Nirvana just performed for the first time in over 20 years at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, Annie Clark, and Lorde. Joan Jett was good. She could front a reunion tour. But it all just makes you miss Kurt’s wild, cigarettes-and-gravel voice. It was really his band, his songs, on his orders. Still, it’s hard to resist nostalgia made flesh. Then, after the Hall of Fame, there was a secret show at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, with the addition of Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Deer Tick’s John McCauley. Watching J Mascis cover School changed my mind. Maybe they could pull off a reunion tour. Here’s why:
1. J Mascis fronting Nirvana on School. It sounds like Kurt’s voice aged, say, 20 years.
Compare that to Kurt playing School live at Reading 1992.
2. Kurt Cobain asked Mascis to join Nirvana. Twice.
3. Style. Mascis’ gear isn’t the same, but it’s close enough and at least it wouldn’t be an imitation. Jazzmasters and also Jazzmasters and then more Jazzmasters. Kurt didn’t play Jazzmasters, but he did play Jaguars. Yeah, J’s sound is different. Personally, I don’t see what Kurt saw in those short scale guitars, but he got a lot out of them. He’s totally underrated as a guitarist. And yeah, J’s technique is very different and more precise. His solo on School is nothing like Kurt’s vicious, sloppy attack in the Reading performance. I prefer that angry, sloppy style, personally, but hey, it’s like David Gilmour and Syd Barrett, only J Mascis can actually play Kurt’s songs.
J Mascis rig rundown (Check out this site to read about Kurt’s equipment)
dinosaur jr – feel the pain