IT’S Dave Grohl, birthday today, so at DDW we thought we’d mark the occasion by paying homage to the rockstar and take a look at his far-reaching impact on music over the last three decades.
From teaching himself the drums in his early teens, Dave Grohl fully committed to a career in music when he dropped out of high school aged 17 to join Washington D.C. band Scream. He plied his trade with Scream for four years before meeting Kurt Kobain and Krist Novoselic in 1990 and joined Nirvana, releasing their second studio album Nevermind in 1991 to unexpected worldwide commercial success.
The album sold over 30 million copies worldwide making it one of the biggest in music history. It is also synonymous with bringing the grunge movement into the mainstream and heavily influenced youth culture at the time. Fast forward 30 years and Nirvana T-shirts are still everywhere you look.
Being the drummer in Nirvana could have been the defining moment in anyone’s career, but for Grohl it was just the beginning. Foo Fighters were formed not long after Kobain’s death in 1994, with Grohl moving from behind the drums to centre stage as the band’s charismatic frontman.
“There’s a famous old joke: what was the last thing the drummer said before they kicked him out of the band? ‘Hey guys, I got a new song I just wrote!’”Dave Grohl, 1997
Jokes aside, Grohl is a gifted songwriter in his own right and his perfectionism in the studio earned him a tenacious reputation when it came to recording. The band’s second album, The Colour and the Shape, contained hits such as Everlong, My Hero, and Monkey Wrench, which went on to become a staple of rock radio. Grohl also started his own label Roswell Records in 1995 which produces all of Foo Fighters’ work.
Fuelled by MTV’s huge platform in rock music, Grohl and Foo Fighters went on to release eight more albums and became touring machines, playing countless festivals and stadium shows across the globe.
The band’s influence on rock music cannot be understated. 11 Grammy wins and 27 nominations serve as recognition for their work, and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, their first year of eligibility. Grohl’s pivotal role in their success has cemented him as one of the greatest rockstars of all time.
His work with other genre-defining rock bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures make him a true ambassador to rock, having been at the heart of the movement for what seems like forever now.
Speaking about his legacy, Grohl told Spin: “I’ve experienced great things, I’ve experienced great tragedies, I’ve done almost everything I could possibly ever imagine doing, but I just know that there’s more.”
Grohl and Foo Fighters are adding a new skill to their repertoire next month with the release of their comedy-horror movie STUDIO 666, with the first trailer landing earlier this week. It seems there isn’t much Grohl can’t do at this stage.
Speaking to NME last year, Grohl said: “After decades of ridiculous music videos and numerous music documentaries under our collective belts, it was finally time to take it to the next level… A full-length feature horror-comedy film. Like most things Foo, STUDIO 666 began with a far-fetched idea that blossomed into something bigger than we ever imagined possible.”
Watch the trailer below: