I have a friend who told my bass player that Nirvana songs were too "sacred" to cover, this was said to him a couple months back, and with an upcoming gig, he suggested that we cover "In Bloom." I said I'd learn it, but he wanted to get it "Perfect." He said he wants to do it the EXACT same way Nirvana did it, but i disagree. Kurt Cobain played it differently every time live, involving the solo. He thinks that I have to copy his exact vocals, when all Kurt did was just sing it without any practice. He believes that if we cover and play it "bad," that it would ruin his reputation, and he'd feel like every band on Youtube that did a horrible Nirvana cover. Does anybody disagree with my bass player's statement?
Nirvana weren't about technical perfection, or precise musical performances. Nothing is sacred; cover it if you want, but if you think the end result is bad, don't tell everyone you know about it.
With bands that have cult followings like Nirvana, you've gotta be careful if you do a cover. In this case, I'd probably agree with your friend. Even though Kurt may have done it a bit different every time, most people will just see your changes/differences as disrespectful or really lame. Kurt could do it, cause they were his songs. Nobody could tell him how to play his own songs.

The only way I can see changes as something beneficial is if you really add something new and really great to the song. But, these are pretty hard things to do. Think "All along the watchtower" by Hendrix vs. the Dylan version. Nobody tar and feathered Hendrix cause he made the song even better.
As long as you get the songs message and overall feeling across, everything's fine. I find it boring to play songs exactly like on the original recording, after all, you're an artist and have the right to interpret songs and play them the way you feel best about.
Your bassist is a dumbass, I wouldn't want to play the cover if I had to play it exactly like the recording.
There are three ways you can do it.

1. Play everything, and do everything the same as it is on the record.
2. Play the song so that people will recognise it, but not exactly the same.
3. Dick about.

Your bassist wants to go for option 1, and you seem to want to go for option 2.

It is a matter of preference which option you choose, but make sure all your band are trying to do the same thing.

Basically what I'm trying to say is: there is no right or wrong choice, just make sure it sounds good.
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you should get someone to record it

I quite enjoy seeing nirvana covers
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a cover is supposed to be a new interpretation of the song. if you do a bad cover, then yeah, you'll get eaten alive by Nirvana fans. BUT if you can put your own spin on it, you know, give it the energy of your band while still keeping the original feel, then it should turn out pretty good.

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If I wanted to listen to Nivana, I'd listen to Nivana, not a cover band playing it exactly like it. What's the point in playing something exactly like the origional when the original is already there!

If your going to play a cover, play it as differently as you can and you'll get more listeners, take it from someone who's been through this kind of thing
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If you play it exactly like it is on the album, it will be boring.

If you dick around, it will be disrespectful.

So the best option, in my opinion, is to play the song, but put your own personal musical interpretation on it. That is what a cover is, after all. If it sounds exactly like the original, what's the fun in that?
Nirvana has fans?

Just kidding, but in all seriousness, if you screw up one of their songs it wouldn't really matter, as if they were such technical virtuosos and perfectionists themselves...(not using this as a knock on Nirvana, they're a fine band, I'm just saying they were never about perfection or technically demanding music so it's no big deal if you cover it and change things up a bit or even screw up a little)
Cover it your bands style. I don't know bout any one else but when I go on youtube and watch covers it's cuz I wanna see different peoples take on the song.
Stop failing, and things will work out.
Don't stress too much about it dude. As some people have already said, its just a cover. Some people will like it, some people wont, its just something youl have to deal with.

Just play it your own way
One of the best things about nirvana is you can't really cover them and sound like them. There's no way to 'perfect' it. Kurt was too one of a kind/ all over the place, only nirvana can be nirvana. I love nirvana, but if you try to imitate kurt cobain you are going to fail. Just put your own spin on it man.
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Tongue tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, I

The Sky Is The Limit
don't play it the same.
why you think kurt played about with it on live shows if he played it exactly the same all the time it would be sh*te.
just play about with it.
if it sounds good and people can reconise it as nirvana in bloom.
then youve done a good job.
Nirvana Forever <3
Quote by TerritorialPiss
don't play it the same.
why you think kurt played about with it on live shows if he played it exactly the same all the time it would be sh*te.
just play about with it.
if it sounds good and people can reconise it as nirvana in bloom.
then youve done a good job.

This guy knows what he's talking about.
"If you don't show it, I cannot grope it."

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.."
So long as you play it with emotion and conviction, you should be fine.

The only way I could see it being 'disrespectful' is if you do a really half-assed performance.
I'd say that you're fine as long as you don't play it exactly the same...just don't you dare play Smells like teen spirit, that song should be retired for a few years, not because it's a bad song, but because everyone covers it.
Dont try to be Nirvana, play the songs in your own way.
don't do that song... its over done...

Play like one of their lesser known songs, real nirvana fans would appreciate it more.
When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all
Your bassist obviously wants it done a certain way , just do it and do another song your own way.
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Bass players shouldn't make suggestions. Slap him and remind him of his place.
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My band covered Polly, and we did it our own way. People loved it. At least it seemed like they did.
Nirvana isn't about perfection. Just do it.

Kick your bassist in the balls. He's a douche.
I like Fall Out Boy.
That is all.