The Chosen Foo

the Ticket 2003

How Dave Grohl found happiness as a Foo Fighter

Foo Fighter frontman Dave Grohl lives and breathes rock 'n' roll. His day Job is playing guitar and singing with Foo Fighters, the band he formed after Kurt Cobain's April 1994 suicide brought Nirvana to an end. But when the Fighters have been resting, Dave has drummed for Queens Of The Stone Age and reformed punk veterans Killing Joke. He has guested with actor Jack Black's band Tenacious D and recorded with his own hardcore outfit Probot. It's no surprise then that when Dave, 34, got married in the back garden of his Los Angeles house last month, the ceremony had a rock 'n' roll theme.
  "I just decided to have a Wedding Festival rather than a Reading Festival," he chuckles. "My backyard kind of looked like a festival site because I had a tent, 250 people, a Beatles tribute band playing and a wonderful DJ."
Despite his play-anywhere reputation, Dave didn't serenade his guests and new bride, 26-year-old TV producer Jordyn Blum.
  "Hell, no, you always see footage of rock stars getting married and their former band mates reuniting for their wedding," he says. "It's usually a horrible mess because everyone is drunk, 10 years older and 10 times heavier. I didn't want that to happen at the Grohl residence. There were no Hollywood stars present, just friends and family. It was certainly not a Jennifer and Brad wedding. Apparently, J-Lo and Ben Affleck have invited everyone to take pictures of their wedding. That's really funny! In an attempt to seem like normal people they've invited every paparazz! helicopter in Northern America to take pictures. I can honestly say that no one gives a shit enough to spend fuel on a helicopter to go over my backyard."
Perhaps not, but Grohl has experienced the media spotlight. Shortly after he met Jordyn, a story circulated that he was dating Christina Aguilera.
  "It was huge news in America, to my amusement, because it was completely untrue," he explains. were both in the same studio and we bumped into each other in the kitchen and talked. But she's a kid, man - what age is she, 21 or something? She's a child and I'm an old rock guy. Then a local radio station said I was dating her and I phoned and told them to get real. Jordyn had a good laugh."
An "old rock guy" he may be, but the Foo Fighters' impassioned rock has insured Grohl a firm bond with his fans, though they've had a troubled history. Initially, they were unfavourably compared to Nirvana. Line-up changes and Dave's painful divorce from his first wife, photographer Jennifer Youngblood, also marred progress. Two years ago, with Grohl on leave with Queens Of The Stone Age and drummer Taylor Hawkins recovering from a drug overdose, the Foos' future looked more perilous than ever. But then One By One, their fourth and most successful album, shifted two million copies.
  "It was amazing to go out and play with the Queens for four or five months because it had been eight years since I'd seriously played drums," says Dave. "The Queens are the best rock band in the world, without question. We toured with them in Australia in February and I was there watching them every night. They are my favourite band." Grohl knows that Foo Fighters - or indeed any rock band are unlikely to have the same effect that Cobain and Nirvana had on the world. So how does he feel when he sees kids who weren't even born when Kurt died wearing T-shirts bearing his friend's face?
  "It doesn't make me sad, or angry, it's just people celebrating his music," he reasons. "I'm sort of numbed to it. Nirvana has become something other than a band of three people, but to me that's what it will always be, three individuals who made a few records and unfortunately stopped making records. For the kids who wear the T-shirts it's become something else, something that's not as simple or as human as that.
"It's funny because when I was young I had posters and ideas about Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, but when Kurt died it knocked that whole perspective out of whack because you can get caught up in the idolatry and lose sight of the fact that these people are just human beings."
UK festivals have always held a special significance for Grohl. The Foos' V Festival appearance is sure to be one of the summer's most uplifting rock shows after last year's Reading headline spot, one of the most moVing in the event's history.
  "It was the first time the Foo Fighters ever headlined a rock festival," he says. "For us to headline a festival that meant so much to me - Reading was the first festival I'd ever played with Nirvana - made it very emotional. My family were backstage in tears, my sister Lisa was at the side of the stage crying, but it was a great feeling."
As usual his mum, sister and Jordyn will accompany Dave to the UK dates.
  "Some families vacation to Atlantic City or Hawaii, we go to European festivals," he laughs. "I was raised in a tight family and I love hanging out with kids, so I look forward to having my own family some day.
"I don't have a plan as yet, but I'm 34 now and I don't want to be a 45-year-old father. But I imagine, what with my youthful virility, I'll be having children late into my sixties," he grins - proof that there's no such thing as too much rock 'n' Grohl.

Words:Gavin Martin

back to the features index