Cooking in Colorado with Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters
"Fashion designer Johnny Versace was gunned down today outside his Miami mansion," announces the NBC newsman who has trouble pronouncing Italian names."Police say they are hunting for a homosexual spree killer."
America, with temperatures rising above the 100 degree mark and passions boiling over, is no place for the famous to be wandering around in flip-flops. Air conditioned buses, that's what they need, and Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters front man, former Nirvana drummer and confirmed touraholic, loves his. Grohl, now 28, has been touring the States, and elsewhere, since he was 18. Nirvana made him, he doesn't need to hit the road and roustabout for the rock'n'roll carnival.
"I love touring," he says, tapping out a rhythm on a Denver hotel room coffee table with a piece of wood. "When I first started I used to get out of the hotel every day, but these days I wake up at two. We sound check, sit around and wait to play, then get on the bus and drive. I find some bizarre comfort in the bus, your trailer park home on the road."
When he's not cocooned in his vehicle there's always 24-hour TV. He's watched Mike Myers new film 'Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery' five times since he arrived. You can forgive him for not caining it till dawn in every town. The tour for 95's 'Foo Fighters' album lasted a year-and-a-half. Now, on the final leg of the US tour for 'The Colour And The Shape' album, he'll soon be back at the LA home he moved into three days before going out. Ever feel like doing something different?
"This is the first time I've said this to someone I don't know. I think I'm gonna make a film. It'll be a comedy. I did a score for a movie called 'Touch'. That's probably the most fun I've ever had in the studio. Mine's gonna be like a Spike Lee Film, fucking music front to back."
Will you go to a Hollywood studio and try to get millions to make it?
"I've already got that! No, I'm joking. I don't really understand why you should spend more than $100,000 making a film."
Films are a big influence on Dave Grohl's music. But we're not talking 'Taxi Driver' here.
"The movies that get to me the most are those fucking animal movies where they make animals talk. They get me so bad."
What, like 'Babe'?
"I've never seen 'Babe'. I'm afraid to watch it. I've seen the trailers. I've seen the little pig talking and screaming mommy. I cried watching a 'Free Willy' trailer. It's animals speaking English. Like a little kitten that gets lost, dumped in the back of a truck, goes to Chinatown and meets a duck and they become friends."
What kind of film is this man going to make? He's started to bang his forehead with the stick and he's smoking heavily. There's a lot of pent-up energy in him. It comes out filtered through a laid-back, interview-friendly personality. Simple enough on the surface, but ultimately hard to pin down. Much like his home country.
News anchor: "Coming later, the man who had a brain operation and afterwards found 31 inches of tape up his nose."
Co-presenter: "My God, that's almost a foot!"
The sound man at the dilapidated Denver theater later that day may well have almost a foot of surgical tape in his ears. After a good performance from support band Supergrass, the Foos play a blistering set. Their post-gunge style, alternating moods of beautiful melodic introspection and explosions of black emotion, suits America, a country devoted to the pursuit of personal expression, where cab drivers start telling you about their painful divorce three minutes after picking you up and where men who used to drum in Nirvana shout, "I fuckin' love red meat!" while being interviewed in hotel rooms.
On stage, Grohl dedicates 'Weenie Beenie' to Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, and then screams "Stevieee Niiicks" any time there's a gap in the noise. Luckily, towering rock choon 'My Poor Brain' and it's searing chorus are free of dino-rock name checks and the set rattles to an end with churning classics from the first album. The Foo's new drummer, Taylor Hawkins, is a shirtless blur of heavy pounding arms. Not bad for a man who used to play for Alanis Morissette.
News anchor: "Police are searching for a bank robber who was given a traceable pack of money by a teller earlier today. The robber put the packet, which explodes to release an indelible ink, down his trousers. He was last seen in his underpants making a very painful getaway."
"Shaddup, dick!" says the fattest cop I've ever seen to Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey. He's got me, Taylor and photographer Shakey crammed in the back of a car, while the girls who were driving us plead for their licences. How were we to know the cops would take exception to four blokes drinking beer in the back of a car? "Can I see some ID?" "Whats your date of birth?" "What you doin' in Denver?" They don't like the cut of our various jibs, but eventually the strain of carrying around all that lard gets to them and they let us go. All intoxicants jettisoned through the car window when they pulled us over have to be abandoned.
We finally find Dave at two in the morning at a warehouse with a skateboarding half-pipe. A very pissed Shakey spends the rest of the night wiping out magnificently and shooting skateboards at people's heads. Dave Grohl, meanwhile, is impersonating Dr Evil: "My father would make outrageous claims. Like he had invented the question mark. Sometimes he'd accuse chestnuts of being lazy!"
Eventually, bruised and pissed, we drag ourselves off to the hotel. The last thing I hear Dave 'Dr Evil' Grohl say?
"As a child we used to make meat helmets!"
Oh, that'll explain a lot.
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