Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic kicked off the CBGB Music Festival on Thursday with a keynote speech at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema that reminisced on the days of old.
I'm very proud of Nirvana, the Seattle native, 47, said of his time spent with the band that took the music world by storm in the early 90s.
While Nirvana never played CBGB back when the legendary club was open -- their agent demanded an additional $300 to perform, revealed CBGB Festival organizer Louise Parnassa-Staley during the speech -- Novoselic took on the responsibility of delivering the keynote by opening with a brief discussion about Kurt Cobain
He deserved a fulfilling life, Novoselic told the crowd in a very passionate tone.
Novoselic went on to speak about the budding Seattle music scene that defined the early '90s, as well as the bands that inspired him to become a dedicated musician. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and CBGB legends Talking Heads, Blondie and the Ramones were among the groups named.
A greater portion of the keynote address was then dedicated to Novoselic's well-publicized transition from music to politics.
Noticeably absent from the music scene in the last decade, Novoselic first became notably active in politics with the creation of political action committee Jampac (Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee).
Jampac fought a number of different issues, most notably the Teen Dance Ordinance, a 1985 law that severely limited the ability of minors to attend shows.
From Jampac, Novoselic went on to become chairman of Fairvote, a not-for-profit group working to reform elections and increase turnout by allowing more access to information pertaining to federal election spending and confronting voter suppression by supporting a right to vote Constitutional amendment.
I'm not a crusader, he insisted several times at the keynote. I don't want to be a celebrity change agent. People have to decide for themselves.
Novoselic went on to speak about working again with Dave Grohl. The two former Nirvana bandmates collaborated on a song for the Foo Fighters' album Wasting Light.
When asked if he and Grohl were planning anymore future endeavors, Novoselic said, I think there's something cooking. ... Ask Dave.
As for regrets about succumbing to the corporate music system that took advantage of so many bands in the early '90s, I can't talk bad about something that has given me so many blessings, Novoselic said. We signed on that dotted line, man. ... Corporate rock whores, we were. Bye-bye, anarchism. Nirvana's former bassist joked.