Damn You Dave, Cut It Out: Grohl Just Got Cooler!!


Anyone who has followed my rants here on The Shit knows that I have time and time again had to give it up to my man Dave Grohl for continuing to impress me, despite my semi-dislike for the band he currently front.

I mean, I dug the first Foo Fighters album because it was a lo-fi blast from start to finish. Grohl was fresh off Nirvana's untimely demise and had a whole lot riding on his next move. He could have joined Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, which was an offer they extended to him after the unofficial audition that was his appearance with them on SNL, but he chose instead to make a "solo" record. Sure, it was called Foo Fighters, but, make no mistake, it was ALL HIM on that record. I guess that's why I liked it so much. Stripped of the pretense and over-production, Grohl is impossible to hate. So, naturally, that record spoke to me quite loudly. By comparison, the new album where he actually screams like a banshee, doesn't speak to me nearly as loudly.

Maybe it's because it isn't just Dave anymore. It hasn't been for a long time. Much like Nirvana's transition from unknown band slugging it out in rock dives to international superstars, Foo Fighters path to mega-stardom is the result of a huge music industry machine aligning itself behind a commodity that it deems worthy of the muscle. So whenever I see or hear Foo Fighters these days, I can't really hear Dave over all the other folks that comprise the machine. I don't hear Dave, I just hear product. I don't hear a human element, I just hear a number of different performances digitially edited (yeah, yeah, I know, the new album was recorded to analog tape, whoopty doo) so that every note is in its rightful place. It sounds great from a sonic sense, but it's just too perfect. Where's the danger?

Still, the guy's pretty goddamn cool.

And every time he does something cool, I usually mention it here, along with something like "There's no way he can possibly top this", and then he does.



Like Sunday night at Lollapalooza, when he had this to say just before his band launched into their final song of the evening, thereby bringing this year's Lollapalooza Festival to a close:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I just have to say one thing: Tonight's a very special occasion for a couple reasons. First and foremost, it was in this city, in 1982, that I saw my first rock band at the fuckin' Cubby Bear, at that place across from Wrigley Field. I was 13 years old, and my cousin Tracy took me to that place to see this punk rock band called Naked Raygun, right? And that show changed my life, and made me wanna become a musician. So, thank you, Chicago. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't fuckin' be here."

That's an awesome thing, innit? One of the biggest rock gods on the planet right now just name-checked fucking Naked Raygun in front of a gigantic worldwide audience. He didn't have to do that, but he did. He could have just said "I saw my first show ever in Chicago and now here I am playing for all you Chicago motherfuckers" and left it at that, but he didn't. He mentioned Naked Raygun, one of the most under-appreciated bands in the history of American punk rock.

Damn you, Dave. You just got cooler in my book. Again.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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