Why Kurt Cobain Turned Down Metallica and Guns N’ Roses Tour

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Nirvana had a chance to open for Metallica and Guns N’ Roses on a joint tour, but Kurt Cobain wasn’t up for it.

Kirk Hammett, the guitarist of Metallica, shared a memory during an interview. In 1992, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses were teaming up for a big tour. Hammett revealed that Nirvana was offered the opportunity to be the opening act, but Cobain had different thoughts.

As per Kirk Hammett, Kurt “didn’t like what Guns N’ Roses stood for.”

Hammett recalled the time he had to call Kurt Cobain to discuss the possibility of Nirvana joining the tour. Cobain wasn’t keen on the idea. He had his reasons – he didn’t really like what Guns N’ Roses represented. Hammett tried to persuade him, suggesting that Nirvana just focus on their own performance, but Cobain remained firm in his decision.

“I had to make the phone call to Kurt [Cobain] to talk to him about the possibility of joining our tour,” Hammett remembered, “and he just went on and on about how he just didn’t like what Guns N’ Roses stood for and I said to him: ‘Just go out there and represent Nirvana – just play the show and then that’s it’.

“I pleaded with him, but he just wasn’t having it. So there you have it. It would have been great if Nirvana was part of that tour – but you know [the actual opening act] Faith No More were great as well.”

Hammett also talked about inviting Cobain to one of Metallica’s shows in Seattle as part of ‘The Black Album’ tour. Cobain had a funny request – he wanted to hear Metallica play “Whiplash,” his favorite song from the band’s early days.

“And he said to me: ‘Are you guys going to play ‘Whiplash’? [1984] That’s my favourite Metallica song!’.

At the show, Cobain and Courtney Love were in a special area near the stage. Cobain tried to catch Hammett’s attention as he walked by, but Hammett was preoccupied. Despite that, Hammett remembered Cobain fondly and mentioned that they became friends when Nirvana’s first album came out.

Hammett continued: “He was great. I became friends with him right when the first Nirvana album [1989’s ‘Bleach’] came out before people were even calling it grunge, and it’s so sad when I think back to all the guy wanted to do was play guitar and write songs and sing and somehow that all got destroyed for him.”

In April, Kirk Hammett released a solo EP called ‘Portals,’ where he explored a unique musical approach that he described as “audio-cinematic.” Meanwhile, Metallica is on a European headline tour and will also be hitting up various festivals this summer.

And that wraps up the story of how Nirvana had a chance to tour with Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, but things didn’t quite align due to Cobain’s reservations.

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