Why Nirvana’s Dave Grohl Used The Beatles’ ‘In My Life’ to Pay Tribute to Kurt Cobain

Nirvana’s Dave Grohl once used The Beatles‘ “In My Life” to pay tribute to Kurt Cobain on a radio program. During that program, Grohl explained why he used a Beatles song in the tribute. Grohl also discussed what Cobain thought of The Beatles’ songs.

Nirvana's Kurt Cobain wearing a sweater
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana | Frank Micelotta Archive / Contributor

Nirvana’s Dave Grohl discussed The Beatles’ influence on him and Kurt Cobain

During a 2012 interview with Access Hollywood, Grohl said he used to listen to The Beatles’ songs and play along when he was young. “It got me to understand song structure and melody and harmony and arrangement,” he revealed. Grohl said The Beatles were an influence on Nirvana. Furthermore, he explained why Cobain enjoyed The Beatles’ songs.

“Kurt loved The Beatles because it was just so simple,” Grohl said. “Well, it seemed simple. They sound easy to play, but you know what? They’re f****** hard.”

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Why ‘In My Life’ moves Nirvana’s Dave Grohl like no other song

NME reports Grohl appeared on BBC Radio 2 in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road. He played The Beatles’ recording of “In My Life.” Before playing the song, he discussed its significance to him. “It means a lot to me, because it was the song that was played at Kurt Cobain’s memorial,” Grohl explained.

“That day, after everyone had said their piece, this next song came over the speakers,” he said. “And everyone got to celebrate Kurt’s love of The Beatles one last time together. Still to this day, when I hear it, it touches a place in me that no other song ever will. It’s called ‘In My Life’ and knowing how much of a fan Kurt was of The Beatles, and how much of an influence they were, to everything we’ve done ever done … I’d like to play this one for him.”

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The way the world reacted to The Beatles’ ‘In My Life’

“In My Life” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The Beatles released “In My Life” on the album Rubber Soul. Rubber Soul peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for six weeks. Rubber Soul spent 85 weeks on the chart altogether.

On the other hand, “In My Life” became a minor hit in the United Kingdom. The Official Charts Company reports it reached No. 78 in the U.K. for a week in 2010. Meanwhile, Rubber Soul peaked at No. 1 for eight weeks. It spent 42 weeks on the chart.

“In My Life” made a significant impact on pop culture, even if it wasn’t a massive hit. The cast of Glee covered the song in the episode “Goodbye.” John Lennon‘s first wife, Cynthia Powell, covered the track for a multi-artist project called The Beatles Complete On Ukulele. The song appeared in the Fab Four jukebox musical Yesterday. “In My Life” is an iconic song — and it clearly meant something to Grohl.

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