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With tears and cheers, Nirvana inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The surviving members of Nirvana, along with Kurt Cobain's family members, were on hand for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday night.
Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Thursday night, a final and crowning achievement for a band whose sound and attitude came to define a generation.
The surviving members of Nirvana -- bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl -- were inducted by former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, who talked about the impact the band had on the disenfranchised youth of the \'90s.
"Nirvana defined a moment, a movement for outsiders, from the f*gs and the fat girls to the shy nerds and the goth kids in Tennessee and Kentucky, for the rockers to the awkward to the too-smart kids and the bullied," Stipe said. "We were a community."
The induction came just days after the 20th anniversary of the death of the band’s lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain, and bassist Krist Novoselic thanked the alternative rock icon in his speech. “Kurt was an intense artist. He really connected with a lot of people,” Novoselic said.
Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl was as funny and charming as ever. The Foo Fighters founder noted that he was actually the fifth drummer for the band by the time they had their first big hit with “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” He thanked his predecessors on the skins and gave a special shout-out to Chad Channing, who was in attendance.
“Guess what Chad’s responsible for? If you listen to a song like ‘In Bloom,’ the [mimes the legendary drum fill in the intro]? That’s Chad,” Grohl said to laughs.
In a touching moment, Cobain’s mother, flanked by family members, accepted the award on her son’s behalf. “He’d be so proud,” she said of Cobain, through tears. “He’d say he wasn’t, but he would be.”
Cobain’s widow Courtney Love was also onstage and she was greeted to a decidedly mixed reaction when she stepped to the mic. The sometimes ambling Love kept her remarks brief, however, and shared hugs with the former band members, despite their somewhat acrimonious history. She also said she planned on giving the award to their daughter Francis Bean, “who isn’t here because she’s sick.”
Following the speeches, Grohl, Novoselic, and Pat Smear -- who played guitar with the group on their “Unplugged” performance -- played a set of Nirvana songs with a surprising quartet of lead vocalists -- Joan Jett, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, indie rocker St. Vincent, and teenaged pop sensation Lorde. According to Rolling Stone, “Dave Grohl, Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic hadn\'t played a Kurt Cobain-penned song together in public since the frontman killed himself 20 years ago.”
Several YouTube videos of the performances have already begun to sprout up online. HBO will premiere a concert special covering the induction ceremony on May 31 at 9 p.m. Cat Stevens, Hall and Oates, Kiss, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, and The E Street Band were among the other artists inducted in the 2014 class.
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