Nirvana Hall of Fame speeches: Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Michael Stipe, Courtney Love
Nirvana’s Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic were joined at the podium by Michael Stipe, Courtney Love, and Kurt Cobain’s mother for an emotional Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
Stipe opened the presentation by praising the band’s “crystalline, nuclear, rage-infused fury” declaring that Nirvana were artists in every sense of the word. “Nirvana tapped into a voice that was yearning to be heard,” Stipe declared. “Nirvana were kicking against the mainstream. They spoke truth and a lot of people listened … They were singular and loud and melodic and deeply original. And that voice. That voice. Kurt, we miss you. I miss you. This is not just pop music. This is something much greater than that.”
Grohl paid tribute to the other drummers who had played in Nirvana including Chad Channing, who was denied entry into the Hall of Fame despite being the drummer on ‘Love Buzz’, the 1988 single that qualified Nirvana for induction this year. Channing attended the induction ceremony sitting with Dale Crover and Dan Peters both of whom also drummed with Nirvana before Grohl. Courtney Love was at booed by some audience members, but embraced Grohl during her speech and later announced that she has “buried the hatchet deep in the ground”.
Following the speeches, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear took to the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to perform a historic medley of Nirvana songs with Lorde, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, St Vincent’s Annie Clark, and Joan Jett handling the vocals. Joan Jett kicked off proceedings with a rendition of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. They were then joined by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon for ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ b-side ‘Aneurysm’, St Vincent who lead the the band in a cover of ‘Lithium’, and Lorde who closed the performance with a rousing rendition of ‘All Apologies’.
Highlights from Nirvana’s Hall of Fame speeches
“Nirvana were artists in every sense of the word. Nirvana tapped into a voice that was yearning to be heard. Nirvana were kicking against the mainstream. They spoke truth and a lot of people listened.”
“I’m purposely using the word artist, and not musician.”
“Like my band, REM, Nirvana comes from a most unlikely place … Aberdeen, Wash., a largely blue collar town just outside Seattle.”
“Bands are not easy. You find yourself in a group of people that rub each other the wrong way.
“This is about community. Nirvana tapped into a voice that was yearning to be heard. Keep in mind the times, this was the late 1980s. The idea of America – that hopeful idea – had been dismantled … But with their music Nirvana blasted through all that with crystalline, nuclear, rage-infused fury.”
“They were singular and loud and melodic and deeply original. And that voice. That voice. Kurt, we miss you. I miss you. This is not just pop music. This is something much greater than that.”
“I have a big speech but I’m not going to say it.”
“I just wish Kurt could have been here. Tonight he would have really appreciated it. I just want to give this to our daughter Frances Bean, who couldn’t be here because she was ill.”
Cobain’s mother Wendy Elizabeth
“I just miss [Kurt] so much, he was such an angel.”
“I was the quiet one in Nirvana.”
“It was about doing it for real. And the reward was doing it right and doing it for real. I got really lucky.”
“Mom, thanks for letting me drop out of high school.”
“Kurt was an intense artist and he really connected with a lot of people … I wish Kurt was here tonight.”