Nirvana ... With Gene Simmons!

UPDATE: Looks like at least one singer will be Joan Jett. She’s not a choice on this poll, but vote anyway!


Last week, Krist Novoselic hinted that he had been practicing old bass lines to play at Thursday’s Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, and since then the Hall has confirmed “Nirvana” will perform. Novoselic will presumably be joined in performance by Dave Grohl (sorry Chad Channing), and even though Pat Smear won’t be inducted, he at least could play guitar, but the question remains: Who is going to front this headless reunion of the greatest grunge band of all time? As Grohl told NME last year, “It’s sacred ground. If we were ever to do something like that it would have to be right because you want to pay tribute. There’s a reason Foo Fighters don’t do Nirvana songs.”

Paul McCartney will most likely be in attendance in support of inductee Brian Epstein, and he’s performed with Grohl, Novoselic, and Smear before … would he do so again here? Michael Stipe is inducting Nirvana, and he and Kurt were mutual admirers … that could be cool. Courtney Love has promised that she and Frances Bean will be onstage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center alongside Krist and Dave Grohl to accept this honor — could she … okay, that’s not gonna happen. But how about the Nirvana frontman’s old frenemy Eddie Vedder, who is in Brazil with Pearl Jam for shows on Wednesday and Friday but has a convenient opening on his calendar for Thursday? Also in attendance: Gene Simmons, Chris Martin, Bruce Springsteen (who’s been doing a lot of unlikely covers lately)… will any of them fill in for Kurt? It could literally be anyone! Well, probably not Gene Simmons, but anyone else! Or maybe it will be Gene Simmons!

According to Rolling Stone, “The exact plans for Nirvana’s performance remains a tightly guarded secret.” But obviously we can put our heads together and figure this out. Rock the vote below and let’s see if we can come up with the logical answer before the big night.

Comments (59)
  1. I think if they did a more low-key song, Stipe would be great. Springsteen could rock it, but it would feel weird as he has no connection to Nirvana whatsoever. McCartney COULD be cool, but he’d probably end up looking like cool, awkward grandpa (he’s not exactly in his Helter Skelter vocal-shredding prime anymore). As much as I love Coldplay, I’d scoop my eyes out with a spoon if Chris Martin filled in. I hate to say it, but Eddie Vedder might be the best fit for this.

    • Also, Dave Grohl obviously has the vocal/screaming chops to do it, so maybe if they do an earlier song with Chad on drums…?

    • The Stipe stuff could work with the midtempo slower stuff – All Apologies, About a Girl, even Heart Shaped Box. I was more than cool with the Sirvana thing before, but enough, don’t need it anymore.

  2. Kurt Loder.

  3. Supposedly Stevie Nicks is going to sing with them on The Tonight Show. And given that Nicks is already confirmed as part of the tribute to Linda Ronstadt, I wouldn’t be surprised if she performs with them at the induction as well.

    • I don’t think she is singing with them on the Tonight Show, they’re being interviewed before she covers Linda Rondstadt is what I read. Though yeah, she has performed w/ Grohl for the Sound City shows.

  4. No votes for Wes Scantlin from Puddle Of Mudd or whoever that dude was from The Vines?

  5. It should totally be Dylan Baldi.

  6. Ringo Starr or Jared Leto.

  7. why couldn’t it be gene? Its not like Kurt wasn’t a fan…

  8. I don’t see Joan Jett on the list. Also, why just one person? An array of performers would be awesome!

  9. Grohl mentioned they almost had PJ Harvey perform “Milk It” on the Sound City Players tour. That could be a viable option. My vote’s for Stipe though, or Neil Young. Both of them had a huge impact in the later year’s of Kurt’s life and they really capture his spirit.

  10. It was mentioned above, but I also had the thought, “Maybe Grohl could sing and play guitar for a song, and have Chad fill in on drums.” Then at the very least you would have a tribute done only by actual surviving members of Nirvana… Smear included.
    Then if they do something more subtle like Polly or All Apologies, Michael Stipe can step in… it can rotate. I think that really would make some sense.

    All in all, as long is kept the spirit of a “respectful tribute,” but that’s hard to do, and let’s face it, these days is probably too much to ask.

    • Getting goosebumps just thinking about Michael Stipe singing “All Apologies”. Maybe they could even cross it over with R.E.M.’s Kurt tribute “Let Me In”.

  11. PJ Harvey tho

  12. They would be best served if they had several vocalists. Maybe Sir Paul could do “about a girl” and then Stevie / and Grohl could do some Nevermind songs. Then have Courtney do a couple In Utero tracks since some of the songs were likely inspired by or written about her. Stipe and Bean could close it out with “All Apologies.”

  13. “The exact plans for Nirvana’s performance remains a tightly guarded secret.”


    “Nobody tell Courtney!”

  14. I think if Frances sang it could be super creepy and awesome at the same time. Unlikely I’m sure, but the one I would like to see the most.

  15. stipe’s nicely aged voice would sound good on “all apologies.” might be a tearjerker.

  16. Since it’s the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, think of the schlockiest possibility you can imagine and then double it.

    For example, I’m imagining Bruno Mars so put me down for Cee Lo Green.

  17. The whole idea sounds gross to me. I would think Dave is the only person who should be considered.

  18. Bring it all back to Seattle: Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, Mark Arm.

  19. Pharrell and his hat.

  20. Bowie or the guy from the Meat Puppets.

  21. Want: J Mascis
    Will be: the guy from Imagine Dragons

  22. I’ve got SO many great suggestions: that guy from Deafheaven, whatever his name is that sings in Nickelback, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Alvin AND the chi… sorry, I’m getting out of hand here.

  23. Here’s a crazy thought: Buzz Osborne.

  24. my vote goes for PATTI SMITH.

    it can’t be someone younger. watching anyone trying to emulate Kurt would just be painful. i think this (admittedly absurd) situation calls for an elder statesman of the genre, so to speak… a salute from above. and i can’t think of anyone better than Patti Smith. she possesses all the requisite ingredients, stemming from the same lineage. and she did a killer cover of the un-coverable ‘…Teen Spirit’ a few years back.

  25. I have always wanted to hear Frank Black sing Nirvana. Makes since to have him join them as Black is back in the public eye and Pixies were Kurts favourite band and one of Dave Grohls. Also he would sing and scream their songs better than anyone else I can think of.

    • This is my choice. Michael Stipe could do some of the songs justice as well. Anyone mentioning these singers Kurt hated or would have hated need to realize they’re only doing the tribute a disservice, especially with the original members involved.

  26. Stipe or Black Francis. Kurt was friends with or respected these guys. Veddar and Grohl would be tacky and tbh I wouldn’t mind Courtney Love.

  27. Sting. Seriously though, Black Francis would be cool.



  29. misspelled believin’ for all posterity.

  30. Also, I vote for LeBron or Kanye.

  31. Easy: MILEY CYRUS. She did it so well last time…

  32. I’m late to the party, but it should definitely be John McCauley

  33. Shaun Morgan from Seether!

  34. LDR is kind of into rock n’ roll right? that would be sick.

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