Born on this day, 14th January 1969, Dave Grohl, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and all round good guy!
Rarely in the history of rock has a musician switched bands and instruments simultaneously with such a high degree of success as Dave Grohl.
Grohl grew up in Washington, D.C., teaching himself to play drums and guitar while listening to such heavy metal acts as Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Motörhead, and Black Sabbath.
Grohl stated; “The first CD I ever listened to was Led Zeppelin. I grew up listening to records and loving the Beatles and spinning albums on a turntable in my bedroom. But I had a friend who lived in Arlington who had a CD player. And the first CD we ever listened to was “Houses of the Holy.” And because of the quality and the clarity, I could hear things like John Bonham’s kick drum pedal squeaking, and fingers sliding on frets and strings, and things that I had never really heard beneath the pops and scratches on an album. I started to listen to Led Zeppelin as if it was a crash course in how to play rock-and-roll.”
Grohl’s Zeppelin worship goes all the way back to his teenage years, when he got the first of three Zep-inspired tattoos, he’s got John Bonham’s three-circle Led Zeppelin IV logo tattooed in three places. “I did the first one myself when I was 16,” he says. “I tried to get different colored ink to make it seem pro, but now it looks like someone put a cigarette out on my arm.” He now shares the stage with Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones in one of the many projects he juggles – Them Crooked Vultures.
While still a teenager, he joined his first band, Scream, and toured the world as their drummer. After Scream broke up in the late ’80s, Grohl relocated to Seattle and tried out for a little-known band that had a drum vacancy, Nirvana. Immediately after Grohl joined the group in late 1990, Kurt Cobain presented the band with the songs that would appear on the group’s major-label debut, the 1991 classic Nevermind. Nirvana became the biggest band on the planet, toured the world, and sold millions of records, but sadly this chapter closed after the death of Cobain in 1994.
Not knowing what to do next, Grohl dusted off some demo’s and began writing and recording some new tracks, playing all the instruments himself. Not sure initially if these songs would ever see the light of day, he eventually decided to issue them under the name Foo Fighters, and promptly formed an ad hoc band consisting of ex-Germs/Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear and ex-Sunny Day Real Estate members William Goldsmith (drums) and Nate Mendel (bass), while Grohl surprisingly put his drumming days behind him in favor of guitarist/singer duties. The band’s self-titled 1995 release became a hit, as the band’s sound was similar to his last full-time band, hard-edged punk rockers mixed with melodic midtempo pop rockers.
Grohl has performed session work (as a drummer) for a variety of acts, including Garbage, Killing Joke, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, The Prodigy, Slash, Iggy Pop, Juliette Lewis, Tenacious D, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, (who asked him to became a full time member), and Lemmy.
In 2012, Dave Grohl’s hometown of Warren, Ohio unveiled gigantic 900 lb (409 kg) drumsticks to honor Dave. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the massive pair have broken the Guinness World Record.
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