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Exclusive: Nirvana’s Ex-Drummer Chad Channing Won’t Be Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Text from Rock Hall to Nirvana's management: "Can you tell whoever looks after Chad Channing that he isn't being inducted... It is just Dave, Krist and Kurt."
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(Courtesy of Sub Pop)

(Courtesy of Sub Pop)

By Brian Ives 

Last week, Future Rock Legends (a blog that follows all things related to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s inductions) posted a story that former Nirvana drummer, Chad Channing who played on their classic debut album, Bleach, would be inducted into the Rock Hall along with Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Channing’s eventual replacement, Dave Grohl. Unfortunately, that has turned out to be untrue.

Radio.com reached out to Channing over the weekend, for the interview below. At that point he seemed unsure whether or not he was officially being inducted.

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Sadly, as we went to press, he emailed us, informing us that he will not be inducted with his former bandmates. He forwarded the text of a message that the Hall of Fame sent to Nirvana’s management saying, “Can you tell whoever looks after Chad Channing that he isn’t being inducted…  It is just Dave, Krist and Kurt.”

Here is our interview with Channing before he got the text:

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Has Nirvana’s management reached out to you about the induction ceremony? 
I got a call from Michael Meisel, Nirvana’s long time manager, asking if I was attending the induction ceremony; he said that he had a ticket for me. I also talked to Krist about it a few weeks ago and he definitely thought I should be there, and was gonna help make sure that I was. I’ll be there at the table ready to walk up there.

How do you feel about the induction? – it’s been such a long time since you’ve been in the band, and of course you’re in a different band today — Before Cars — as a frontman. 

When I told my daughter about the induction, she was super excited for me! So much of my excitement about it is for her! She’s pretty awesome! My little boy is too young to understand though. So yeah, it does feel pretty good!

If asked, will you perform? 
Though I will be attending the ceremony, I’ve no plans to perform anything which is fine by me.

What has your relationship with Krist been like in recent years?
Even though we don’t talk much, due to life and it’s busy-ness, me and Krist have always remained good friends. It’s always good to hear his voice! And if the opportunity arises to be able to see him in person I will always try and make a point to see him.

What’s your opinion of the music Nirvana did after you left?
I remember my friend Ben showing me a cassette recording of Nevermind at the time of its release. I loved the record right off the bat! In fact that’s when I officially became a Nirvana fan myself. It’s a different sorta feeling having worked in a band and then having the opportunity to experience the band from the outside. Hard to explain really but it’s pretty cool!

Tell me about your current band, Before Cars. How long have you been together? 
Before Cars started up in 2005 with me having a handful of songs I ended up 4-tracking with my friends. It started out as a three piece with me, Paul Burback and Andy Miller. Justine Jeanotte, who played violin on my recordings, would pop up on stage to do a few songs soon became a permanent member as well. And that’s been the line-up ever since. We have a new record called How We Run.  We are working to put together a small Europe tour for this summer. We would very much like to play the east coast and that’s something I’d like to try and tackle next!

The video for your new song, “Trip To Mars,” is pretty wild, who directed it?
“Trip To Mars” was shot and directed by Bryan Odum and also Jesse Nichols. Everyone in the band worked on the video doing all the stop motion and stuff.

You sing, play bass and guitar and write songs in Before Cars, While you were in Nirvana, were you hoping to contribute singing/songwriting to the band as well?
As a song writer myself I had always written songs in all my previous bands and had hoped the opportunity would arise with Nirvana but it never came about. But you know, some things are just meant to be as they are. And that’s what history wanted.

Before Cars’ new album, ‘How We Run,’ is available now at the band’s website.  Nirvana will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with KISS, Peter Gabriel and Daryl Hall and John Oates, among others, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 10. 

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