The lead singer of the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl, used the COVID-19 lockdown to his advantage. He sat down for the first time in his life and compiled a select few stories about his time in the music industry. On Oct. 4, 2021, the 382 page book was released, titled “Dave Grohl: The Storyteller.” The book is a rollercoaster. He provides pointers and tips to aspiring musicians as well as an inside look at the controlling hand of the music industry.
The true highlight of the book are his stories. Grohl has been through a lot. The autobiography countlessly reminds us that this rockstar is just an average guy who happened to love music and was very, very lucky.
Grohl breaks the book up into five parts. Beginning with his early life, he then goes into his time on the road with his bands. He finishes the book with stories about his family and the disbelief of his life.
Grohl began his career as a drummer for the small Virginia based punk band Scream. At the age of 17, he lied about his age in order to get the gig. Grohl makes it clear from the start that music was his life. High school did not suit him, and his ADHD caused him to lose focus and fall behind in his classes. All he could think about was music. He even taught himself how to play the drums by listening to his favorite albums. However, this proved to be a setback in his career when he learned in drum lessons that he was holding the stick wrong the entire time.
His time with Scream piqued the interest of a small Seattle-based band that was struggling to find a solid drummer. Grohl took a shot and became part of the biggest band from the ‘90s: Nirvana. Following the death of Kurt Cobain, Grohl threw himself into creating music and out popped the Foo Fighters. These bands brought him everywhere, however, they also contributed to the darkest moments of his life.
Grohl happens to be a very entertaining storyteller. He illustrates scenes that drop the reader into his position. He tells stories about celebrities like Tom Petty and Cobain. For example, Grohl talks about how he performed with Petty on “Saturday Night Live” and details an incident about an assistant moving an amp. Petty’s reaction shows not only how proficient he is in the music industry, but also that the The industry can eat you alive if you’re not careful.
The stories about Cobain hurt to read. At the time, they were living in squalor. Barely scraping by, Grohl shares about his cheap gas station dinners and Cobain’s obnoxious turtle. We grow to feel connected with Cobain as the years pass by and see how Nirvana becomes famous overnight. Prior to Cobain’s suicide, Grohl received a phone call from a friend saying that Cobain overdosed. His friend called back that Cobain was quickly resuscitated, but Grohl details how immense his pain was in this first story.
Grohl uses this story to ease the pain of when Cobain actually dies. He writes that he did not feel anything; he was just waiting for someone to tell him again that Cobain didn’t die. But it never came. He was gone. It was a death that struck the nation. Through Grohl, we get a firsthand account of someone who was close to him. Grohl uses this story as an example of how the industry destroyed someone he cared about, and how Grohl didn’t want to be like that. From this pain came a new opportunity and a new band.
“Dave Grohl: The Storyteller” is a great book for music lovers. Much like Forrest Gump, Grohl was in the middle of the music scene. The book is rich with culture that can make anyone giddy with excitement. By the end of the book our respect for this regular guy who happens to be a massive rockstar has skyrocketed. We walked through it all with him and he guides us through the difficult life that comes with doing the thing you love.
To get the full experience of Grohl’s life the book can be found on Amazon or any bookstore.