Dave Grohl has revealed that Nirvana approached PJ Harvey and a number of male rock stars to fill in for Kurt Cobain at the band’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.
The event, which took place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on April 10, saw four female performers stand in for Cobain: St Vincent, Joan Jett, Kim Gordon and Lorde.
But Grohl told Rolling Stone that a number of A-list male rock stars were originally in the frame. “Some of them were nervous,” he said. “I think some of them were maybe apprehensive because of how heavy the whole thing is.”
After Joan Jett signed up, the band next approached PJ Harvey. Grohl said: “Kurt loved PJ Harvey. We had always imagined playing our song ‘Milk It‘ from In Utero with her. It’s a twisted song, almost like something that could have been on her record Rid Of Me, which was also produced by Steve Albini. It just seemed to pair up so well. Unfortunately, she couldn’t make it.”
It was at that point, Grohl said, that the idea to use only female singers was hatched.
This wasn’t the first time PJ Harvey has been invited to join the remaining Nirvana members on stage. In February 2013, Harvey was invited to join the band’s surviving members at a concert in London for a performance of “Milk It”. The event was a show by Grohl’s freeform supergroup, Sound City Players.
“We were thinking about musicians that we could invite,” Grohl told NME. “Someone came up with the idea of doing a Nirvana song with PJ Harvey. Kurt 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 singing?'” he recalled. “We all looked at each other, like, ‘Whoa, that would be amazing!’ … And then she couldn’t do it!”