It took 25 years, but “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sun Beam” has come full circle.
The wry parody song, a riff on a children’s hymn, first appeared on The Vaseline’s 1987 EP Dying for It. A few years, a title tweak and another release later, and the track went from a riff from a Scottish indie band to global hit — all thanks to Nirvana.
First played the song their MTV Unplugged concert, the grunge legends added some growl to the humor of the rhythmic tune, and they’d record it two more times. Now, 18 years following the band’s dissolution upon the death of Kurt Cobain, his Nirvana co-founder Krist Novoselic has teamed up with The Vaselines to perform the song in his ex-band’s backyard.
At this weekend’s Seattle Bumbershoot Festival, Novoselic got on stage with the Scottish band, playing accordion on the track. It was just his latest foray into Nirvana nostalgia; last year, he played bass on a song on the Foo Fighters’ new album; that band, of course, is fronted by his ex-Nirvana mate, Dave Grohl.