Is Courtney Love right to complain about Paul McCartney playing with the rest of Nirvana?

When Nirvana first started it would have seemed inconceivable that Fab Macca Mcfab, the Beatle himself would have ended up playing with them decades later. It would also seem inconceivable that Cobain’s widow Courtney Love would have made headlines by slating the concert and Chris Nosovelic’s bass playing.


Courtney seemed bothered by the band not being the original line up which is something she herself has done with Hole and was less than charitable about the concert, which is ironic as the gig itself was a charity gig. Younger readers may wonder what McCartney was doing playing with the rock band that change music forever when they broke through twenty years ago confusing Paul with Mr. Frog Chorus but in his time he was rock n roll as Nirvana ever where and Kurt himself would have been thrilled to have been replaced for one evening by a Beatle- one of his favourite bands..

Was Courtney right to sound bitter about the whole affair and were the band good or bad? comment please!

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. I’ve been a hardcore Nirvana for 20 years now and i loved this. OK so the song wasn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff but it sounded fat and loud and they were just having fun for a good cause. People need to remember that if it wasn’t for The Beatles there would be no Nirvana. Grunge is definitely still dead though yeh? x

  2. Courtney is slightly mentally unstable and I never really rated Nirvana anyway, so it’s all by the by to me. Having said that, I can’t see what her problem is. Nirvana were part of the new wave of punk at that time, and punk was originally supposed to be about not conforming, no rules, doing whatever you want to do. It certainly wasn’t about being cool, which is where I’m guessing Courtney might have a problem (not really knowing anything about this story to begin with). Mr Fab isn’t exactly seen as cool any more, is he? So having him stand in is probably the most punk rock thing they could do (other than Chris De Burgh or Michael Bublé).

  3. Courtney Love will say whatever she likes when she wants to for the rest of my lifetime at least I’m sure. It’s one of the constants of reading the music press. If any of the former members of Nirvana do anything then she will rise up and loom over them venting at how they aren’t good enough to polish Kurt’s shoes…it’s what she does and right or wrong to be honest I enjoy reading her comments. Last time it was Dave’s drumming now it’s the bass playing and they got the wrong Beatle, so what.
    The band were really good, I didn’t think they would be but watched it on youtube and thought they were loose, loud and getting into it. They don’t need to do anything ever and anything they do will be analysed until the cows come home but the bottom line for me is that it sounded bloody good.

  4. she has every right to moan as a fan as it was fairly awful (tho as you point out a) was for charity, b) Kurt loved the Beatles and (mine) c) Pat Smear looked like he was enjoying himself). but Nirvana wasn’t her band, so I guess she doesn’t have a leg to stand on really.


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