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Nirvana Members Talk Rock Hall Gig, Courtney Love Encounter + Possibility of Future Shows

Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

April 10, 2014 was a pinnacle night for rock music. In their first year of eligibility, Nirvana were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before launching into a unique performance with the surviving Nirvana members jamming classic tracks with rotating female vocalists. It was the first time Nirvana performed their own music since Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, but according to a new interview, it may not be their last.

After the Nirvana members rocked the Hall of Fame ceremony and a tiny Brooklyn club immediately after, both drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic had a lot to say during a new interview with Rolling Stone. “It just seemed practically impossible,” says Dave Grohl. “It was hard to imagine jumping onstage and playing those songs. It takes a little bit of musical preparation, and a lot of emotional preparation.”

According to the Nirvana / Foo Fighters musician, they originally attempted to contact some A-list male vocalists to sing before deciding on an all-female vocal section. “Some of them were nervous,” says Grohl. “I think some of them were maybe apprehensive because of how heavy the whole thing is.” The first to accept the challenge was Joan Jett. “She’s everything that Nirvana stood for,” raves Grohl. “She’s a powerful, rebellious, musical force of nature. We couldn’t think of anyone better to join us.”

From that point onward, Grohl was dedicated to inviting only females to fill the spot of Kurt Cobain, achieving their “own revolution” in the process. “Dave just started rattling off names,” says Novoselic. “He was like, ‘We should get Kim Gordon! And then someone up-and-coming…Annie Clark from St. Vincent!’ I didn’t even know who she was, but now I’m her biggest fan. Then we asked Lorde.”

Grohl goes on to describe Nirvana’s Rock Hall jam sessions as “seeing a ghost,” having “almost forgotten what it was like to be in a room full of Nirvana.” After two 10-hour jam sessions, the performances were ready to go, but despite all the preparation, there was still one very large surprise in store at the Rock Hall ceremony.

The Rock Hall induction also set the stage for an unlikely reconciliation between Dave Grohl and Courtney Love, who have butted heads for the past 20-plus years. “Early on in the evening I just tapped her on the shoulder,” Grohl describes. “She turned around and I just said, ‘Hey.’ She said, ‘Hey.’ Then we gave each other a big hug. I said, ‘How are you?’ She goes, ‘Good, how are you?’ I said, ‘All right.’ And she said, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s rock this tonight.’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ That was it.” What followed was the hug seen round the world, as the two embraced onstage during the Nirvana acceptance speeches.

As for the future of Nirvana, Krist Novoselic remains open and hopeful. “There’s Foo Fighters and Dave has some other projects going on. And I have some commitments,” the bassist explains. “But you never say never now. We did it. I sure won’t say no. Maybe we can even do some new music one day.”

Grohl owns a slightly different mentality on performing Nirvana’s music live again in the future. “We haven’t even talked about it,” says Grohl. “We looked at that evening as a night that may never happen again. That’s what made it so powerful and beautiful and meaningful. And it may never happen again, so we made the most of it. And it was f—ing great.”

For the full interview with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, head over to Rolling Stone.

'Nirvana' Rock Hall Performances: Historic or Sacrilegious?

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