Dave Grohl on why he turned down becoming Tom Petty’s drummer

"It would have just reminded me of being in Nirvana"

Dave Grohl has revealed that he turned down the chance to become Tom Petty‘s drummer because it would have been too “sad” to sit behind the kit so soon after Kurt Cobain‘s death.

Appearing on The Howard Stern Show on Friday (February 12), the Foo Fighters frontman recalled performing with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers on an episode of Saturday Night Live in 1994 – just months after Cobain died.

“We had so much fun and we all got along so well,” Grohl remembered of the collaboration, explaining that he was confused as to why he’d been asked as Petty “could get a world-class drummer – like any dude”.


Asked if he took Petty’s request to become his permanent drummer seriously, Grohl replied: “We played SNL and afterwards he was like, ‘Man, that was good. It would be a shame if that’s the only time we do it’ sort of thing.

“And then he called me at home and he’s like, ‘Well look, if you want… here’s how we do it: you get your own bus and we don’t tour too hard’. He was kind of explaining like, ‘If you’re into it, come out and do it for a little while’.”

However, Grohl explained that he had just started out with Foo Fighters at that time, “and I just felt weird about going right back to the drums, because it would have just reminded me of being in Nirvana.”

He added: “It would have been sad, for me personally. It would have been an emotional thing to be behind the drumset every night and not have Kurt there.

“So I was like, ‘Nah, fuck it. I’m gonna try this other thing’.”


You can watch the full clip above.

Earlier this month, Foo Fighters covered Tom Petty’s ‘Honey Bee’ during a radio session in promotion of their new album ‘Medicine At Midnight’.

Released last Friday (February 5), the Foos’ 10th studio effort became the band’s fifth UK Number One album.