“Nirvana tapped into a voice that was yearning to be heard,” said REM’s Michael Stipe, introducing the band. “They spoke truth and a lot of people listened.”
Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl had appeared on US chat show Jimmy Fallon earlier in the week to share stories about their Nirvana days and missing Kurt Cobain. This theme continued in the group’s acceptance speech, with Cobain’s widow Courtney Love also on stage.
One of the most significant moments of the night was Courtney Love and Dave Grohl embracing. Grohl and Novoselic have had several public spats about the group’s legacy but last night appeared to have put it all behind them.
Grohl and Novoselic first resurrected Nirvana in December 2012, with Paul McCartney fronting the group at a benefit for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The former Beatle wasn’t present last night, with Grohl and Novoselic instead calling on a spread of female performers to step in for Cobain.
“So honoured and happy i got to help celebrate nirvana’s rock and roll hall of fame induction tonight. true fucking rock stars, all, forever,” tweed Lorde, after assisting on a version of the Seattle group’s ‘All Apologies’. “And man, joan, annie and kim give a healthy display of Coolest Women You Will Ever Meet Behaviour.”
St Vincent joined the group to play ‘Nevermind’ favourite ‘Lithium’. “F&$%-ing best night of my life. NIRVANA. #NIRVANA #NIRVANA” tweeted the art-pop racketmaker afterwards.
As previously hinted, after a photo was posted to Grohl’s Foo Fighters Instagram of the punk legend’s guitar, Joan Jett joined the band for a rendition of the song that turned the Seattle trio into a global phenomenon – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.
The E Street Band received the Award for Musical Excellence, with Bruce Springsteen giving a speech that spanned the group’s entire career and last almost a hour.
The Boss paid tribute to each of his band mates, saving special praise for guitarist Steven Van Zandt: “My dependable devil’s advocate whenever I need one and fan number one. My blood blood blood blood blood brother. Stevie, let’s keep rolling for as many lives as they give us.”