DAVE GROHL, legendary front man for the Foo Fighters, honors us with a cover and interview this month, despite his hectic tour schedule, the small matter of a broken leg, and nightly performances where they jam with the likes of Stevie Nicks, Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, and Queen’s Roger Taylor.
But the gig WE all really care about is the 32nd and final Love Ride, on October 18th. With all the Foo’s back together, and to say goodbye to our favorite local rally, saying the words “You don’t want to miss it” is an understatement!
Now, I call Dave Grohl “legendary”, not because he would want me to (he will probably hate that) But I’m a big fan of Nirvana and especially the Foo Fighters. The latter primarily because when it comes to pure, driving rock and roll in the last 10 years, there are precious few choices. I was talking once with a drummer and he challenged me to come up with any bands that actually played ROCK anymore, I said Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and he said, “Ok, but end of discussion!” Looking at those two bands even harder though, there’s really only one who plays such kick-ass, unapologetic metal. Rolling Stone once called Dave Grohl “an evangelist for the soul of rock & roll” and I think that just about nails it.
And yet, he’s a person and a talent that defies labeling. Just when you think he’s a bad-ass rocker, he says something like, “I will proudly say out loud that ‘Gangnam Style’ is one of my favorite songs of the last decade.” Then, when you think you’ve got his number, and the show “Glee” wants to butcher his music into a show tune, he says, “Ya know, not everybody likes ‘Glee’, including me.” THEN, when you think you really know him, he admits to enjoying the music of the Backstreet Boys. Ughh.
I think the only labels that securely fit Dave Grohl are “rock musician” and “Dad”. At least those are the only ones I won’t get in trouble pinning on him. When asked what keeps him grounded, he blurted, “Having children that don’t fu*@ing care that you’re a rockstar. My kids don’t give a sh*t that I’m in the Foo Fighters. They’re like, ‘Daddy, I need a smoothie. Now.’ I’m like, “okaaaay.” (I just read my own 13-year old that line, minus the F word, and she is rolling).
When the Foo Fighters were officially “on hold” (I couldn’t actually admit they’d broken up) Dave played wherever and whenever he damn well felt like it, only he felt like it A LOT. He loves to jam with everyone from no-name bands who’s sound he likes, to the legends of his youth he never dreamed he’d be able to play with. One night, at the Hollywood Palladium, he was joined by John Fogerty, members of Cheap Trick, Rage Against the Machine, Stevie Nicks and other big name musicians. At the Harley 110th, he jammed with Taylor Hawkins, his good friend and drummer from the Foo Fighters, and none other than Joan Jett. Man what a show that was.
More recent was his accident at a show in Sweden where he fractured his leg falling from the stage. But in true badass fashion, Dave came back minutes later and finished the show. And not wanting to miss too many gigs, Dave designed a special chair inspired by the “Iron Throne” from the show “Game of Thrones.” But instead of a hundred swords, there are guitar necks sticking out all around.
Aside from Dad, Rocker, actor, and eclectic music fan, you might call Dave a Biker too. When he isn’t jamming with friends, he’s riding by Glendale Harley-Davidson, often actually. He’s bought several bikes from shop Owner, Oliver Shokouh. Dave Grohl, Biker. Man, and to think he was pretty damn cool already.
Dave loves bikes. He’s had them since he was a teenager. He says he got into bikes while recording the legendary Nirvana album Nevermind in LA, and has since owned a bunch of Harleys and even that his music and lyrics are inspired by the famous Harley sound.
In the Harley-sponsored film, “Everything Sonic,” Dave Grohl fires up a custom Road King, grabs a snare drum and starts playing to the beat of the bike’s rhythmic exhaust and loping cam. It’s a cool scene (see it on the internet, everywhere)
Dave says he bought his Harley Street Glide Trike because, he admits, it’s the only bike his wife would consider getting on, and it’s “pretty much the most fun you’ve ever had… and looks badass”. Yeah, they’re cool and fun, but without the ability to lean into corners, I’ll bite my tongue on that one. But Dave rides the 2-wheeled ones also and rides them damn well.
The only crash he ever had, when he suffered a broken a rib, came not from the motored kind but from a simple mountain bike. Dave admits that he’d ride those every day if he could, and gets close some weeks. But when it comes to Harley’s, “My main method of transportation is a motorcycle (weather permitting).”
What are some other things we didn’t know about Dave Grohl?
“I believe in UFO’s.” (Editor’s geek note – “Foo Fighters” was an early name some WW II pilots gave to flying saucers, based on an old cartoon from the 40’s)
“I was VP of my freshman class in high school.”
“I love skeet shooting. (And I’m a damn good shot)”
“I was the fifth drummer of Nirvana.”
“I hate talking on the phone.”
I knew there was a reason I liked this guy.
Musically, I don’t know if Dave Grohl is ever really satisfied. Before going back out on tour with the Foo’s, he brought an idea to HBO, that we all ultimately saw as “Sonic Highways.” Dave travels across the country, interviewing rock, jazz and country legends, whoever represents the sound of their town. The shows are genius, and they’re never about Dave, but about the legends who inspire him. Each show ends with an original song by the Foo Fighters, and are found on the album of the same name.
I want to leave you with a few more quotes from Dave Grohl. It’s really the best way to get to know the guy. Plus, these I just had to pass on. Please note, the curse words have been f’ing abbreviated:
“I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you f’ing like something, like it. That’s what’s wrong with our generation: that residual punk rock guilt, like, ‘You’re not supposed to like that. That’s not f’ing cool.’ Don’t f’ing think it’s not cool to like Britney Spears’ Toxic. It is cool to like Britney Spears’ Toxic. Why the F not? F you! That’s who I am, goddamn it! That whole guilty pleasure thing is full of f’ing sh*t.”
And Dave Grohl, after a few less cups of coffee, says:
“The most important thing for me is my family, and my health and happiness, and making sure everyone’s cool.”
And my favorite line, that speaks to every man at every age at any time in history:
“I’ve experienced great things, I’ve experienced great tragedies. I’ve done almost everything I could possibly ever imagine doing, but I just know there’s more.”
DON’T FORGET – Dave and the Foo Fighters play the LAST EVER Love Ride, October 18th! Get your tickets now at www.loveride.org