January 14, 2021
Ahead of the 10th Foo Fighters album, their frontman recalls the music and scenes that made him – from punk gigs in Chicago to sleeping on floors in Italian squats
Dave Grohls teenage obsessions: I learned drums by arranging pillows on my floor
Before I was a teenager, I started playing music in my bedroom by myself. I fell in love with the Beatles, then began to discover classic rock. I went from Kiss to Rush to AC/DC, but in 1983 I discovered punk rock music through a cousin in Chicago. My world turned upside down. My favourite bands were Bad Brains and Naked Raygun; I listened to Dead Kennedys and Black Flag. My introduction to live music came when my brother took me to a punk show in a small bar in Chicago. I didn’t have that festival/stadium/arena rock experience; I just saw four punk rock dudes on the stage, playing this fast three-chord music, with about 75 people in the audience climbing all over each other. It changed my life. One of the most prolific scenes in hardcore American punk rock was in Washington DC, just across the bridge [from Grohl’s home town of Springfield, Virginia]. So I started going to see bands like Minor Threat and Fugazi. By the time I was 14, I was cutting and dyeing my hair and wearing leather jackets. All I wanted to do was leave school, jump in a van and tour shitty basement clubs with my punk band.
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