Red Hot Chili Peppers Cover Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

In 1991, West Coast bands, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana, toured with one another. Well, it seems like those days aren’t forgotten.

Videos by American Songwriter

In a new clip, the Peppers broke out a cover of Nirvana’s most famous song, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The band performed the tune in the finale of a benefit concert for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music on Saturday (October 29). The cover was the first time the band performed the song publicly.

RHCP’s vocalist and frontman Anthony Kiedis sang the opening verse with his face blanketed by his mesh shirt then guitarist John Frusciante sang the chorus.

In a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show, the band talked about their joint 1991 tour with the grunge icons. During that interview, Flea said, “I remember just feeling like, you know, they’re good bands, but Nirvana, they were really carrying a heavy magic with them, just this feeling like they are a powerful entity to be respected.”

Kiedis talked in the Stern interview about being “pretty nervous” to be around Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, saying he was “in awe” of the songwriter and that Cobain “wasn’t the type who wanted to discuss being a frontman, he was just kind of shy and in his energetic state.”

The Peppers are on a roll these days, becoming the first rock band in 17 years to earn two No. 1 albums in a single year after releasing Unlimited Love in April and Return of the Dream Canteen in October.

Check out the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” cover below. And for more on the Peppers’ recent albums, click HERE and HERE.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Rock Under The Stars

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