Wherein I lay out six tunes by an artist. Not saying necessarily that they are the best but six I dig at this point in time …
I doubt if much history has to be recounted about Dave Grohl so I’ll keep it brief. I did a series on Nirvana, wow, was it three years ago? As I recounted in one of the posts, “Dave Grohl didn’t join the band until 1990, almost three years after its inception.” But he was the guy who was there when it mattered.
Grohl had been writing songs all the time during Nirvana but couldn’t get much in the way of placement on their albums with Cobain being the primary songwriter. As he said, “I was in awe of Kurt Cobain’s songs, and [I was] intimidated. I thought it was best that I kept my songs to myself.” That said, he did get a songwriter credit for “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which must make his accountant happy.
After Kurt Cobain’s death, he had offers to join Nirvana and Wikipedia says he almost accepted a permanent position as drummer in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. (Can’t picture him there.) He was – as you might imagine – somewhat depressed and not even sure if he’d play drums again.
But he managed to get himself into a studio and record an album of his songs. It sounds to me like it was a “get it out of your system” album on which he played virtually all the instruments. (Guitarist Greg Dulli plays on one track.) To prevent anyone knowing it was him, he shopped it around under the name Foo Fighters,
Grohl had been reading a lot about UFOs and the name was taken from the description World War II aircraft pilots would use to describe various Unidentified Flying Objects. “Had I actually considered this to be a career,” Grohl said, “I probably would have called it something else because it’s the stupidest fucking band name in the world.”
After the album was a hit, Grohl quickly assembled a band and the Foo Fighters have now been around ever since 1994.
I don’t do these posts chronologically. Truthfully I probably couldn’t. This is around the time when I really stopped following bands. I’m not even a big fan of the Foos as much of their stuff is just too generic for me. But these tunes I like quite a bit.
First up, “All My Life.” This is a kick-ass tune from the Foo’s fourth album in 2002, One by One. I’ve been listening to this song for many a year figuring it was just about a guy’s experiences.
And so today’s blog surprise is the discovery that “Grohl has said that the song is about how he enjoys performing oral sex on women.. I’m very fond of giving oral sex to women. It’s a pleasure-giving experience – giving someone something that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives, and if you do it right, they will.”
Okay, Well, Harumph! There you go.
From one of my Nirvana posts: “Dave Grohl had grown up in Virginia and was a devotee of the Washington, D.C punk scene. He first played guitar, learning songs by bands like Bad Brains and Circle Jerks. He later switched to drums and played in the D.C. band, Scream. He cited John Bonham as a major influence and had Bonham’s three-rings (Led Zep IV) symbol tattooed on his wrist.” (That’s some dedication right there.)
My Hero” is a song from the Foos’ second album, The Colour and the Shape. (The spelling is a tribute to their Brit producer Gil Norton.) Per Grohl, the song is dedicated to ordinary, everyday heroes, as he himself never had musical or sports heroes growing up as a child. He’s coy about whether or not it’s also a reference to Cobain.
My son = Sonny Boy – is a bigtime Foo fan. He saw them on the infamous Broken Leg tour sometime after Grohl fell from a concert stage in Sweden. The show must go on, eh?
From Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace, one of my very favorite Foo songs, “The Pretender”
“Everlong” is one of the Foos’ most popular songs. Grohl: “That song’s about a girl that I’d fallen in love with and it was basically about being connected to someone so much, that not only do you love them physically and spiritually, but when you sing along with them you harmonize perfectly.”
Former talk show host David Letterman says it’s his favorite song and helped him get through heart surgery recovery. The band actually interrupted a tour to go on his show to play it for him. They also played it on his final show.
Two more tunes for you – the first one is “Best of You,”
I’ve got another confession to make
I’m your fool
Everyone’s got their chains to break
Were you born to resist or be abused?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Last but hardly least, another one of my favorites. I have this one and “All My Life” on my workout playlist. Now all I have to do is actually work out sometime. “DOA” has some of my favorite lyrics in rock music:
It’s a shame we have to die, my dear
No one’s getting out of here, alive
Take a good hard look for the very last time
The very last one in a very long line