Dave Grohl

Born: January 14, 1969
Warren, OH, USA
capricorn

Dave Grohl grew up in a musical family. His mother was always in community singing groups, and his father was a skilled flautist. When he was 10 years old, he began to get interested in the guitar, and his parents enrolled him in lessons. After about one year of fundamental lessons, he quit, and began figuring pop songs out by ear. By age 12, Grohl graduated to a Silvertone electric guitar with the amp built right into the case, and eventually he would upgrade to a Les Paul ripoff. He joined a neighborhood cover band, and played school dances, birthday parties, and even a nursing home. It was Grohl’s cousin Tracey, however, that introduced him to punk rock. He was instantly hooked, and began going to underground concerts and hanging around punk musicians. He joined a band in the summer of 1984 called Freak Baby, and he was officially a punk rocker. Freak Baby produced a demo on a 4-track, and the local punk record store agreed to sell it. They gained a small following, and gigged out as much as they could. A few months later, however, they kicked their bass player out of the band, and Grohl put down the guitar to take over on drums so the struggling drummer could take over on bass. They changed their name to Mission Impossible. Grohl learned the drums in no time at all, and he loved pounding away on them. Mission Impossible played gigs all over town, and built a hardcore following. They opened for Troublefunk and Ian Mackaye, and released demos and E.P.’s to their eagerly awaiting crowd of punk fans. In August of 1985, however, Mission Impossible split, and Dave collaborated with Ruben Radding, bassist of A.O.C., and Dave (the bassist from Mission Impossible) to form Dain Bramage. They team wrote well together, and this really allowed Dave to put on his arranging and engineering hats. The band experimented heavily, blending punk, classic rock riffs, and grindcore metal beats. In 1987, Grohl was invited to join the highly-successful band from Washington, D.C. called Scream. Dave initially turned them down to try and make a go with Dain Bramage, but eventually he would join Scream as their full-time drummer. By the summer of ’87, Grohl was living the rock and roll lifestyle he had always dreamed of. The band toured the United States, and in February of 1988, they flew to Amsterdam and toured Europe. They returned to the U.S. during the summer for a short time, and again went back to Europe for another three-month blast. In Europe, he would see the Monsters of Rock concert featuring such huge acts as Van Halen, Metallica, the Scorpions and Dokken. This was Grohl’s first big concert, and he found the whole thing “comical.” He couldn’t understand the appeal of the big, phony and contrived shows and vowed that he would never have anything to do with that kind of production. It was also during this time that Grohl began to experiment with writing his own stuff. He began hanging around recording whiz and friend Barrett Jones, and the two of them wrote and played well together. In 1990, Dave hit the road again with Scream, and it was to be their final European tour. They went through Europe in 24 days, playing 23 shows within that time. Exhausted, the band returned to the ‘States to find their eviction notice for the following day. So, instead of hanging around, they hit the road again, only to be met with lots of cancelled shows and low attendance. While in L.A., the bass player split without notice or explanation, so the rest of the band decided to stay in L.A. and replace him as quickly as possible. In L.A., Grohl met Seattle musician Buzz Osborne from the Melvins, and Osborne mentioned a band that he knew was looking for a drummer. The band, a punk outfit from outside of Seattle, was called Nirvana, and they had heard Grohl’s drumming and liked him already. By the time Dave worked up enough nerve to call Chris Novoselic, he was told that they had already enlisted Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters, and they had been rehearsing for a U.K. tour that was fast approaching. Dave thanked him anyway, and they hung up. But, to his surprise, a few hours later Chris called him back and asked him to fly to Seattle that night. Again, he was faced with the decision of sticking it out with his friends, or joining a band of guys he’d never even met and trekking across the Atlantic. Grohl smartly chose to get away from the chaos of the L.A. music scene, and he flew to Seattle with nothing but a drum set and a trash bag full of clothes. Dave met Novoselic for the first time, and with him was a scrawny guy named Kurt Cobain. The three of them settled in together and jammed to Bleach, which was the band’s newly-released demo. It was clear that the three fit well together, and they quickly went into the studio to record Nevermind. Between studio sessions and live shows, Grohl would always find time to go home to Virginia. He would see old friends and acquaintances, and would write songs here and there. Some he would store for later use, and others he would contribute to Nirvana and other bands. The Nirvana explosion that happened between 1991 and 1994 occupied most of Dave’s time in those years, and he was looking forward to the day when he could concentrate more on his own music. That day would come tragically, however, when Kurt Cobain committed suicide in April of 1994. Not wanting to forever be the “drummer from Nirvana,” and the desire to make music left Dave for a short while. A letter from the popular Seattle band, 7 Year Bitch, saved his life and outlook on music, and encouraged him to forge ahead. He booked a recording studio and decided to do all the parts himself, including the vocals, which he’d always been shy about. Over time, he had written about 30 to 40 songs, and he was prepared to give them the concentration they deserved. Dave hurriedly put 15 tracks down in 1 week, playing all the parts himself. He then duplicated 100 copies and handed them out generously. The next thing he knew, the record companies were calling, and he hadn’t put a band together yet! He jammed with several musicians before meeting ex-Sunny Day Real Estate members Nate Mendel and Will Goldsmith. Nate joined him immediately on bass, and Will followed on drums. Dave gave a tape to ex-Germ Pat Smear, knowing that the band would eventually need two guitarists. Much to Dave’s surprise, Pat joined the band instantly. When the four of them jammed for the first time, it was apparent that they were going to be an awesome band. That is when Grohl decided to name them the Foo Fighters, and they have been going strong ever since. Dave has recently cited projects with Puff Daddy, and there is much more in store for him in the future.



Instruments Played / Skills:
Drums Guitar Songwriter Vocals

Genres:
Grunge Post-Grunge Resurgence

Bands That Dave Grohl Has Played For:
Foo Fighters Nirvana

Dave Grohl Has Worked With:
Kurt Cobain Krist Novoselic Pat Smear Nate Mendel
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"We paved the way for barbarism - and we set fire to things."

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