Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 8:46 a.m.
Some people seem like they were born to be rock stars, like Keith Richards, Chrissie Hynde, Slash, and Lenny Kravitz. If that's true, Dave Grohl would also have to be included among that number.
An integral member of Nirvana, one of Grunge's most influential bands, and later Queens of the Stone Age, he now helms the Foo Fighters, a band whose success was always considered mainstream. At the same time, he shared his prodigious talents in a variety of other projects as well, from his hardcore origins with Scream to his current super group of sorts, Them Crooked Vultures.
Along the way, he's ingratiated himself with an unlikely assortment of other artists as well, among them the aforementioned Slash, Queen, David Bowie, Tenacious D, Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister, Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, and the Prodigy, just for starters.
Born January 14, 1969, Grohl took up guitar at age 12 and became enamored with punk rock a year later. He played in a variety of bands in high school, eventually expanding his musical proficiency to playing the drums. His big break came at the age of 17 when the Washington D.C. based band Scream drafted him to fill in for their departed drummer. He dropped out of high school to take them up on their offer. It was during one particular West Coast stint that he met Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, who he would later join in a fledgling incarnation of Nirvana. The rest, as they say, is history.
So, let's go back to our original premise. It was predetermined from the start that Grohl would become a rock star. Why? It's simple really. Here are four facts we offer as evidence.
Lookin' Good, Feelin' Fine
He looks the part. With his jet back locks and prominent facial hair, he possesses an intimidating visage that accentuates his fierce determination and gives him a distinctive dynamic. He's a captivating presence and he emanates a cool confidence practically. It's one thing to be talented, but it's equally important to look the part as well.
Fell In Love With a Drummer
Of course, when it comes to talent, Grohl is well prepared. An outstanding drummer, he plays guitar with an authority that any axe man would envy. So too, he's a bracing vocalist whose piercing wail ably delivers the urgency and exhilaration inherent in the Foo Fighters' delivery. The fact that he's such an outstanding front man makes his willingness to hang back in support in Them Crooked Vuoltures and his other side projects so notable. A pinch hitter extraordinaire, Grohl's nothing less than an excellent team player.
A Little Help from Friends
Grohl keeps good company... Very good company in fact. Aside from the aforementioned associations, Grohl was part of an all-star line-up that provided the music for Backbeat, a film about the Beatles' early years. Other contributors included Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs, Mike Mills of R.E.M, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum.
However that was merely a warm-up for his collaboration with a real Beatle, specifically Paul McCartney, who he performed with in McCartney's hometown of Liverpool in June 2008. The two also teamed up at the Grammy Awards when Grohl took over drums for a take on "I Saw Her Standing There." More recently, he was one of a number of special guests who performed for President Obama and Sir Paul when Macca received the Kennedy Honors, and later, the Gershwin Prize at the White House. And it's no small potatoes that Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones is currently his band buddy in Them Crooked Cultures. It's a tribute to his humility that he still seems awed in the presence of his pals.
Cool Band, Brah
He's an all-round rocker and versatile in a variety of formats. He played a significant role in the recording of Nevermind, easily the most influential album of the '90s, and he then segued easily from grunge to heavy metal to hard rock with the Foo Fighters, selling millions of albums in the process.
He's also participated in projects with Queens of the Stone Age, Killing Joke, the Prodigy, and, for a brief time, Tom Petty. Even more impressive is the fact that between October 26, 2002, and March 1, 2003, Grohl was in the number one spot on the modern rock charts for 17 of 18 successive weeks, due to membership in three different higly popular groups, Nirvana. Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age.
Happy birthday, Dave Grohl. Thanks for being cool.
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