Smells Like an Overblown Story: Paul McCartney Hasn't Replaced Kurt Cobain

David Wagner
The Atlantic Wire
Smells Like an Overblown Story: Paul McCartney Hasn't Replaced Kurt Cobain

Can Paul McCartney pull off grunge? That's the question on everyone's mind going into his performance tonight with the remaining members of Nirvana. It's undoubtedly a weird collaboration, but should we really call it a Nirvana reunion?

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McCartney and Nirvana's surviving members—drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic—will reportedly perform together at the big "12.12.12" Hurricane Sandy benefit concert tonight at Madison Square Garden. The artists' representatives haven't confirmed that, but they haven't denied it either. In an interview with U.K. paper The Sun, McCartney said that Grohl invited him over to "jam with some mates." The 70-year-old former Beatle had fun, but at first he didn't understand the session's significance:

I didn’t really know who they were. They are saying how good it is to be back together. I said ‘Whoa? You guys haven’t played together for all that time? And somebody whispered to me ‘That’s Nirvana. You’re Kurt.’ I couldn’t believe it.

Does this mean McCartney will take the stage draped in flannel and belt out "Heart Shaped Box" tonight? Reaction to the Nirvana "reunion" has united grunge lifers and Beatlemaniacs in anger:

Sir Paul McCartney is an amazing singer but I do not think hes the right choice to replace Kurt Cobain at alllllll for their reunion #whattt

— stonergirlprobs (@stonergirlprob1) December 12, 2012

Paul McCartney to replace Kurt Cobain in Nirvana reunion. That's like putting a cherry on top of nachos. It just doesn't make sense.

— DC Debbie (@DCdebbie) December 12, 2012

Um, what the F?Grohl, Novoselic, Pat Smear, and ___?The last choice ever is the answer. Tonight in NYC. metro.co.uk/2012/12/12/pau…

— Matt Spiegel (@MattSpiegel670) December 12, 2012

But some remain skeptical, knowing how British tabloids like to blow things out of proportion: 

I could be wrong, but this "McCartney to play with Nirvana" story doesn't quite seem right to me. Beware the UK press.

— Andy Greene (@greeneandy) December 12, 2012

It's worth noting that this wouldn't be the first time Grohl and Novoselic have played together after Cobain's death. They both played on a Foo Fighters album from last year, and have been recording with Nevermind producer Butch Vig. And Paul McCartney will play with just about anyone. Remember his brief stint alongside Linkin Park and Jay-Z? 

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To find out whether or not McCartney "oohs" all over "Smells Like Teen Spirit," tune into this livestream tonight: 

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