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Watch Red Hot Chili Peppers Play 90 Seconds of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

The Peppers, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam famously toured together in December 1991
Red Hot Chili Peppers
(Credit: Clara Balzary)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers gave a nod to fellow 1990s icons Nirvana Saturday night (Oct. 29) during a benefit performance for Silverlake Academy of Music, co-founded by Flea in 2001. The Peppers closed the show by performing the first verse and chorus of the Kurt Cobain-led group’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” with Anthony Kiedis singing the verse and guitarist John Frusciante handling the familiar chorus.


The Peppers previously covered the song just once before, back on Sept. 25, 2006, in Toronto. Frusciante also performed it many times during solo sets in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Nirvana toured with the Peppers and Pearl Jam in December 1991 just as Nevermind was exploding, with the three groups memorably sharing a stage for a New Year’s Eve show that year at San Francisco’s Cow Palace.

The Peppers’ 11-song set on Saturday also included a Frusciante-led cover of the Ramones’ “I Remember You” and three songs from Californication, but nothing from albums released before 1999.

The group is now off the road for the remainder of 2022 following the release of two chart-topping albums this year (Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen), but will return to action Jan. 14 at iHeartRadio ALTer EGO ’23 in Los Angeles. Afterwards, the Peppers head to Australia and New Zealand for shows with support from Post Malone.