Did The Mayans Happen To Mention Anything About Paul McCartney Singing With Nirvana?

December 14, 2012


When I heard there was going to be a Nirvana reunion performance for the 12-12 concert for Sandy victims I, naturally, thought, “Huh.  I can see a serious roadblock to that plan…”  But, okay.  For a good cause and all that.

Seen here: Kurt Cobain when he collapsed on stage... no, wait, this is McCartney, isn't it... Ha ha! Man, I'm always getting those two mixed up...

Seen here: Kurt Cobain when he collapsed… no, wait, this is McCartney, isn’t it… Ha ha! Man, I’m always getting those two mixed up…

Then I heard that Paul McCartney would be filling in for the deceased Kurt Cobain.

Now, I’m a disbeliever in all this end-of-the-world nonsense to the point of irritation.  I can’t even humor people who talk about it in a “Yeah, but what if” kind of way.  (“I mean, wouldn’t it be weird if'” “Nothing’s going to happen.”  “Yeah, but what-” “Nothing’s going to happen.”)  But hearing that Paul McCartney would be performing with Nirvana?  That just has to be a sign of the End Times.  Strangest pairing ever.  I mean, not Chris Cornell?  Or Henry Rollins?  Or even Eddie Vedder?  Or, well, anyone?

Psy.  Hilary Clinton.  Kermit the Frog.  Tom Brokaw.  All better choices.

But seeing everyone in the clip my thoughts turned to a few things:

  1. Christ, everyone’s getting old.  Well, not me, but everyone else…
  2. At least they didn’t play a Nirvana song.
  3. Most of all, though – my God, Dave Grohl is a hell of a drummer.  Not just skilled, and not just that he drums like a brushfire in a windstorm, but in total style and control.  I saw Nirvana play a couple times and if, say, Cobain launched in to a song too quickly, Grohl would seamlessly and gracefully slow them to the correct pacing.  He provided the needed structure to the sonic chaos.
  4. McCartney held his own.  It’s to his credit that he made it about the others, and then the song was just a performance.  McCartney is in that tiny club of people who, if you met them, it’s something you’d talk about for the rest of your life, so it can’t be easy to make anything about other people.  So, good on you, Paul.
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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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56 Comments on “Did The Mayans Happen To Mention Anything About Paul McCartney Singing With Nirvana?”

  1. atothewr Says:

    Not a big Nirvana fan, but Paul real did do a great job with this style of music. I was surprised.


  2. Life With The Top Down Says:

    I am a huge Dave Grohl fan, more for his Foo Fighters days and hi all around talent. It was a very odd pairing and I was longing for that hard rock scream, but it was all for a good cause I guess. I hope you caught the Eric Clapton performance, his old voice was still spot on.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’m always shocked when people say they don’t like Foo Fighters. What’s not to like? I think people who don’t are either:
      1. Hipsters who don’t like them because they are fairly radio-friendly.
      2. Just don’t like loud rock music (Fair. Sad, but fair)
      3. Insane.


  3. 1pointperspective Says:

    Now you have me worried.

    I would have preferred Jay Z or Citizen Cope to McCartney. I’ve seen too much of Paul to last me another 6 lifetimes (considering the end of days is only hours away, I think one more batch of McCartney would have been too too many for me)


  4. Tori Nelson Says:

    My brain just reverted to 6-year-old status, refusing to believe that Santa was the creepy next door neighbor in a faux beard. This is not real life, this is not real life, this is… seriously? McCartney as Cobain?


  5. Maria Says:

    Always enjoy your posts, maybe it’s because you’re a great wordsmith – imagery like this “drums like a brushfire in a windstorm” just doesn’t leave you quickly. Thanks!


  6. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Can you imagine Eddie Vedder with Nirvana? I think my head would explode.

    My immediate thought was, imagine John Lennon jamming with Kurt? I’d think I’d died and gone to heaven. Wait, I suppose I’d have to die and go to heaven.

    I am a little bit in love with Dave Grohl.

    Seeing Novoselic made me feel way too old, you’re right. I stll picture him with greasy long hair.

    This is nothing to do with Paul’s little reunion…but did you see the most recent Nirvana documentary? I can’t remember the title, but I was transfixed—about the mixing of certain songs in the studio etc. It blew my mind.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I haven’t seen that – I’ll have to look for it. I saw a really cool interview with Grohl & Novoselic in which they watch and interview with themselves when Nevermind first took off, and talk about it now.

      And on one hand Vedder would seem like an obvious choice, but I bet his voice on those songs would sound really weird.


  7. Legal Alien Says:

    As a Brit I speak not just for myself, but from the grumblings around the green hills. Mr McCartney stopped being cool soon after Yoko Ono rescued John Lennon. I, amongst others, have done nothing but cringe since, at his whimsical ditties but also the British establishment for wheeling him out at major performances like the Olympics, for instance…where he reminded us of why the only legendary beatles are the dead ones.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Remember a few years ago when he started really getting obnoxious about saying that he actually did most of the songwriting and lyricism, and John was more of a support player? Jesus, Paul, how much affirmation do you need? Do you feel you aren’t famous enough? Have received enough praise?


  8. norushinafrica Says:

    Okay I hear you but what if…okay never mind


  9. Go Jules Go Says:

    It better not be the end of the world, or I did a lot of ironing for nothing.

    I’m totally ashamed to admit that I didn’t wind up seeing much of the concert. I have really good excuses, though…

    There is something so captivating about a great drummer – although, almost every drummer I’ve known is the source of the chaos, at least from a personality standpoint.


  10. angeliquejamail Says:

    Yeah, those end-times enthusiasts annoy the hell out of me too.


  11. renée a. schuls-jacobson Says:

    Kanye put me to sleep. Talk about not fitting in to a venue. The end of days isn’t supposed to happen until 12/21, so you’ll be hearing about it for a while longer.


  12. susielindau Says:

    It makes me wonder how it even came about. “Hey Paul. Nirvana reeeeeally wants to be included in the concert, but they have a little problem…”

    Holy Sheet! My card is all done! http://susielindau.com/2012/12/14/all-done/


  13. pegoleg Says:

    Hard to give any credence to those Mayans since they didn’t foretell the whole McCartney/Nirvana thing. Guess I’d better get going on my Christmas shopping now that it looks like the 25th will get here after all.


  14. Michelle Gillies Says:

    Crap! I can’t see the clip. It says it has been removed by the user.


  15. Keeping it Real Says:

    Since when did Mr. McCartney turn grunge?


  16. Hippie Cahier Says:

    Dave Grohl performed in a White House tribute to Sir Paul. It was the first time I’d seen him play and my first, second, third, and only thoughts were, “He is a real musician.” And that’s not just because he’s from DC.

    I listened to the beginning of the concert on my way home from work, but I tuned it out because Eddie Vedder went first and I was bored, not to mention “The Wall” is one of two songs guaranteed to give me a headache (literally).

    Billy Crystal was funny when he said, “Now that your parents have finished explaining to you who I am. . . ” and I thought, “He’s right. Springsteen, Bon Jovi. . . this is kind of an Old Guy lineup.”

    I can’t watch your clip because I’m at work, but I hope there’s a Kurt Cobain hologram. That would be way cool.


  17. calahan Says:

    As Nostradamus laughably predicted ‘Hister’, this particular Mayan prediction involved Joe McCarthy playing with Rinvana. We’re all safe.


  18. S. Trevor Swenson Says:

    < Hater Alert.
    I was of the Nirvana "generation" I caught them at a small-ish club quite literally 2 weeks before "Smells Like Teen Spirit" hit. I didn't really know them, a friend took me, but it was a solid gig of a good up and coming band.
    Kudos to everyone who showed up to play for the cause. What a serious load of musical indigestion though huh?.
    I can never take away from McCartney and what he has done over his career, but frankly it's just sad and stale now. Essentially Paul and the Stones have been cover bands ( of themselves) for the past 20 odd years.

    I first became aware of this when I saw McCartney ( I'm not going to call a working class lad from Liverpool "Sir"…I don't care what the Queen did.) play the SuperBowl show one year after the oh-so-naughty Janet Jackson titty-gate. I know the network was looking for the safest thing in the world,( and they sure as Hell got it) but it was weak, sad and low-frequency.

    I want to remember Paul in black and white film footage, playing his Rickenbacher upside down and his killer bassline for "I saw her standing there"

    Cobain tried as hard as he could NOT to become Paul McCartney.
    Grohl still has it…Never lost it and has become an even better musician and a front man himself since Nirvana. Chris Novoselck (sic) has become very politically active and hasn't milked the Nirvana teat much at all.

    Just one guy's opinion and I don't want to take away from any of these guys (Paul included) giving their time to a good cause.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I think Novoselic has built up so much cred by not exploiting his Nirvana years all this time he could release a “Nirvana Dance-Party Remixes” album and I’d still like him.

      And I was in college here in the Pacific NW when all that stuff was brewing. Got to see a lot of these bands “before.” met several of them, too (I had a radio show). Fun to see that stuff when it happened. Apparently someone has it on tape of me saying to “watch out for Nirvana” and that they’re going to “change everything.” Silly prediction to make in my youthful exuberance, but since that one (out of probably 400) came true? I’m a genius!


      • inukshuk Says:

        You had a radio show ? And you predicted Nirvana’s greatness ?
        What hasn’t the Byronic Man done ?!?

        If some day you tell us the end of the world is coming, I’ll be sure to listen…


  19. Every Record Tells A Story Says:

    I saw Macca in concert a year ago. He still has it. Treasure him folks – he won’t be around for ever.
    Either way he’s better than the clip of Kim Wilde singing “Kids Of America” whilst drunk travelling home on the train recently on You Tube


  20. skippingstones Says:

    I loved me some Nirvana, but I’ve never really been a Paul McCartney fan. Listening to this, though, I have to say that when you got it, you got it. And they’ve still got it! I don’t understand how all those people in the audience could be so relatively still. That music made me want to move! And if I wasn’t so lazy, I would have.


  21. Luddy's Lens Says:

    Eh, I’m not surprised that McCartney delivered it all right. Sure, he’s an arrogant rich old man now, but his musical roots are Little Richard; before Linda and Silly Love Songs, there were groupies and Helter Skelter.


  22. LizForADay Says:

    Yeah that whole end of the world thing is soooo pas say. I really did not even her about it until about 2 days before. I pretty much dismissed it right away. That shows you how much TV I watch. 🙂


  23. Facetious Firecracker Says:

    Am I the only one who’s a Paul supporter here? I can’t help it. I love him, and I think that performance was fantastic. As you said, he did a great job of not stealing the spotlight. I think he did the band justice. He’s insanely talented. I also love the Foo Fighters and adore Dave Grohl’s talent.


  24. Elyse Says:

    I am the lone hold out. I still love Paul. I still love John, George and Ringo, too. They transformed music. They wrote and recorded some of the most beautiful stuff.

    Of course, I am old. I can remember the boys on Ed Sullivan.


  25. inukshuk Says:

    I don’t know whether I’m glad that it worked out, or disappointed that it did. Had the Mayans decided to end the world before this concert in order to spare us the thought of such a crazy match, that would have been fine by me. But if somehow P-Mac (shouldn’t he have a hipper, young-artist name now ?) pulled it off, good on him.

    And Dave Grohl rocks. Big time.


  26. spilledinkguy Says:

    I… what… really?! This isn’t like… C.G?! This… what?


  27. The Hook Says:

    That was out of left field, wasn’t it?



  1. The Byronic Man Hosts An Every Record Q&A « Every record tells a story - January 31, 2013

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