Anniversaries sure are fun aren’t they? There’s the inevitable stirring up of old feuds in interviews, and opportunistic releases of biographies and auto-biographies. And what anniversary has been more celebrated and exploited than the 20 year anniversary of Nirvana’s seminal album Nevermind?
Paul Brannigan, former editor of music magazine Kerrang!, has released a few well timed extracts from his upcoming biography on Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, cleverly titled This Is A Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl.
According to Brannigan, by 1993 Nirvana had split into two camps, Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic in one, Cobain and wife Courtney Love in the other. The camps had many issues between them but those issues reportedly boiled over on a flight from Seattle to Los Angeles when Dave Gorhl overheard lead singer Kurt Cobain talking trash about his drumming skills.
In the book, at the flight’s end Grohl learned from bassist Krist Novoselic that Cobain wanted him to “play more like” Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters, Nirvana’s previous drummer. Grohl was apparently fuming and called Nirvana’s tour manager Alex McLeod telling him he wanted “out” of the band and that “I just want to f—ing play music. I don’t want to have to deal with any of this craziness.”
Grohl was calmed down by Macleod and was convinced to stay with the band for the time being, but Brannigan told NME that his “gut instinct” is that Grohl would have left the band if Nirvana were still around had Cobain not taken his life in 1994.
“Dave was very aware that Nirvana was Kurt and Krist’s band, and that as lifelong friends, they shared a bond which went beyond music,” he says. “At some point I feel that Dave would have parted company with the pair.”