A very happy birthday to Dave Grohl – Nirvana sticksman, Foo Fighters frontman and many times an NME cover star. The big guy turns 48 today (January 14) – which seems as good an excuse as any to delve into some seriously geeky Grohl facts. So with no further adieu…
Grohl has said he can’t listen to Nirvana’s music, as he is still saddened by Kurt Cobain’s Death. “I immediately remember what it was like the day we recorded – the food or the fucking snowstorm. It’s like opening a box of old pictures and I don’t like to do that too often.” (Kerrang!, 2007)
In 2000, Dave told NME Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘I Ain’t The One’ makes him feel homesick. “That was the one song I kept rewinding to when I’d have to go to the grocery store.”
Grohl will appear on a new tribute album dedicated to the late Ronnie James Dio. Judas Priest’s Rob Halford and Alice Cooper are also lined up to appear on the album.
His daughter Violet Maye, was named after his grandmother, while his other daughter Harper Willow was named after his great uncle.
Jennifer Youngblood, Grohl’s ex-wife, shot the photographs for Nirvana’s ‘Unplugged In New York’, as well as the album artwork image for Foo Fighters’ 1995 debut album.
He has a short attention span. “I’m like a hyperactive child. I’m a big fucking spaz. It’s tough to go to sleep at night, and I wake up after five hours because I feel like I’m wasting time. I just sit up at night and think about what I can do next. Next!” (SPIN, June 2005).
Foo Fighters’ video for ‘Long Road To Ruin’ features an appearance from The Office‘s Rashida Jones.
He loves London cuisine. “You know how I swing when I come to London? Bangers and beans goddammit! I swear to God, on my life, that is my favourite meal in the world. I could eat it seven times a day for the rest of my life. I’m not joking – everything else is shit.” (NME, 1997).
Grohl served as an ambassador for climate change campaign Global Cool, along with Sienna Miller, Heather Graham, Josh Hartnett, Brandon Flowers and Johnny Borrell.
He doesn’t think he’s as hunky as Fabio is. “Women don’t look at me like I’m Fabio; they look at me like I’m Duckie from Pretty In Pink.” (Maxim, December 2007)
He’s a comedian. His favourite drummer joke? ‘“How can you tell a drummer’s at the door? He doesn’t know when to come in.” (Q, 1995).
Grohl has invited ex-Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic to play on the new Foos album, as he feels he’s moved “out of the shadow” of his old band.
He has some weird fans. “Just the other day someone threw a bra duct-taped to a tennis ball. I just stood there, playing guitar, thinking how this was totally premeditated. Some girl sat around inventing a way to get her bra onstage from 40 rows back.” (Melody Maker, 2000)
He hated working in a record store. In the late 80s, he worked at Tower Records in Washington DC and cites it as his worst job ever. (Kerrang!, 2000)
When US President George W. Bush used ‘Times Like These’ at his rallies in 20004, Grohl publicly announced his support for opposing candidate John Kerry and performed solo acoustic sets at Kerry’s rallies.
The very first time Dave Grohl’s mother met Kurt Cobain’s mother was at Nirvana’s Saturday Night Live performance in 1992.
He’s got a secret love for The Spice Girls. “‘Two Become One’ by The Spice Girls. I couldn’t get this song out of my head. It’s not even a dance song – it’s this slow-jam pop-ballad shit. Lord, I just love it and I don’t know what to do. Do you think I need a shrink?” (Kerrang!, 2006)
As a kid, he wanted to be a helicopter pilot. “I’d take the storm windows off of our house and set them up in this little cage thing around me and sit and pretend I was in a helicopter.” (Time Out, 2003)
Dave and his mother, Virginia Grohl, used to fight for time in their small bathroom. “It was like an airplane bathroom, with three people fighting for the shower, and Mom making cinnamon toast and sticking shirts in the dryer to warm them up because it was cold outside.” (Life, 2006)
He’s still surprised by the success of Foo Fighters. “The Foo Fighters started with a demo tape that I did down the street from my house. I didn’t even expect it to be a band at first – it was just a bit of fun. Not aiming for world domination has kept the focus on what’s real, which is making music.” (The Mail On Sunday Magazine, 2007)
The Foos love recording in their own studio. “It relieves the pressure, because one of the great things about having your own place is that there’s no clock on the wall and you don’t feel like there’s an open tab.” (Classic Rock, 2005) Click here to buy a copy of this week’s NME, which features Foo Fighters on the cover.
He’s confused by The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’. “The song presents a weird ethical dilemma…I love the band so much I can’t believe they’d mean it in anything but an ironic way.” (Kerrang!, 1997)
Dave is an asparagus connoisseur. “You’ll know your asparagus is ready when you pick it up and it looks like a limp penis.” (Pop Smear, 1999)
Grohl worked with funnyman Jack Black on Tenacious D’s debut album. You can spot him playing Satan in their video for ’Tribute’. They teamed up again in 2006 for the film ‘Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny’, where Grohl played Beelzeboss and contributed to the soundtrack.
He wishes he had written the line “Do do do/ Do do do do” from Third Eye Blind’s ‘Semi-Charmed Life’. (SPIN, 1997)
He’s uncomfortable with his large nostrils. “I’d get my nostrils tightened, because they are a little large. I’ve had a complex about them since I was 12, and Bobby St Francis, my sister’s friend, said he could see my brain through my nostrils.” (Music365.com, 2000)
Dave wants people to suffer as he dies, revealing he wants to go “Nice and slow. I want people to feel my pain.” (Kerrang!, 2000)
The new Foo Fighters album was inspired by Abba and The Bee Gees. Grohl told The Daily Star: “I like loads of crazy-ass, dissonant, distorted rock ‘n’ roll, But I also love bands whose pop choruses get bigger and bigger.”
Dave supposedly chews gum while performing on stage because it keeps his mouth moist and his vocal chords fresh for singing.
Nirvana only played one show with Dan Peters on drums – on 22 September, 1990, at Seattle’s Motor Sports International Garage. Grohl was in the audience at that gig.
He wanted to play drums for Led Zeppelin as a kid. “I’d had this crazy dream since I was a kid that I would play drums for Led Zeppelin, I really thought I could do it. I know every song back to front, inside out.” (Q, 2003)
His favourite Paul McCartney track is ‘Blackbird’. “You can’t even answer this question, it’s just not fair, but I’m going to say ‘Blackbird’. It’s such a beautiful piece of music…To me it’s just musical bliss.” (Q, 2010)
Dave’s mother loves Ash. “We did a show with Ash and I introduced them to my mother and they just hit it off, I think she loves them ’cause they’re Irish, bottom line. My mother is of Irish descent.” (Hot Press, 2002)
Dave likes cheese. A lot. He’s “not down” with goat cheese, though, because it’s “too sour” and he imagines “sucking a dirty goat’s tit”. “Whereas a cow,” he says, “with those big supple handlebar nipples, I’ll suck the hell out of those.” (Blender, 2003)
Jesse Peretz, ex-bass player in The Lemonheads, directed five of the Foo’s videos (‘Big Me’, ‘Learn To Fly’, ‘The One’, ‘Low’ and ‘Long Road To Ruin’).
Grohl has said that he’s prouder of the Foo Fighters than he is of Nirvana, because it’s more personal to him. “I am just so fucking proud of our band. And I know we’re capable of doing even more.” (NME, 2005) Read our review of the Foo’s new album now.
He had a crazy, life-threatening stalker. “Six months ago there was some lunatic who wanted to fly out to LA with a knife. She had a map of my house and said she was going to kill me, then herself. The FBI locked her up. I was like, ‘What? I didn’t fuck her, did I?’” (FHM, 2005)
He’s a party-trick master. “I can speak with a whistle. It’s hard to explain, but I can speak without using my voice. I can speak while whistling. I’ve never seen anyone else do it.” (Q, 2003)
When Dave was 10 or 11, he stole some green apple-flavour Redman Chew chewing tobacco. He got so sick from it that he never chewed tobacco again. (Melody Maker, 2000).
Dave Grohl, aka The Nicest Guy In Rock, backstage at the Chelmsford site in 2007.