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Sir Paul McCartney to stand in for Kurt Cobain at Nirvana reunion

Surviving members of the band will be joined by the Beatle at the 12.12.12 gig for victims of Hurricane Sandy tonight

Surviving members of grunge band Nirvana will play together for the first time in 20 years tonight – with Sir Paul McCartney standing in for late frontman Kurt Cobain.

Drummer Dave Grohl, bassist Krist Novoselic and unofficial fourth member Pat Smear are in concert to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Former Beatle McCartney, 70, will not be playing Nirvana’s ubiquitous “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, however.

A spokesman confirmed that Foo Fighters’ singer Grohl recently asked McCartney to come along to "jam with some mates”. They were joined by Novoselic, 47, and guitarist Smear, 53, and McCartney suggested they “just make something up”.

He told The Sun: “I didn’t really know who they were. They are saying how good it is to be back together. I said ‘Whoa? You guys haven’t played together for all that time?”

“And somebody whispered to me ‘That’s Nirvana. You’re Kurt.’ I couldn’t believe it.”

Cobain committed suicide in 1994.

McCartney and Nirvana’s collaborative efforts will be showcased tonight at the 12.12.12 gig.

The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Alicia Keys and Bruce Springsteen are among the star-studded bill at the New York City gig which is being streamed online, via radio and at cinemas across America.