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Paul McCartney Fronting Nirvana Reunion at 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Benefit?

Paul McCartney, Kurt Cobain
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images / Frank Micelotta, Hulton Archive

Paul McCartney will stand in for the late Kurt Cobain and front a Nirvana reunion at tonight’s 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Benefit at New York’s Madison Square Garden, according to rumors sweeping the Internet. The story stems from Britain’s Sun newspaper, which reports that Dave Grohl asked the Beatles legend to “jam with some mates,” and that those additional musicians wound up being Nirvana bassist Krist Novaselic and guitarist Pat Smear, who sometimes performed with the Seattle trio.

“I didn’t really know who they were,” McCartney reportedly said, explaining how he found himself at the center of the first Grohl-Novaselic team-up since Cobain’s death in 1994. “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,’” he added. “You’re Kurt.’ I couldn’t believe it.”

While Cobain was an avowed Fab Four fan, there’s reason to believe he might be less than psyched to have Macca take his place. ‘Nevermind’ producer Butch Vig has often talked up Kurt’s fondness for John Lennon — arguably the grungier, angstier of the two lead Beatles — and in a quote widely attributed to the grunge godhead, Cobain seems to flat-out diss Sir Paul.

“I don’t value music much,” Cobain apparently said. “I like the Beatles, but I hate Paul McCartney. I like Led Zeppelin, but I hate Robert Plant. I like the Who, but I hate Roger Daltrey.”

Speaking of the Who, they’ll also be on hand for tonight’ star-studded benefit, as will the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Kanye West and a host of other performers from various genres and generations.

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