Remembering when Trent Reznor, Lindsey Buckingham, Josh Homme and Dave Grohl formed a supergroup at the Grammys

Musicians Dean Fertina, Lindsey Buckingham (of Fleetwood Mac), Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails), Dave Grohl, and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age perform onstage during the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California
(Image credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Dave Grohl is involved in a lot of live guest scenarios, but when he plays with Josh Homme it's serious business: he puts his drumming gloves on. We've seen it before with Queens Of The Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures, but throwing Fleetwood Mac legend Lindsey Buckingham and Nine Inch Nails maestro Trent Reznor into the mix? Now that's an event.

While Grohl had appeared on a number of tracks from Nine In Nails' 2004 album With Teeth, a live scenario with Buckingham in the mix proved as intriguing as it looked on paper. The temporary supergroup emerged at the conclusion of the 2014 Grammys in a performance that would hit headlines for the wrong reasons – it got cut off early, resulting in Reznor lashing out at the organisers with "a heartfelt F--- YOU guys" and a kind-of apology from Grammys Executive producer Ken Ehrlich – who was under his own pressures. 

"I’m sorry he was upset," Ehrlich said of Reznor in a Hollywood Reporter interview. "I was really thrilled that we were finally getting him on the Grammys. The final jam started with Arcade Fire a few years ago, and LL Cool J last year. I want to end on a high, an up note. I did tell them we’d take it as long as we could. The number was about five, six minutes long, and we got to within 1:20 of the end. We got as close as we could possibly get."

Nevertheless, the televised performance itself was striking; not only did Buckingham and Homme's guitar styles meld very well with Nine Inch Nails on their track Copy Of A, they enhanced it. The collective's take on Queens Of The Stone Age's My God Is The Sun was certainly rocking, but had less of a unique stamp by comparison. Buckingham struggled to be heard in the Queens cacophony with this hybrid acoustic. 

The rehearsal footage below at least gives us a chance to hear the full performance as it was intended. 

But it isn't all we got to hear of the Grohl / Homme / Reznor dynamic; the drummer's Sound City film and soundtrack of the previous year featured new music in the shape of the low-key track Mantra from the trio. Grohl and Reznor's vocals intertwining and a climactic final section showcased just how good a whole album could have been. We'll just have to imagine and savor what we have.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.