The 10 best tales from Dave Grohl’s new memoir “The Storyteller”


There was a time when he got caught up in a squat riot in Amsterdam between punks and fascists. The day Elton John jumped out of a limo to greet him on Oxford Street. The night he was brought out of obscurity, as a teenage drummer for support group Scream, to play a launch party in Iggy Pop’s impromptu support group. And the first of several performances at the White House, when George W. Bush called him “man”.

Dave Grohl’s first book The narrator is a catalog of such unimaginable experiences, a series of after-dinner beer stories compiled as snapshots of one of the most historically rich rock’n’roll lives. When he’s not having dinner with Paul McCartney after star-studded awards shows, he puts every dad on the planet to shame by moving Australian stadium shows to fly around the world to attend the school ball of his daughter, for contracting food poisoning on the flight home. . Throughout, Grohl comes across as the ultimate lucky fan, crushing his personal Hall of Heroes on the back of a deep punk rock addiction. Here are the 10 most dizzying moments.

Dave’s teenage rockstar premonition came true

Grohl has never had more than one drum lesson, from Washington, DC jazz legend Lenny Robinson; he learned to play for the most part by snapping pillows on punk and AC / DC albums. Yet at 13, he was planning his future as a roaring titan of stadium rock. Dropped by Sandi, his girlfriend for about a week – whose anguish drove him to exorcise his grief through songwriting ever since, he claims – he had a dream he starred in. an arena of adoring fans, only to spot Sandi in the front row, full of tears of regret. Almost 30 years later, on the “Wasted Light” tour, Sandi did show up at number one in the Foo Fighters – winking at him.

Dave and Kurt both played drums with their teeth

Dave was born with a natural biological metronome in his molars. As he walked to school as a teenager, he “played” his teeth like full drums and even presented a dental performance of Rush’s pieces for his dentist. The only other person he’s ever met who did this? Kurt Cobain.

He sold his soul to John Bonham in a shoot

The 17-year-old and steeped in mysticism, Dave built a makeshift candle-lit shrine in his garage, adorned with John Bonham’s three-circle logo and number 606, in a rite he hoped for. “Harness the power of the universe to make my greatest desire come true”: rock fame. Maybe Tenacious D knows something we don’t know.

Nirvana was almost killed by security in Dallas

Dave’s Nirvana years are swept through about two chapters of The narrator, but there are a lot of intriguing snippets crammed together. Their pre-‘Nevermind’ period of poverty, even as the majors scrambled for their signings, saw Dave sleeping on Kurt’s couch in a one-bed apartment alongside Cobain’s pet turtle and living on three dogs. of gas station corn per day, plus Kurt’s specialty dinner “Shit On A Shingle” (canned tuna, pepper, flour and toast) on feast nights.

And then there’s the chaos that erupted from coast to coast when “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit MTV, most notably the night Kurt surfed through the crowd at a wild show in Dallas and knocked unconscious. a security guard with his guitar. An all out brawl on stage began and Kurt had to make a brutal exit in a cab, chased down the street by the guard’s vengeful punk thug gang. At that moment, like a slightly more violent “bus wanker”, the traffic stopped…

He almost joined Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers

The aftermath of Kurt’s death is treated with great delicacy in The narrator, as Dave fled to Ireland to deal with the loss only to be haunted by Cobain’s face on T-shirts and confesses that to this day he sees him on the mic whenever he picks up a drum stool . But one of the most fateful moments comes when Dave, now aimless and bandless, 25, having recorded the Foo Fighters debut album entirely solo, is offered the drummer’s seat with Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, in toured in relative luxury. with its own bus. In another universe, the Foos never happened and Grohl spent 25 years carrying out his post-Nirvana dream. In it, he turned down the job and started bragging about his tapes.

He turned away from Pantera’s strip club

After meeting metal legends Pantera at a festival at the Milton Keynes Bowl, Grohl was invited to visit them at the Dallas Clubhouse, the group’s own strip club. Within months, a cross-country trip from LA to Virginia was diverted two hundred miles from Grohl to accept the offer, only for Dave to lose his wallet en route and show up at the door without ID. . Mötley Crüe video experience: refused.

Foo Fighters started during a Ouija board session at Dave’s haunted house

With Nirvana’s fame at its peak, Grohl bought his first home in Seattle, only to be terrified of the knocks, bumps and footsteps in the night, the feeling of being followed through the house, and the recurring dreams of ‘an old woman smeared with dirt wandering through the rooms. Hoping to fight the Specter, Dave hosted a Ouija board session, and it was here, as he became even more convinced that he had moved into Amityville Horror, whom he first met Nate Mendel of Sunny Day Real Estate, who would help him form the Foos a few years later.

He was arrested for drunk riding in Australia

Big Day Out festival, Australia, 2000. With plenty of free time at the seaside resorts at a touring festival known to the band’s community as The Big Day Off, Grohl and Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins rents scooters to travel the Gold Coast before their show. They even drive them up to the concert itself, where Grohl drinks several beers and then heads to his hotel, straight into the cops’ waiting arms for alcohol. Cue a night in the slammer among his most drunken fans, and a permanent criminal record in Oz.

Twisted vultures formed during a feast of jousting

For his 40th birthday in 2009, Dave took a group of friends and family to Anaheim’s Medieval Times restaurant, where parties can feast on sumptuous bare-handed food as legions of knights played and fought. with the sword for their pleasure. It’s a hot Friday night at Lincoln Nando’s, basically, but this is where Dave introduced Josh Homme to Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, and their secret supergroup Them Crooked Vultures was formed.

Dave had “LEGO synesthesia”

From an early age Dave “saw” music in the form of colors, but The narrator makes a curious admission: that he learns the structures of the songs by imagining them as LEGO blocks of different colors. We feel a series of figurines arrive, complete with a leg cast and a guitar throne…

The storyteller: Tales of life and music is now available via Simon & Schuster

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