Joan Jett Says Nirvana Guest Spot Led to Her Rock Hall Induction
Joan Jett said she suspected her guest appearance with Nirvana at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in 2014 may have led to her own induction the following year.
She joined surviving members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear for their first performance of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” since Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994. Later the same night she rejoined the band for an after-party event, and then collaborated on a similar show last year.
“Getting a call was one of those things where you had both emotions,” Jett told 93.3 WMMR (via Blabbermouth). “It was like, 'Oh my God, I'm scared shitless. The reason I'm scared shitless is 'cause I know I have to say yes – I have to do this.’”
She added that "being asked was such an honor. I didn't wanna read into it too much and think about it too much, so I just practiced and got it together. And luckily, we had some chances to go through the song before we had to actually play it that night.”
The former Runaways guitarist remembered feeling “strangely calm” ahead of the 2014 performance. “I should have a certain level of anxiety, and I'm glad I wasn't petrified, 'cause that makes it tough too,” she said, noting that the unusual sensation gave her “a sense it was all right, just karmically, that I was doing this.”
Speaking of the experience itself, Jett recalled "turning around and looking at Dave and just seeing his hair flying, and thinking about, 'Wow! It must be really cool to play these songs. And Pat Smear I've known since he was in the Germs, 'cause I produced that band many, many years ago. … I look at him, and he's grinning ear to ear.”
She said Noveselic "was so funny. I think he's the one that got me into the Hall of Fame. 'Cause he was bitching afterwards, saying, 'Can you believe she's not in the Hall of Fame?' So I think they guilted 'em into it.”
Following their 2018 reunion at the Foo Fighters' Cal Jam, Grohl said more appearances weren't impossible. "But it’s delicate territory," he added. "You can’t treat it like just another show. It’s very complicated and very special. In those moments, when it just happens naturally, I think is the best way.”