Charity Case: Paul McCartney Poses as Kurt Cobain in Nirvana Reunion

Indie | Monday 17th December 2012 | Martin

Madison Square Garden, New York, played host to a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Sandy that struck various north-eastern American states in October. The concert, on 12.12.12, boasted some of the world’s most synonymous artists and included a bizarre reconstruction of Nirvana, with former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney at their forefront.

Over ‘2 billion households worldwide’ (more than a quarter of the world’s population) witnessed the concert which had performances from Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, and Alicia Keys amongst many others. However, it was McCartney’s performance with Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear (former Nirvana members), that proved to be the most controversial act of the night.

Since Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994, there have been various rumours of Nirvana reforming with a new front man; however, the hysteria abated and nothing came into fruition. Then, in anticipation of the Foo Fighters’ visit to Milton Keynes Bowl last year, the gossip heightened once again with news that Krist (Nirvana’s bassist) would be joining Dave and co. on tour. Once again though, nothing came to pass...until now.

Video evidence then leaked on YouTube of the Hurricane Sandy fundraiser and the McCartney/Nirvana collaboration became a reality. The clip (below) commences with Sir Paul rambling about turning up to a “jam” and continues by saying: “in the middle of it, these guys kept saying: you know well, we haven’t played together for years you know?”, “The penny finally dropped, I finally understood that I was in the middle of a Nirvana reunion.” His pretend naivety precedes a song that they “jammed” together.

Novoselic appears as a haunting image on stage, having been almost entirely uninvolved in public or mainstream music events since the death of his former front-man. His performance is unemotional and he seems entirely unimpressed with McCartney. Dave produces an impassioned performance as ever, though Pat Smear’s place in a Nirvana line up is questionable. Courtney Love had her opinion (no change there) about the affair, commenting that she was “not amused” on her Facebook page.       

As a lifelong Nirvana fan, I can only hope that nothing like this ever happens again.  


Here is the “Nirvana” clip from the Hurricane Sandy appeal: 

By Martin Cater (@MartinCater)