January 14 – Happy Birthday, Dave Grohl

Posted on January 14, 2014

I didn't get to meet him.

Most of my family was gallivanting about in some Irish shops while I stood in a line to purchase tickets to see a really cool castle. I was the one holding everyone's jackets and the backpack AND the camera bag. They were the ones—gosh, wouldn't you just know?meeting someone really famous!

Dave Grohl is a rock musician and (by now) a film director. He plays several musical instruments, he writes songs, he sings. He's a big star—he was the drummer for the grunge band Nirvana, and he's the lead vocalist and main songwriter for the band Foo Fighters. (He's also involved with the group Queens of the Stone Age and has played with many other groups.) But there in Ireland, he was just standing around with his mom and his girlfriend, looking at sweaters and shawls in a woolens shop.

When my husband and daughters told him they were fans, he was super nice! He asked where they were from, and he signed his autograph, and he chatted for a bit—before my husband remembered the castle tour, and my family had to run back to where I was holding down the fort. And of course, they told me, “You'll NEVER guess who we just met!!!”


Dave Grohl was born in Ohio but spent most of his childhood in Virginia. He began to learn guitar at age 12, and he fell in love with punk rock at age 13. He has been in a-lot-a-lot of bands, like most musicians – the Wikipedia article about him lists 19 bands he has played with, and there are plenty left off that list! (For example, the list doesn't include local bands he played with while in high school, including Freak Baby and Mission Impossible.)

Grohl is most famous for his vocals, guitar, and drums, but he also plays piano and bass. You can go pretty far in the world if you're a hard-working multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter!

Fun facts for Foo fans
  • In 2006, two miners in Australia were trapped and waiting for rescue. One of the miners asked for an iPod with a Foo Fighters album on it to be sent through the tiny hole. Grohl heard of this and had a note sent to the miners, telling them that although he was half a world away, “my heart is with you both.” He offered them, when they got out of the caved-in mine, two free tickets to a Foo Fighters concert, anytime, anywhere. One of the miners took him up on his offer when the band played in Sydney, Australia, several months later. Grohl hung out with the miner, treated him to drinks, wrote an instrumental piece for the occasion, and included that piece on a Foo Fighters album. Nice!
  • Grohl was at the top of the coveted Billboard Modern Rock chart for 17 out of 18 weeks, in 2002 and 2003—but with songs from three different bands! “You Know You're Right” by Nirvana was replaced by “All My Life” by Foo Fighters. One week after “All My Life” fell out of the #1 spot, “No One Knows” hit #1, from Queens of the Stone Age. It was a personal first for Grohl, of course, but it has to be rare (or possibly unique) in the annals of rock!
  • Grohl has performed several times with former Beatle Paul McCartney. And of course a ton of other mega-stars.
  • An Obama supporter, Grohl got to perform his song “My Hero” at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
  • Grohl's hometown of Warren, OH, has given him the key to the city, has named a road “David Grohl Alley, and unveiled gigantic (900-pound or 409 kg) drumsticks in his honor. (The drumsticks are the largest in the world, according to Guinness World Records.

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