Dave Grohl has always expressed hesitancy toward playing Nirvana songs live today, but recent performances with former bandmates Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear have slightly altered that attitude.
Grohl’s recent work in bringing the story of Sound City Studios to life has brought him a new kind of notoriety, mostly in that it’s allowed him to work alongside a vast number of legendary musicians. This included shows with Novoselic and Smear again, who he discussed doing a Nirvana song with at a Sound City gig in London. England-born artist PJ Harvey was mentioned as a potential singer they could work with for the song, but in the end, she wasn’t able to do it. Says Grohl:
For the Sound City gig here in London (last month), we were thinking about musicians that we could invite because Stevie Nicks and John Fogerty couldn’t make it. Someone came up with the idea of doing a Nirvana song with P.J. Harvey. Kurt (Cobain) loved her and we love her and we thought, ‘Yeah, what would we do?’ I said, ‘God, what if we were to do ‘Milk It’ from ‘In Utero’ with Polly (P.J. Harvey) singing?’ We all looked at each other like, ‘Whoa, that would be amazing,’ and then she couldn’t do it.
Since then, Grohl has restated his objection to playing Nirvana songs, and it makes it seem as if his belief on the subject may never change.
The thing is, it’s sacred ground. If we were ever to do something like that it would have be right because you want to pay tribute. There’s a reason Foo Fighters don’t do Nirvana songs, and it’s a good reason.
And so it appears that in the short term, fans will have to continue biding their time until Grohl picks up the sticks to perform Nirvana songs once again.