Nirvana‘s third studio LP, In Utero, was released 20 years ago last week. At the time of that album’s release, the trio made up of singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic, and drummer Dave Grohl were the biggest band on the planet, a position that the group was entirely uncomfortable with. So, in the words of Novoselic, they set out to “commit commercial suicide” with this collection of songs recorded by Steve Albini, which were entirely more raw than what producer Butch Vig had assembled on their gamechanging LP Nevermind. Their strategy, in large part, worked: The dirty-white-baseball-cap-clad boys who moshed in their frat houses to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” never really connected with In Utero, but there were two songs from this period that entered the zeitgeist: one was “All Apologies” (specifically, the MTV Unplugged version) and the other, “Heart Shaped Box.”
They say approximately 12% of the world is left-handed but that a disproportionate amount of left-handed people are of high intelligence and talent. Perusing some of rock n’ roll’s most preeminent southpaws it would be hard to argue considering some of music’s most talented and groundbreaking artists strum with their left hands. Check out the pictures below and see if you can guess these musical lefties just from their instruments alone!
Mr. Pete Best: A man, but also cultural short-hand for when you get totally kicked in the crotch by fate. For those of you who don’t know, Pete served as the original drummer for a little band called the Beatles, playing scores of small gigs across England in the early pre-fame ’60s. It’s hard to believe, but at the time he was seen as (arguably) the most popular member of the band! At least with the ladies…
Throughout the course of pop music history, there have been an untold number of tunes that were obviously written about people’s “business.” Notable ones include Lil Wayne‘s “Lollipop,” Flo Rida‘s “Whistle Song,” Smoov-E‘s “Attack of the 8-Inch Donkey,” and Mozart‘s “The Magic Flute” (that’s what it was about, right?). But some song-smiths were a bit sneakier about the whole thing and buried the true meaning a little deeper. We guess they enjoyed the secret perv-y delight that we were all unknowingly singing along to an anthem about their privates. Well played, folks. For 10 of the most surprising displays of musical exhibitionism, let’s take things downstairs…
You may or may not have been so into Paul McCartney‘s divisive jam sesh with the surviving member of Nirvana, you might have found the line-up a bit too old and a tad to British, or felt that Kanye‘s showstopping kilt was, well, something; but alas, there is now quantifiable proof that the night was for good: The 12-12-12 Concert For Sandy Relief raised roughly $50 million for victims of November’s devastating storm, and the show’s producers expect that number to grow in the coming weeks as additional donations and funds from album sales continue to trickle in.
Ticket sales and corporate sponsors made up the bulk of that $50 million, though merch sales and the phone bank brought in a hefty $20 million. And even the popular ticket resale site StubHub chipped in, donating the $1 million worth of fees they collected off of 12-12-12 tickets (they keep 25 percent of every sale, and tickets were being up-sold for as much as $60,000). Not so shabby, eh?
The New York Times figures that the benefit’s final tally falls a smidge short of the $61 million MTV’s Hope for Haiti concert made in 2010, and that the number pales in comparison to the $55 million (or, about $118 million in 2012 dollars) 1985′s Live Aid raised, but we are certain that those 50 million dollars will be put to good use by the 140 groups the Robin Hood Foundation has lined up and much appreciated by those left devastated by Sandy all the same. A hardy congratulations and a heartfelt thank you to all involved!
Two super-charged performances of “Cut Me Some Slack” and one leaked studio version later, we are fully prepared to accept what was totally unthinkable not one week ago: that the Paul McCartney/Nirvana collaboration is a real and rocking thing.
When word of the team-up first broke last week, there were cries of heresy — Courtney Love, reasonably distressed by the thought of a Kurt Cobain-less Nirvana, leading that charge — and implausibility, but then Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear (aka the surviving members of Nirvana) all showed up with Macca to play their new song at the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief and it rocked so hard that it seemed totally reasonable to cut them some slack, if you will.
The new crew turned up again over the weekend, performing “Cut Me Some Slack” underneath tinsel and besides a Christmas tree on Saturday Night Live, and and handily killing it once more and making it even harder for us to deny that this whole McVana thing might actually be sort of awesome. And then the very good studio-version that found its way to the internet this weekend and now we know for sure that this collaboration is a thing we love, most of all because of that nice moment halfway through the song when the harmony hits and breathes a little Beatles into the otherwise shattering rock song. Consider our calenders marked for Grohl’s forthcoming Nirvana documentary Sound City, which is slated to feature “Cut Me Some Slack” on the soundtrack.
Last night Paul McCartney and the surviving members of Nirvana took to the Madison Square Garden stage together to perform a new song they wrote together called “Cut Me Some Slack,” all of which was unthinkable before yesterday when a rogue report suggesting that the former Beatle had been tapped to be the new Kurt Cobain showed up in The Sun. And so of the many cool things that went down at last night’s 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief — Kanye’s skit, included — that this “reunion” even happened is far and away the biggest and the most surprising news to come out of the evening.
This, though, is less surprising: TMZ reports that Courtney Love was “not amused” by this so-called “Nirvana Reunion,” and was particularly nonplussed by McCartney’s involvement (which seems to have flared some sort of personal qualm, because she apparently also said: “Look, if John were alive it would be cool.”) Love tends to be eager for attention, and so to nobody’s great shock she picked up when she saw TMZ on the caller ID. She is also protective of her late husband’s legacy, and so once again to nobody’s great surprised, she’s understandably a bit peeved by all this “reunion talk.”
So the unlikely story that got the internet spinning yesterday, the one about how Paul McCartney as Dave Grohl to jam and inadvertently ended up getting Nirvana back together? It turns out there was some — well, a lot of — truth to it. Last night McCartney was charged with closing out the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief, a challenging task that meant following up nearly six-hours of performances by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Kanye West and Billy Joel to the Rolling Stones, and a task that he handily dealt with by calling up his “mates” Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear for a “jam.”
Together they played “Cute Me Some Slack,” the new song teased in yesterday’s blodders. There can be no Nirvana without Kurt Cobain, but McVana ground it out their own way. They played a new song called “Cut Me Some Slack,” which was stomping and static with feedback like a Nirvana song wont be, and which got Macca wailing like his blood was running hot: “Mama, watch me run / Mama let me have some fun.”
That was only one of many wonderful moments from last night’s benefit, which . Here are five more you won’t want to miss:
According to the Telegraph, previously announced performers Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl will be joined at tonight’s star-studded 12-12-12 Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Garden by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and touring guitarist Pat Smear. Or in other words, Nirvana are back! But with McCartney taking over for the late Kurt Cobain, and they will probably only play non-Nirvana songs or maybe a new track that they’ve been secretly working on ever since Paul asked his “mate” Dave to “jam.” (Seriously, McCartney insists he didn’t mean to getting Nirvana back together: “I didn’t really know who they were … And somebody whispered to me: ‘That’s Nirvana. You’re Kurt.’ I couldn’t believe it.”)
Which is mostly all to say that we may not get to hear Paul McCartney really loose himself to “Heart Shaped Box,” but whatever they do end up doing will almost certainly be awesome. And with Kanye West, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Eddie Vedder and more already on-board and now this, tonight’s show is shaping up to be an impressive one. That’s why we here at @VH1 will be airing it live on VH1 Classic or Palladia, as well as live-streaming the 5-hour long concert at 121212concert.vh1.com.
It’s Day 7 of the VH1 Classic America’s Hard 100 Countdown Poll and we’ve got another batch of classic hard rock and heavy metal tunes that need sorting! We’ve put together a list of 100 essential rockers but we need you to vote on them to let us know where they should fall in the America’s Hard 100 Countdown when it airs this November.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can vote AS MANY TIMES and for AS MANY SONGS as you want, simply click on “Return To Poll” after your initial ballet. If your favorite hard rock jam is missing from today’s list please click on one of the previous days polls which are still open and keep checking back daily as we add new songs to new lists.