Maybe 12-12-12 really does have huge cosmic significance, if for no other reason than this: Nirvana is reuniting for the first time at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy relief concert tonight -- with Paul McCartney standing in for Kurt Cobain. (Just sit back and let that one sink in for a minute.) Nirvana reuniting? Paul McCartney?! How exactly did this amazing -- and amazingly unexpected -- group of musicians come together?
Had to be fate. Because while McCartney knew former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, when he accepted the Foo Fighters' frontman's invitation to "jam with some mates," he had no idea those "mates" would be Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and "unofficial member" Pat Smear.
“I didn’t really know who they were," says McCartney.
"They were saying how good it is to be back together. I said, 'Whoa? You guys haven’t played together for all that time?' And somebody whispered to me, 'That’s Nirvana. You’re Kurt.' I couldn’t believe it.”
Unbelievable, indeed. Still, somehow the collaboration makes perfect sense. And a surprising number of synchronicities support the theory.
For example, in a recent interview, McCartney spoke about John Lennon and their friendship and what the late Beatle was like before superstardom hit: "There is this period of John which is all pre-Beatles, pre-huge fame, pre-drugs -- and it is another John completely -- that was always right there until the end ... The acerbic side was there but it was only part of him. He was also such a sweet, lovely man -- a really sweet guy."
"I slightly regret the way John's image has formed, and because he died so tragically it has become set in concrete."
Interestingly, the recently released E-Book Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989 is very much about what Kurt Cobain was like before superstardom hit, featuring dozens of never-before-seen photos from Nirvana's first European tour. Says author and Sub Pop founder Bruce Pavitt, "When you flip through these photos of Kurt traveling with his buddies who genuinely cared ... it was an inspiring time. After big money came in, there was a lot more jealousy, competition ... when that kind of money is around, you don't know who your friends are. 'World's biggest rock star' is a heavy load to carry."
So you can see the connections between John Lennon and Kurt Cobain, another legend who "died so tragically" his image is "set in concrete." As for what it all means, maybe we'll see tonight when the icons join forces through their former "mates," as McCartney might say.
The concert starts at 7:30 tonight and will be broadcast live from Madison Square Garden to a global network of TV channels, radio stations, and websites. Find out where and how to watch or stream here; check out the clip below to hear Sir Paul talk about the concert.
Will you watch the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Relief concert?
Image via vimeo