneemusic on December 12, 2012 at 8:32 PM

It should be interesting. I have never understood the adulation of Mr. Cobane, his contributions were small in the grand scheme of things but it will be nice for his daughter to know that he was appreciated.

Cindy Munford on December 12, 2012 at 8:32 PM

It’s fitting. Both bands are extremely overrated. All they need is for Bono to join them to hit the overrated trifecta.

Mark1971 on December 12, 2012 at 8:36 PM

The Beatles were overrated?

JFS61 on December 12, 2012 at 8:50 PM

From the top link, I don’t know about this idea, but the comment about a reunited Black Flag warmed the cockles of my heart (yeah, don’t care about their politics, but Damaged {Henry Rollins version, please} is a soothing song.

rbj on December 12, 2012 at 8:56 PM

I have never heard a Nirvana song until this video……

I missed NOTHING!!

PappyD61 on December 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM

What McCartney wouldn’t do for a fast buck…..

It’s no wonder their best musician, and fairly normal person, George Harrison spent his remaining years avoiding the rest (and partly funded The Rutles spoof of his own ex-band).

viking01 on December 12, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Bleach is an incredible album.

This is like Roger Waters singing for Devo.

Ugly on December 12, 2012 at 11:52 PM

LOAD UP ON GUNS BRING YOUR FRIENDS IT’S FUN TO LOSE AND TO PRETEND

corujodp on December 13, 2012 at 12:44 AM

I saw Nirvana when I was too young to be out at night. I saw Paul McCartney when I could afford the tickets. Different times in my life. This would go a long way toward ruining my memories of both.

Watching PM soft sell his own tunes is one thing. It’s still AWESOME. Watching him struggle to belt out hardcore inspired grunge sounds absurd.

OTOH Johnny Cash would have been an acceptable substitute for any punk/hardcore. Johnny Cash fronting Big Black or The Minutemen. YEAH!

If you go see RHCP live you will get sweaty, enjoy yourself and still get your pop-punk fix.

Capitalist Hog on December 13, 2012 at 1:25 AM

This is like Roger Waters singing for Devo.

Ugly on December 12, 2012 at 11:52 PM

I’m speed racer and I drive real fast.

Capitalist Hog on December 13, 2012 at 1:26 AM

‘about a girl’ was one of the first great songs cobain wrote- and it remains one of his best. his pop sensibilities are undeniable which is what made ‘nevermind’ such a refreshing post punk punk album. the band has the sensibilities of pop coupled with the never mind f it all agression of punk. they are all pop songs- crafted pop songs and he worked at it to get them there. even the quirky bands he liked are pop-y at their core- like the vaselines.

after all, the ramones were trying to be the beach boys- and out came these jarring but catchy punk songs. people mistake pop music for being frivolous but it’s quite difficult to write a catchy pop tune that doesn’t sound like it was churned out as a replica of something quite similar.

so, i unreservedly love nirvana. i’m meh for the beatles- certainly meh for mcartney as george was always my favorite beatle. i think mcartney is too many generations removed from kurt- i have no interest whatsoever in hearing sir paul do nirvana. there are far more intriguing people male and female who could fill in for cobain. i’d rather hear neil young do kurt cobain.

http://youtu.be/INVKNhOpYhs

mittens on December 13, 2012 at 1:53 AM

McCartney’s voice is gone, but he’s in denial about being 70 and his ego is so huge he can’t admit that his best days are behind him. In Britain he’s become somewhat of a joke, always the default headliner at big events like the Queen’s Jubilee concerts and the Olympics, despite disappointing performances–usually of Hey Jude, which he also flogs to death in his neverending concert tours (“just the boys, now the girls, now EVERYBODY sing!!!).

I’ve been a Beatles fan for nearly 50 years. I never imagined any of those four guys would become certifiably boring, but Paul has managed to do so in spectacular fashion. As a human being, I’m embarrassed for him. As a Beatles fan, I’m embarrassed by him.

Meredith on December 13, 2012 at 2:16 AM

“About a Girl” was a song about Kurt living parasitically off of some poor girls generosity. Nirvana may have had a pop sound, but their music was very bleak and full of despair. That’s something to consider when comparing the band to the Beatles.

jhffmn on December 13, 2012 at 2:18 AM

Go easy on Paul. He married a one-legged prostitute who proceeded to take his child and cash.

CorporatePiggy on December 13, 2012 at 7:56 AM

The Beatles were overrated?

JFS61 on December 12, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Yeah, kinda. Just four lads from Liverpool who tapped into teenage girl (and boy) lust.

Hey, I used to fantasize about marrying Paul (well, I was twelve) but now he gives me the creeps. There is a Christmas CD with newer, edgier bands on it and *clunk* Paul McCartney. He ruins it.

I can’t believe he sat in for Nirvana… the nerve, lol.

*blech!*

Fallon on December 13, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Dave Grohl is a musical genius… and an idiot on most non-musical things. As a general rule, when the words coming out of his mouth are sung (screamed, actually) and have loud music behind them, it’s okay to listen. When the dude pontificates on anything about society, politics, etc without musical backup… turn the station. The idiocy… it hurts.

Sugar Land on December 13, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I love both bands, the Beatles and Nirvana, and I don’t think either of them are overrated. If anything, Nirvana is a bit UNDERrated.

So I don’t mind this pairing at all.

DRayRaven on December 13, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Meredith on December 13, 2012 at 2:16 AM

Bravo.

I always preferred George and Ringo anyway. I’m surprised McCartney hasn’t suffered injury from tripping over his massive ego. “Sir” Paul indeed. What a come-down.

Lightswitch on December 13, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Why shouldn’t McCartney step in for Cobain?

Hype.

Bmore on December 13, 2012 at 9:59 AM

OTOH Johnny Cash would have been an acceptable substitute for any punk/hardcore.

I know! Who’d a thunk it?

Lightswitch on December 13, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Dave Grohl is a musical genius… and an idiot on most non-musical things. As a general rule, when the words coming out of his mouth are sung (screamed, actually) and have loud music behind them, it’s okay to listen. When the dude pontificates on anything about society, politics, etc without musical backup… turn the station. The idiocy… it hurts.
Sugar Land on December 13, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I agree but he gets browny points from me for telling that douche bag who made Glee to pound sand.

jawkneemusic on December 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Cobain had to die in order for the Foo Fighters to live.

WordsMatter on December 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Dave Grohl is a musical genius… and an idiot on most non-musical things. As a general rule, when the words coming out of his mouth are sung (screamed, actually) and have loud music behind them, it’s okay to listen.

Grohl and the rest of the Foo, Hawkins, Mendel, Schiflett and Smear are socialist scumbags (redundant, I know), but their music Effing rocks, mother effers! (inside joke between Dave and his fans). At least Grohl doesn’t spout his politcal nonsense at his regular concerts. The day he does is the day I burn all my Foo Fighter albums.

WordsMatter on December 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM