Hurricane Sandy Benefit: Paul McCartney Fronts Nirvana

Oh this is just so many levels of wrong and before this even airs, my eyes are bleeding and brain is screaming


I am sure musicologists can cite all sort of reasons about parallel complex harmonies in the Beatles and Nirvana, and critics can reel off both bands’  influences on society. But that doesn’t stop that fact that Paul McCartney, who dyes his hair a really ugly shade of Arnuld Schwarzenegger brown (which used to be called Ronald Reagan auburn–can’t these rich dudes afford a decent colorist?), and is like, not really that angry a guy (unless he can channel his Heather Mills divorce rage) will be fronting Nirvana. I mean it’s cool that he’s 70 and still wants to like be in a band. But NIRVANA?!

Except it’s not Nirvana, really, it’s some thrown together jam, and they will be playing a new song, if you can believe UK tabloid, The Sun. (Numerous news reports have confirmed that McCartney will be joining Nirvana)

Granted it will get us to watch. But still, really…WTF was anybody thinking?

How about SNOOP DOGG. Singing “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Or  “About a Girl.” Or “Clean Up Before She Comes.” Or “Come As You Are.” Now that would have been bad ass.  But no, according to The Sun, it will be a new song.

Sir Paul said he rang Dave Grohl [now Foo Fighter, formerly Nirvana's drummer]who asked him to come along to “jam with some mates”. Macca had suggested they “just make something up”

Make something up?! WTF?

He jammed with Grohl on drums, bassist Krist [Novoselic] and guitarist member Pat Smear and then, The Sun reports, Paul said:

I didn’t really know who they were. 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.

Yo, Paul. Kurt’s dead. And according to some rumors, so are you.Billboard, which will be live streaming the event beginning at 7:30 ET, says:

The Hurricane Sandy Benefit  will feature performances by Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Eddie Vedder, The Who, Roger Waters and Paul McCartney. For over four hours, music’s brightest stars will scorch the stage to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation, which will aid disaster victims following this fall’s super-storm.

West Memphis 3 Freed! Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder, Joe Berlinger Are There

The West Memphis 3– Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr.– were released from prison yesterday in Arkansas after serving 18 years in prison for the stabbing murders of three elementary-aged boys. Supporters Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, and actor Johnny Depp traveled to Jonesboro, AR along with filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Crude) who has shot two documentaries about the trial and is completing a third for the Toronto Film Fest, and a group of activists who had worked raising funds and awarenes for the convicted trio’s defense. Other supporters include members of the band X, Henry Rollins, Ozzy Osbourne, and writer/director John Roecker who emailed La Figa saying:

I was in tears all day yesterday-It reminded me of the the last election, was so happy that Obama got elected and sad that Prop 8 didn’t go though. A bittersweet victory. But I am just staying focused that those men are out and can live their lives the way it was meant to be. Free.

X’s Exene Cervenka who–with Chuck D, Ice-T, Iggy Pop, Lemmy from Motorhead, Ryan Adams and others–appeared on Rise Above, 24 Songs to Benefit the West Memphis 3, which featured vocalists from all genres covering Black Flag songs and backed by the Rollins Band, tweeted:

Finally some great news wm3 released!!!!So many people worked so hard to help them, thank you all.

while Henry Rollins (Black Flag, Rollins’ Band) emailed the LA Times:

I am happy for the guys but so much has been lost. Three boys were killed. In my opinion, the wrong people were incarcerated and the person or persons who did it are still out there, alive or dead, still not brought to justice.

At the time of WM3′s trial in 1993, the height of the Satanic Panic, the prosecution in the primarily fundamentalist Christian area argued that the trio–who listened to bands like Metallica and wore black–had hogtied, raped, mutilated and killed the children as part of a Satanic ritual. Misskelley–who is mentally disabled–had confessed to police, but the defense contended that he was coerced into making a false confession and, as a minor, had not been properly Mirandized. Misskelly eventually recanted the confession, and other witnesses admitted they lied to police. Damien Echols, who read books on the occult and was medicated for bipolar disorder was named the ringleader by the prosecution and sentenced to death, while the two other defendants received life in prison.

Supporters believe the trio was prosecuted on weak evidence because they looked different–an aspect of the case that resonates with many in the artistic community–and that there was juror misconduct.

On Friday the trio pleaded guilty under the little-used Alford plea, which allows them to also claim they are innocent. An Aford plea, sometimes agreed upon when both the defense and the prosecution have reasons to avoid a jury trial. Since the Arkansas Supreme Court recently determined that DNA evidence found at the scene conclusively excluded the prisoners, the three attorneys for WM3 had asked for a new hearing to consider new evidence, a request that was granted by the court.

DNA evidence testing was not available at the time of their first trials, but since then DNA testing of the evidence revealed that a hair found in the ligature knots belonged to one of the victim’s stepfather, Terry Hobbs, while a hair found on a tree stump

was consistent with the DNA of a friend of Hobbs, according to the documents.

Hobbs has denied seeing the three victims–Christopher Byers, Steve Branch and Hobbs’ stepson Michael Moore–on the day of their disappearance. A speech by Dixie Chick Natalie Maines on the steps of the Arkansas State Supreme Courthouse in which she mentioned Hobbs resulted in a civil suit.

According to the LA Times:

Echols’ attorneys said they had found three eyewitnesses who said Hobbs was “the last adult seen with the victims” on the night they disappeared.

Hobbs declares he’s innocent.

John Mark Byers, whose stepson Christopher Byers was murdered and mutilated, told CNN that he believes the WM3 to be innocent:

They’re innocent. They did not kill my son.

But Steven Branch’s father, also named Steven Branch, spoke angrily to CNN affiliate WMC-TV before the hearing.:

I don’t know what kind of deal they worked up. Now you can get some movie stars and a little bit of money behind you, and you can walk free for killing somebody.

Johnny Depp told CBS News in a 2010 interview of the WM3:

People need to stand up and say, yeah, it’s time to find the killers. Let’s find justice.

The prosecutor said:

I have no reason to believe there was anyone else involved in the homicide of these three children but the three defendants who plead guilty today.

But he added that the state could file charges against others if new evidence emerges implicating someone else in the case.

Rise Above, directed by Modi and Kevin Kerslake; Kerslake is our guest on tomorrow’s FDL Movie Night.