Paul McCartney replaces Kurt Cobain in Nirvana at 121212 concert - Reverb

Paul McCartney doesn’t know who Nirvana is, but will replace Kurt Cobain at tonight’s 121212 concert anyway

In this handout photo made available by MPL Communications Ltd on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010. British musician Sir Paul McCartney performs at the 100 Club in London. The historic London venue is threatened with closure. (AP Photo/MJ Kim/MPL Communications Ltd)

Nirvana who? The only person who can ask this question and still retain 100 percent of his dignity is Sir Paul McCartney. Good thing he’s replacing Kurt Cobain in the generation-defining (albiet not his generation) grunge band at tonight’s 121212 Hurricane Sandy benefit concert.

Watch the 121212 Concert stream live here.

The former Beatle will perform alongside Nirvana members Dave Grohl, 43, Krist Novoselic, 47, and and unofficial fourth member Pat Smear — the first time the band has played together in more than 20 years.

“I didn’t really know who they were,” McCartney told the Sun. “They are 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.”

Unfortunately, McCartney will not be singing Nirvana classics like “Lithium” or “On a Plain,” but instead an original song. Let’s hope that he at least honors late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s memory by at least rocking some flannel.

McCartney, who is no stranger to jamming with Grohl, said the drummer and Foo Fighters frontman invited him to come “jam with some mates,” a project that eventually led the quartet to “just make something up.”

The Beatles were one of Cobain’s early musical inspirations — according to his aunt, the grunge god was sining along to “Hey Jude” when he was two years old. “About a Girl” was reportedly written after Cobain spent an entire afternoon listening to “Meet the Beatles!” on repeat.

McCartney last played in Colorado  at the Pepsi Center in 2010.

The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Bon Jovi, Roger Waters, the Who and Kanye West are also on the line-up. The concert airs at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight, and will be aired on more than 30 cable networks or can be streamed at mtv.com.

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Pop music blogger Allison Sylte is a Fort Collins-based writer and new contributor to Reverb.

  • Internotional Times

    Man…quoting The Sun, the UK’s Murdoch-owned disgraced rag is uncool enough but what kind of music journalism can go along with ‘McCartney doesn’t know who Nirvana is’. Back circa 91, when asked by a kid in a studio audience ‘What band would you have been in if you couldn’t have had The Beatles?’, he answered ‘Nirvana’ before going on, some time later to say ‘Nirvana have picked up where The Beatles left off’ and then establishing a mutual fan club with Grohl which has seen them grace stages together for the past decade! He didn’t know who the jamming mates of Grohl’s were the ex-members of Nirvana! Like duh! (and I’m not talking about McCartney)