If there’s one name almost every music fan knows, it’s Dave Grohl. From his early beginnings as the drummer for Nirvana, to his poisition as the frontman of legendary rock band the Foo Fighters, his influence is absolute and his legacy is undeniable.
1. Joining Guns N’ Roses onstage
It’s easy to forget that deep down, even the most famous musicians are dedicated fans just like us. So of course, you could imagine the excitement Dave Grohl must have felt when he managed to join Guns N’ Roses for a performance of ‘Paradise City’ in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
It’s pretty rare for Dave Grohl to not be the most talented musician on stage, but just look at the level of admiration he has for Slash while he’s playing – that’s hero worship, right there.
2. His first gig with Nirvana
Dave Grohl is so ubiquitous in rock music it’s hard to realise there was once a time when he wasn’t a household name. Sure, like every musician, he had to put in the hard yards before he made it big, but it’s footage of his first performance with Nirvana that is truly something to behold.
Filmed back in October of 1990, this footage shows what is effectively a 21-year-old musician writing his ticket to the big time by playing his heart out at one of the sweatiest gigs you’ve ever seen.
3. That time he broke his leg mid-gig
Imaging you’re a rock star, performing in front of tens of thousands of people, and suddenly you manage to break your leg in one of the most embarrassing ways possible. What do you do next? If it were us, this story would continue with a lot of ugly crying and embarrasing videos surfacing online, but not for Dave Grohl.
Love Classic Rock?
Get the latest Classic Rock news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
In June of 2015, Dave Grohl took a tumble during a performance in Gothenburg, Sweden, and managed to break his leg. So obviously fans were sent home after receiving only half a gig, right? Nope, true champ that he is, Grohl returned to the stage after getting himself fixed up and managed to finish out the show. We can’t even break a nail without looking for ways out of the work day.
4. Dave Grohl hits up a Metallica show
How many times have you found yourself at a gig, looking at the punter in front of you and thinking they look familiar? Sometimes it ends up being Marty from the pub, other times it ends up being someone with a bit of cachet to their name, but rarely does it end up being Dave Grohl…unless you’re at a Metallica gig.
Yes, back in August 2017, Metallica played a show in California to support their newest album. While some were just excited to be seeing their metal idols shredding out onstage, others were surprised to find none other than noted metal fan Dave Grohl standing there in the audience with them. Talk about rubbing shoulders with rock royalty.
5. That time he got kicked out of the studio for being drunk
It’s no secret that Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl are great mates, having recorded countless songs with each other, and even stating they want to “take over the fucking world together,” but back in 2017, it was revealed that Mark Ronson had to remove a tipsy Dave Grohl from the studio because he was starting to get on the nerves of a very tense Josh Homme.
“I didn’t see it because I was [in the studio] wrestling an alligator,” Josh Homme said of the incident. “But in this case Ronson is the new guy and he was very sweet and was protecting me. Maybe in his own mind he thought he was protecting Dave too.” It obviously takes a very special kind of cool to have to be kicked out of a recording studio.
6. Dedicating a song to a naked fan
We’re not sure what it is about rock crowds, but quite often, fans find themselves wanting to remove clothing in order to express their inner rocker. Most notably, this occurred during the Foo Fighters’ set at Glastonbury in 2017, just as they were beginning to rip into a performance of ‘My Hero’.
“I see a naked guy,” explained Dave Grohl as Taylor Hawkins’ pounding drums filled the air. “This one’s for him.” While we really have to give props to the person supporting the naked bloke’s lower half, Dave needs a bit of applause for so casually working this distracting fan into his set.
— Kevin Jones (@kevj1984) June 24, 2017
7. The Foo Fighters’ insane colouring book rider
We’ve heard plenty of crazy stories about backstage riders, from Van Halen’s supposed distaste for brown M&Ms to Beyoncé’s apparent need for brand new toilet seats at every venue. But nothing will ever compare to the likes of the Foo Fighters’ concert rider.
Taking the form of a colouring book, this informative booklet makes learning fun, while helping venue owners understand just what a huge internationally-renowned group like the Foo Fighters want for dinner and in their backstage fridge. From mazes to word finds, this is one of the most endearingly-patronising examples of rockstar privilege we’ve ever seen.
8. Letting his daughter drum for the Foo Fighters
We’re a bit jealous of the children of rock stars. They grow up rubbing shoulders with the musical greats, and they’re given a musical education most of would only dream of. Such is the case of Dave’s daughter Harper, who played her first festival as drummer for the Foo Fighters.
Back in 2017, Dave Grohl welcomed his daughter onstage during the band’s performance at a festival in Iceland. “About two weeks ago, my daughter said ‘Daddy, I want to play the drums’,” Grohl explained. “And I said, ‘Do you want want me to teach you?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ And then I said, ‘Do you want to get up in front of 20,000 people in Iceland and play?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’”
Soon enough, Harper was showcasing her skills, giving Icelandic fans a chance to see a future rockstar playing her first show through a performance of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’.
9. That time he came to the rescue of a teen band
We know how easily the council and government can ruin a good time, we’ve seen Sydney’s lockout laws, but noise complaints are another thing altogether. When a teenage English band were hit with a warning by their local council for being too loud in rehearsal sessions, they asked Dave for a bit of help.
“My name is Dave Grohl, and I’m writing on behalf of the local music group Black Leaves of Envy,” he wrote in a letter to the local council. “It has been brought to my attention that the band is having difficulty functioning within the current noise restrictions placed upon them by the Cornwall Council, a maximum of 30 to 40 decibels (approximately the level of a dishwasher at 15 meters distance).”
“For the sake of your local band Black Leaves of Envy, and for the generations of young musicians that they may eventually inspire, I ask that you reconsider the restrictions put upon the volume of their private rehearsal space,” he concluded, undoubtedly opening the floodgates for countless fans to send him a ‘Dear Dave’ letter every time they found themselves in a music-related jam.
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) March 23, 2016
10. His tendency to perform insane secret shows
Plenty of artists like to surprise their fans by performing a secret gig, but none like to play a show like the Foo Fighters. You might recall how the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins once descended upon Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory for a surprise show as the metal covers band Chevy Metal.
Performing a huge two hour set with band members Brent Woods (Sebastian Bach) and Wiley Hodgen (The Birds Of Satan), Chevy Metal tore through an impressive set that included covers from the likes of The Rolling Stones and AC/DC to Billy Joel and Queen. Needless to say, this is definitely one of those shows we wish we were there to see.