Krist Novoselic, via Getty

Last week, Nirvana did the impossible: They found an interesting way to join the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. At the Hall Of Fame induction at Brooklyn, the band’s surviving members performed with an all-star, multi-generational cast of women — Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, Lorde — filling in for Kurt Cobain. After the show, they also did a secret show at the tiny Brooklyn metal venue Saint Vitus. And now bassist Krist Novoselic has taken to his adorably old-school Blogspot account to talk about the event and how happy he is with how it went down. In a blog post titled “Punk Rock Gender Parity,” Novoselic writes that it was his idea to include Joan Jett and that bandmate Dave Grohl expanded that idea into an all-female cast of guests. Here’s what Novoselic had to say:

Punk Rock Gender Parity

I am so happy about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame event and how it went so well. Earlier that week there were three long days of rehearsals in NYC. I feel we conjured the spirit of the band, and we could not have done that alone. This, for me, is a bittersweet notion as we all miss Kurt so much. But considering we were inducted, the show had to go on. Joan Jett was first on my list to be out front. I spoke to Dave about it and he ran with the idea of having all women lead. We felt that would be a good tribute to Kurt and what Nirvana was about.

It was a good balance of females as Joan Jett and Kim Gordon are matriarchs of Punk Rock, while St. Vincent and Lorde represent the powerful up-and-coming women in Rock. Every one of these performances nailed a Nirvana tune in their own way. Joan – Smells Like Teem Spirit, Kim – Aneurism, St. Vincent – Lithium and Lorde – All Apologies. I had fun on the last song because I got to play accordion and all of our guests were on stage for a gala closing! Our set will be broadcast in high quality television in May so check it out.

We also did a club gig afterward that was a lot of fun. I will have more on that soon but thank you to J Mascis and John McCauley for your great contributions!!!!

Our “all female” Hall of Fame set also had me thinking about the political realm (Imagine that!) At FairVote we have done a report regarding the state of women’s representation. I will have more to say about this, especially how at-large districts tend to put more women in office, at another time. Until then, enjoy this short and engaging video about the study narrated by Marie Wilson.

(via This Is Krist Novoselic)

He then included this video:

[Photo via Getty Images]

Comments (7)
  1. It sounds like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction brought some closure finally to the Nirvana chapter after all of the tragedy and ensuing legal battles over the last 20 years. People may argue that Kurt would not have taken part in such an event, but you have to commend the remaining members and his family for honoring the legacy in at least a way that kept his spirit in mind. During The Punk Singer documentary, Kathleen Hanna said her friend Kurt’s work with Nirvana was a product of feminist punk culture, so I thought having all women front the music was fitting.

    Completely forgot that Novoselic is all about politics these days, though. I guess you can’t blame him for using this opportunity as an afterthought to shine a light on equality within that spectrum.

    I do have to say, though, that I was displeased with some of things I’ve read out there in major indie media outlets regarding the significance of the female-led Nirvana. A Pitchfork writer whose name I won’t mention (but you can probably easily guess) tweeted out “the future of rokk belongs to women indeed.” I don’t get why to some feminists, everything always has to be a war between the sexes where one must emerge victorious over the other. Why can’t “the future of rokk belong to both women and men”? I dunno — Maybe I’m missing the point, but as Novoselic states and uses his position justly, we should be striving for equality, and it really ruffles my feathers that music writers use their position at major publications to push a more severe side of the issue.

    • It’s interesting that people think Kurt was so punk he wouldn’t have participated. He signed to a major label, made rock videos, and did an MTV unplugged. He was a great musician and a unique individual but he was also considered a sell out to some who were in the scene back then.

      With regards to women ruling rock, when a group is oppressed and put in the shadows for so long it’s a good metaphor to use saying they’re going to rule the future of rock. Banks like Bikini Kill and Joan Jett fought to get a seat at the table – and hard. I remember guys at Bikini Kill shows calling them sluts and trying to kick them off stage threatening rape. When men have faced that kind of discrimination in the rock scene then we can use a positive metaphor to encourage their increased presence in rock.

      • That’s fair, but generalizations blow, which is why as a dude who isn’t the type of dude who would ever call a female a slut or threaten rape to a female (nor have I ever in my decades alive been a friend with a guy who would) I always feel compelled to point out that some bad examples shouldn’t mean that as retribution, all males should be devalued for their actions.

        Then again, this is the punk scene we are talking about here and I’ve always felt that those within the punk scene are terribly hypocritical. Even when they front as societal do-gooders, they’re complete dicks to anyone who isn’t their “friend” or part of their “scene” and rarely practice the open-mindedness which they preach.

        • “I always feel compelled to point out that some bad examples shouldn’t mean that as retribution, all males should be devalued for their actions.”

          You’re basically always feeling compelled to chime in saying “not all men” are bad?
          Not a good look.

  2. I think the tweet may be referencing something Kurt said himself in his journals: “I like the comfort in knowing that women are the only future in rock and roll.”

    • Could be, but regardless if it’s Kurt’s words or hers, I’ve never been a fan of any statements that say one sex is more valuable or capable of succeeding than the other at something.

  3. I thought Annie fit amazingly into the Nirvana set and Mascis killed it, too. The band should tour as Krist, Dave, Pat, Annie, and Mascis. No really, THEY SHOULD! ARE YOU LISTENING, ALL??

    St. Nirvanasaur Jr.

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