Nirvana’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one that will go down as one of the most important moments of the organization’s long and storied history. The weight of the ceremony was highlighted by the fact that it’s been 20 years since Kurt Cobain’s tragic suicide. A series of moving speeches by the likes of Michael Stipe, Courtney Love, and Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Kirst Noveselic spoke to how Nirvana changed music and youth culture when they blistered onto the scene in the early 90’s. Mostly, the speeches remembered Nirvana’s late poetic frontman.
As Stipe commented in his speech: “That voice, that voice. Kurt, we miss you. I miss you. Nirvana defined a moment, a movement for outsiders, from the fags and the fat girls to the shy nerds and the goth kids in Tennessee and Kentucky, for the rockers to the awkward to the too-smart kids and the bullied. We were a community."
There was also a much-awaited reunion performance of the three surviving members with vocals by Joan Jett, Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), St. Vincent, and Lorde. It was an emotional and historic evening for Nirvana, fans, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the legacy of Kurt Cobain. Here’s what we learned from last night’s Nirvana celebration:
This probably won’t ever happen again
It was the first time in a long time that Grohl, Noveselic, and Smear played together. It was also the first time since Cobain’s suicide that the band played any of Nirvana’s original songs. Out of respect to Cobain, these performances probably won’t be repeated. It was also the first time in years that there wasn't an all-star jam of the entire evening's inductees (Who included Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Linda Rondstat, Hall & Oates, and the E Street Band). The show closed with Nirvana, and it was the absolute right choice.
This “feud” is a thing of the past
There’s been a long-standing and rumored feud between Cobain’s ex-wife Courtney Love and drummer Dave Grohl. As seen in their recognition to each other during the acceptance speeches and a long embrace onstage, that bit of gossip can finally be put to rest.
Dave Grohl, is in fact, the coolest guy on the planet
Grohl was exceedingly humble in his speech and the first words out of his mouth were in recognition to the four Nirvana drummers that came before him. One of which was Dave Crover from the Melvins whom Grohl referred to as, “My absolute drumming hero.”
Nirvana changed the music industry in ways most of us never knew
Roots drummer Questlove was in the house last night to introduce Hall & Oates. The exuberant musician snapped a pic backstage with Grohl, Noveselic, and Justin Lyon. He wrote, “Game Changers: in 1993 w/ the $uccess of Guns n Roses, Aerosmith, & Nirvana Geffen Records decides to open a black music department. Their first signees are the GZA from The Wu Tang Clan & a lil band from philadelphia. Nirvana's story plays a big part in the Roots journey from us getting sign to how we decided to handle the events of April 5th 1994.”
Courtney Love can always defy our expectations
A lot of people probably expected Love to say something political or even a little out of line, but she never did. She spoke to the band members and Cobain’s relatives as her family. Her time at the mic was short, with the lasting sentiment which was universally felt by everyone watching, “"I just wish that Kurt was here to see this."
Catch the acceptance speeches here, including members of Cobain's family: