Sunday 31 March, 2013

Tha-One Music Icon: Dave Grohl


by Natasha Stapleton/ Tha-One Music Writer When you think of musical geniuses or ‘Rock Gods’ you think of the likes of John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie. This is because back in the 60s, 70s, 80s there were major candidates for this iconic title, these days you’re likely to start thinking about your lunch […]


by Natasha Stapleton/ Tha-One Music Writer

When you think of musical geniuses or ‘Rock Gods’ you think of the likes of John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie. This is because back in the 60s, 70s, 80s there were major candidates for this iconic title, these days you’re likely to start thinking about your lunch while you wait for a train of thought to pull in at this stop. A personal favourite musician of mine and definitely a candidate for a – if not THE – modern God in the music world is Mr David Grohl.

Known for being the drummer in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters’ frontman, Dave Grohl is one of the most talked about rockstars of today, mainly because of the mass of work with the mass of people that he collaborates with. To some people, seeing his forest-like beard covered face, shaggy black hair and beaming smile all over magazine covers can get quite annoying; these people are missing the point. Dave is popular because of the amount of work he actually does, and unfortunately, the cynical don’t appreciate this.

Dave Grohl, born January 14th 1969 in Warren, Ohio started teaching himself how to play guitar after he got bored with lessons at the age of 12, and later whilst in high school starting on the drums. At the age of 17, Dave pretending to be 20, dropped out of school and joined the hardcore punk band Scream, as the drummer. How Rock N’ Roll. How cliché.

Just before the band broke up, the gangly energetic goofy-looking 21 year old met possibly the most influential musician in his music career; Kurt Cobain. When Scream disbanded he met up with Kurt and bassist Krist Novoselic, and Nirvana has finally found its final drummer. The band sky rocketed to fame with their grunge filled debut album ‘Nevermind’ and the iconic explosive track ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. When Kurt committed suicide in 1994, the band immediately split. Broken, tortured but gifted, Kurt left a dramatic and powerful mark on Dave’s life.

Dave said in the 2011 Foo Fighters’ Back and Forth documentary: “Kurt was a great lyricist, he had a beautiful voice and he wrote really simple songs. There were things that I learnt about songwriting from being in a band with Kurt that I don’t think I could’ve learnt anywhere else”

“Finally I was motivated, I thought ‘No! I’m gonna get out of this funk I’ve been in for the last 8 months or whatever it was. I decided I was gonna take my favourite songs that I had written over the last 5 years that no-one had heard, and record them”

These ‘favourite songs’ became a mixtape, which then – after the recruitment of the band -became the first ever Foo Fighters record. Back and Forth documents the ups and downs of the band including the renowned changes in line-up on the way to becoming one of the biggest bands on the planet after 18 years, 7 albums and over 30 singles. The line-up that seems to stick now is Dave, Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear, Sunny Day Real Estate bassist Nate Mendel, Alannis Morrisette’s drummer Taylor Hawkins and No Use For A Name guitarist Chris Shiflett. The documentary touches on the recording process of their latest album Wasting Light, which was recorded entirely on tape analog in Dave’s own garage.

The dying out age of tape analog recording studios saw Dave becoming a director and creating his own documentary/movie ‘Sound City’ based on the now closed recording studio in Los Angeles, California after Dave purchased the studio’s equipment which he used for Wasting Light. The documentary brings musicians such as Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Corey Taylor and Neil Young together to talk about the beloved studio and he’s even created a supergroup out of them – another talent that Dave seems to possess.

At the age of 44, Dave Grohl is one of the most well-known names in Rock, and music in general; he’s been in countless bands, collaborated with countless musicians and played countless gigs. With his comedic charm, pure passion and man-child mannerisms it’s just too damn hard to dislike this man, which is undoubtedly why he has been dubbed the ‘Nicest Man in Rock’. He performs in fan’s garages, supports charities and even fights against homophobia by dressing up as ‘rednecks’ with his bandmates to sing about ‘hot man muffins’. I mean right now, right this minute he’s drumming for 3 bands, promoting Sound City, touring with Sound City Players and writing material for the next FF album.

How does this guy have time for his family? Or – forget that – to SLEEP? Some may call him a show off, I just think he’s tremendously passionate about what he does, and never wants to stop – and that’s exactly the reason why he will be and already is a music legend.

So here’s to Dave Grohl, keep doing what you’re doing because I’m loving it.

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