After the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, it seemed pretty definitive that Nirvana, the band who became the reluctant flag bearers for alternative rock back in the early 1990s, was finished.
Kurt, after all, had been an icon to millions of young people across the world. Understandably, the band splintered. Dave Grohl and Pat Smear went on to the Foo Fighters, while Krist Novoselic more or less quit music all together, choosing instead to focus on a career in politics.
However, there have been recent murmurings that the surviving members of the legendary grunge act might be working together again in some capacity. The ball started rolling when Krist Novoselic showed up on Foo Fighters' "Wasting Light" LP in 2010. Then, the bassist found himself appearing in Dave Grohl's upcoming documentary about "Sound City" studios. It had even been suggested that the three surviving Nirvana members had found the way into a rehearsal room.
Last night, those speculations became a reality when the surviving members of Nirvana took to the stage together, fronted by none other than former BeatlePaul McCartney. The group (The Nirveatles if you will...) performed at last night's (December 12th) Hurricane Sandy benefit concert, debuting a new song titled "Cut Me Some Slack". Paul McCartney prefaced the performance with the following speech:
"So, recently, some guys asked me to go and jam with them. So I showed up like you do, y'know, ready to jam and... um... in the middle of it these guys kept saying 'well, we haven't played together for years', y'know. So... the penny finally dropped, and I finally understood that I was in the middle of a Nirvana reunion. Ladies and gentlemen; Mr Dave Grohl, Mr Krist Novoselic and Mr Pat Smear. We're gonna do the song we jammed now. First time we've done it live."
The track itself seems to be sitting somewhere between "School", the heavy hitting track from Nirvana's 1989 debut record "Bleach" and The Beatles' proto-metal classic "Helter Skelter". There are even some rhythmic flourishes from Grohl that seem reminiscent of his work in supergroup Them Crooked Vultures.
McCartney and Nirvana's performance wasn't the only grunge-classic rock team up of the evening. Former Pink Floyd honcho Roger Waters was joined by Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder on a rendition of the Floyd classic "Comfortably Numb". Other artists at the benefit show, which took place at Madison Square Garden, included The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and The Who.
But how do you feel about the idea of seeing Nirvana sans Kurt Cobain? Cobain was the driving force behind the band back in the day, holding sole or principal songwriter credit on pretty much all of their material. And yet, what Nirvana and McCartney debuted at last night's concert seems to be in the spirit of the band's classic material, while taking on a life of it's own.