Former Hole drummer Patty Schemel discussed how late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain filled in for Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder to meet a terminally ill child in her great new book Hit So Hard.
“One night I ran into Kim Warnick of the Fastbacks, and she was telling me a story about a Make-a-Wish foundation event she was trying to organize. A neighborhood kid with a terminal illness wanted to meet Eddie Vedder, but he wouldn’t be available in time. She was wondering if Kurt might be willing to meet with him instead.
I told her I’d ask him, and two days later the kid and his family came to the studio to meet Kurt and watch Hole record. It was another reminder that the scene in Seattle was making an impact, at 25, millions knew the songs he played by heart.”
Vedder and Cobain had a feud in the media, but privately, they bonded at the MTV VMAs in 1992.
Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder was drawn back to the moment a backstage camera caught him slow-dancing with Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain at the 1992 Video Music Awards.
“I saw it for the first time today,” Vedder said at a press conference in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival for Pearl Jam Twenty, Cameron Crowe’s chronicle of the legendary band’s chaotic climb to stardom.
Nirvana frontman Cobain and Pearl Jam’s Vedder at the time trash-talked one another in public, each claiming they were kings of the early 1990s Seattle grunge band scene.
Then one night backstage at the 1992 VMAs, Cobain and Vedder confronted one another for the first time.
“That had been talked about, some people didn’t quite remember it happening, others swore there was someone there with a camera,” Crowe told reporters Saturday.
While researching Pearl Jam Twenty, Crowe did recover lost footage of the chance meeting between Vedder and Cobain, before the latter’s tragic death.
It’s grainy footage, but it captures the grunge frontmen setting aside their public smackdown and sharing a dance.
“For a second the camera is blurred, and then you see Kurt look over, and go like this, and it’s not like saying don’t tell anybody, or keep a lid on this private moment,” Vedder told a hushed media in Toronto.
“It’s because on the stage above us Eric Clapton was playing ‘Tears of Heaven,’” he added.
Vedder said the lost footage represents a powerful moment.
“I think it’s because he (Cobain) is smiling. You think, if only he could have pulled through,” he added.
“It’s so powerful. It’s such a human moment, and it is what happens outside the glare of the media, when Kurt and Eddie got to express themselves as people,” Crowe summed up.