And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

Beef Of The Week #420: Krist Novoselic v Angry Nirvana Fans

By | Published on Friday 7 September 2018


Currently on tour in the US, Foo Fighters played a show in Seattle last week. Since his former Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Pat Smear were in town, Krist Novoselic popped by to say hello. He subsequently ended up on stage with the band to play ‘Molly’s Lips’, the Vaselines song that Nirvana sometimes covered back in the day, and a version of which appeared on the band’s rarities compilation ‘Incesticide’.

It’s not a long song and Novoselic was on and off stage again in under three minutes. But when the Seattle Times reviewed the show, the paper felt that this was a significant enough moment to lead on. “Nirvana’s surviving members reunite during Foo Fighters’ Seattle concert”, was the matter of fact headline.

The review went on to describe the moment as “a two-minute thrill that was over in an appropriately unceremonious flash”. But the internet. Oh, the internet. The internet went on and on and on and on and on and on about it.

Actually, the whole thing might have passed by without much comment, had the Seattle Times article not been posted to the official Nirvana Facebook page. Here, people who had read nothing more than the headline found endless reasons to nit-pick and take offence.

Some people opted to be offended by the use of the word “surviving” in the headline, even though the Nirvana members who played on stage are definitely all still alive and therefore have in one way or another “survived”.

But one person complained that the use of the word in this way made it sound like “they were all in an accident”. Which I suppose it might, out of context. Except that “surviving” is pretty commonly used in this way when referring to members of a band still alive when one or more of their former bandmates is dead.

Others picked on the use of the word “reunite”, disputing that it was a reunion at all. “Gotta love how they make it sound like all twenty members of Wu Tang Clan reunited”, said one person. “The bass player showed up. One guy”.

Sure, there was just one guy who had to go slightly out of his way to be in the building that night, but Grohl and Smear where definitely there too. And they all definitely reunited.

There was another group of complainers who didn’t take issue with the wording of the article’s headline, but with the fact of the reunion itself. And perhaps more the fact that Grohl played the part of frontman. One angry fan banged into their keyboard: “dave grohl has no business sining or playing kurts music not right!”

Aside from the fact that they didn’t actually play a song written by Kurt Cobain, I think Grohl can actually do whatever the hell he wants. But rather than tediously pointing these facts out, Novoselic himself had a better comeback.

Responding to an Alternative Nation article about the OUTRAGE, he wrote of the suggestion that no one should take Cobain’s place on stage: “We tried to get a hold of him for this gig – as many times as we tried to contact Kurt, we couldn’t get through. The phone just kept ringing and ringing. Kurt does not have email. In fact I have never emailed him in my life and I have been online since 1993”.

Imagine actually being angry about any of this. I mean, basically some friends were all in the same place at the same time, so they played a song together. And I hope all these angry people never find out that this is something these guys have actually done quite a lot already – Grohl, Novoselic and Smear having appeared on stage together several times since 2010.

Worse, in 2014, they performed a whole show as Nirvana, with Joan Jett, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, St Vincent, Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Deer Tick’s John McCauley on vocals. This followed their induction into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame, where, as well as Jett, Gordon and St Vincent, they also performed with Lorde.

Anyway, the internet is stupid. And while it’s true that these naysayers were very much in the minority of the people commenting on this impromptu Nirvana alumni sing song, I still think the world would generally be a better place if all people everywhere were banned from airing their opinions online. But that’s just my opinion. Which I thought I might air for you here online.

Elsewhere on the Nirvana Facebook page, a picture of Novoselic, Grohl and Smear was posted ahead of the show. Lots of people wistfully imagined what it would be like if Cobain were in the picture too. Though Novoselic is literally holding a picture of his former bandmate in said photo. Maybe we should not only ban opinions from the internet, but also ponderings of any kind. I dunno, I’ll have to ponder about that one later.