Over these past six months or so, whenever I’ve mentioned my next big biography is going to be about Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters I’ve had one of two reactions, both surprising to me, though no longer. First off, there were the usual balcony watchers and pie-throwers, the ones who smirked and said, ‘Well, yeah, but really, you know, who gives a fuck? They’ll never be as good as Nirvana.’ Or variations of, such as: ‘They’re just a Nirvana rip-off.’ And etc.
Then there was the other reaction I kept getting, which was straight and simple: ‘They’re my favourite band!’ Or variations of: ‘They’re my son’s/daughters’s favourite band!’ Or, this one from David Letterman, who last week chose the Foos to be the last band to appear on his last ever show, ‘My favourite band, playing my favourite song – ‘Everlong’!’
Well, here’s my deal. When I took the book on, I really didn’t know anything about the Foo Fighters as such, or Dave Grohl specifically. I mean, no more than the averagely intelligent rock writer (and truthfully most of them are extremely averagely intelligent indeed). Now six months later I know one thing: there is no Foo Fighters really. Not as such. There is only Dave Grohl. And I admire him for that. Most of you sitting around with the TV remote in your hand, or flicking through your iPhones or whatever, you have no fucking idea the guts it takes to get out and actually do anything, let alone what Grohl has managed to do these past 25 years. You actually think it’s easy. Tell me, is your life easy? Is anybody’s? Grohl’s parents split up when he was six. He comes from nothing. And now he’s something.
‘Oh, yeah, cos he was in Nirvana!’ Well, duh. But that wasn’t winning the lottery. That was because as their fifth drummer he as the first who was any good. Like really fucking good. And when that ship sank, how lucky was he then? Wrote, sang, played every instrument on and recorded an album, that went on to sell millions. Hired and fired a band to help him do it. Then went on to do it again. And again and again.
Okay, this is not meant to be a love letter. Just that as I come to the final chapter of the book, I can’t get over this guy. How he did it. How he did it again. How he’s still doing it and will be long after you’ve deleted this or left a sarcastic comment about it. Turned yourself into a hater. Dave, meanwhile, who has been on intimate terms with haters since before haters were invented, rolls on, that smile, that hair, and that big talented fucking brain ticking away like there’s no tomorrow. Except Dave already proved there is. If you know where to look and aren’t scared to try.