He dates the finest women, eats the finest cheeses and drummed in the finest band. Is there anything the Foo Fighters frontman (and Courtney Love nemesis) hasn’t done? “I haven’t met Gallagher yet,” he sighs. . . .
Dave Grohl is gnawing on a cheeseburger and sucking down an imported beer. “Grab a Heiney,” he offers, moving out of his Los Angeles–based management office to have dessert: tobacco flambé. Except for the recessed white filter on his Parliament, the bearded Foo Fightin’ man, 34, looks like he just stepped out of the cab of a big rig, not the silver BMW he drove up in.
Wearing a T-shirt with a mushroom cloud and the words THAT’S ALL FOLKS (“Thrift shop”), Japanese Levi’s (“American ones are for frat boys with weird, big asses, and I’m a man with a skinny ass”) and blue suede shoes (“Puma Californias”), Grohl is a droll, self-effacing star. The ex–Nirvana drummer recently enjoyed a dream evening at the Grammys, taking home a Best Hard Rock statue for the Foo Fighters’ “All My Life” and jamming with Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and No Doubt’s Tony Kanal in a rousing tribute to the late Joe Strummer.
Still, Grohl remains a humble servant of rock: “I’m a high-school dropout who was destined to manage a fuckin’ Wal-Mart!” he cracks. “Now I can do whatever I want.”
As Blender’s photographer angles to take a parting shot, Grohl breaks into a chimpanzee grin and yells, “Hey, take off the lens cap! C’mon, Ansel Adams, work with me here.”
All right, pal, you asked for it. . .
Tell me your favourite joke about rock drummers?
Ruby_2, LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA
Oh, there are so many. I like them when they're cruel, like "Why do drummers leave their drumsticks on the dashboard of the car? So they can park in handicapped spaces."
What’s Dave Grohl’s secret for success with the ladies?
YKANTUC, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
I’m kinda like Ducky from the John Hughes classic Pretty in Pink. I’m that loyal, quirky, funny, eccentric but weird-looking guy. With no sense of fashion.
Of all the John Hughes films, though, Sixteen Candles is the crux of my being. The essence of my core. That’s my life story. But rather than being Ducky, I’d be Farmer Ted, the geek played by Anthony Michael Hall. I really looked up to Anthony Michael Hall until he got his braces off and started bulking up.
You're an avid cheese connoisseur. So what's your pleasure - goat, sheep or cow?
FRANKENDUDE, UTICA, NEW YORK
I heart cheese. Cow cheese. I'm not down with goat cheese because a)it's a little too sour for me, and b) the fact that it's called goat cheese - I just imagine sucking a dirty goat's tit. I don't want that in my mouth. Whereas a cow, with those big supple handlebar nipples, I'll suck the hell out of those.
If I were going to make you a cheese platter, it would include Esrom, a northern European cheese with a bite - it's one of those cheeses that tastes fine, but afterward your hand smells like old pussy. Then Bierkase: delicious, goes well with a nice hefewisen, which is wheat beer. And finally I'd have to go with Chaumes, a french cheese that tastes like God.
Which line from the Clash’s “London Calling” did you most want to sing at the Grammys, and were you able to?
LIBBYZ, FRANKLIN, MICHIGAN
Yes, I got to scream “A nuclear er-ror!” Not nuke-you-lur, like some people from the shallow end of the gene pool might say. I wasn’t too sure about the phony Beatlemania thing; I left that to Bruce [Springsteen] and Elvis [Costello]. Standing next to Springsteen freaked me out. It’s like meeting Abraham Lincoln without the hat.
How would you feel if I said that the drum fill in “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is your signature contribution to rock & roll history?
KOJACK, BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON
I’d probably have to agree, because I consider myself somewhat of a blandish drummer. I hold down the beat and let everybody else do their thing. I’m not very flashy, but when it’s time to do something special, you lay a little extra sauce on it and see what happens.
When you were dating Winona Ryder, did anything go missing from your apartment?
MOLLYLIPS, RUTLAND, VERMONT
Wait a second. [Adopts a mock corporate executive voice] I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't date her. I'm a musician.
Did Christina Aguilera really do a beer bong with you last year?
Yeah, and she parties like a champ. I give her props for that, for sure. She’s definitely the kind of girl you would want to do beer bongs with. She wasn’t “dirrty” about it at all — in fact, she finished every last drop. Dude, that’s the fucking pullquote right there.
Did you ever have a mullet?
RAJ3000, FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS
Of course I did. But I like to refer to it as a 'soccer rocker'. 'Mullet' seems a little derogatory. I was 13 and listened to the Police. Everybody on the soccer team had a haircut like Sting's in 1983.
What was your single greatest moment with Nirvana?
BORAYBERT, PORTLAND, OREGON
Probably playing the Reading Festival in 1992. There had been so many rumours that the band was breaking up, that Kurt was in rehab, that we were self-destructing.
We stepped onstage in front of 60,000 people without rehearsing and played one of the greatest shows that we ever had. It proved that the three of us had a chemistry that went beyond a rehersal room or a magazine cover.
Do the guys in the Foo Fighters ever make Spinal Tap jokes about your girlfriend being the band's "documentarian"?
McDODO, CORAM, NEW YORK
Oh, interesting! [firmly] No, because if they did, they'd be fired. The iron fist works very well. We're one big happy family.
Tell me about one unreleased song that's going to be on the Nirvana box set?
YUGHOH1, TAMPA, FLORIDA
I'd have to say 'Beans' which is just Kurt speeding up his voice to sound like a munchkin who's singing "beans, beans, beans" over and over again into a four track. It's a hit, man - I can't wait for the video. TRL all the way.
Have you read any parts of Kurt Cobain’s Journal
SIRCHARLES, LAS VEGAS
No, I haven’t. It makes me uncomfortable reading a diary written by someone I know. Maybe if it was Divine’s diary or Björn Borg’s, I might be interested. But the fact that it’s someone I know seems a little intrusive.
Do you know what the book says about you? And did you know that Kurt was keeping a journal?
ANDRENYC, NEW YORK
No, but I'm sure it's all great [laughs]. Kurt would write every night before going to sleep, and when we shared a small apartment in Olympia, Washington in 1990, he would retire to his room and write for hours and hours before turning out his light and going to sleep. I'm sure that he has many journals and diaries that haven't been seen by anyone.
When Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins got into trouble with drugs, did you ever think to yourself, "Oh, no...."?
SPUNKY, SALT LAKE CITY
"....Not again"? [laughs] It was bad, actually. Taylor's like my brother ; he's my best friend in the world. To see another one of your best friends go down from taking that shit too far, it makes you want to become a dentist. You want to get as far away from that shit as possible. Now Taylor's totally sober. He went straight into rehab and hasn't done anything since.
Have you ever taken heroin?
WABBIT, ROANOKE, VIRGINIA
I haven’t so much as smoked a joint since I was 20, and I’m 34 now. I used to love taking acid. I’m one of the few people I know who has never done coke, speed or heroin. My drug career was over by the time I was 20. It was basically weed and acid. That was fun for a while, but I stopped because it gave me panic attacks. I couldn’t smoke a joint and chill out and watch TV; I’d wind up breaking out in hives and calling 911.
You strike me as a likeable dude who must have some hilarious showbiz friends. Who are they? Jack Black? Andy Dick? Gallagher?
RON STONE, HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA
I haven’t met Gallagher yet, but there's always time. I do know Jack Black. I've been a fan of Tenacious D's since 1997. And I played on their new record.
I met Andy Dick only once. He's got that sideways sense of humor where you don't know if you should feel insulted or take a bath or laugh your ass off. Evidently, his cock is so long that he plays the wristwatch joke on people: He'll walk up to a stranger and say, "Hey, you wanna see my new watch?" And you'll look down and he's got his cock wrapped all the way around his wrist.
What music was playing when you lost your virginity?
AOKHILARY, ST LOUIS, MISSOURI
There was no music. The party was over. She was a junior on the basketball team. I was a freshman, and I never saw her again. She ruled me like a caged animal. It was like 2001: A Space Odyssey, just silent until the monolith came crashing down.
What’s the most extravagent thing you've ever spent money on?
My new home that I've just purchased. It's worthy of an MTV Cribs episode. It's fucking dope. It's a big house with a killer view in L.A. - a deluxe hacienda up in the sky, built in the '50s on two and a half acres. I even have tennis courts. I play tennis like I play golf, which is, like, Special Olympics - level.
What's the hardest thing about driving a moped while intoxicated?
BNKYB, SHAKER HEIGHTS, OHIO
Evidently, not getting caught. I was in Australia, having the time of my life on the Gold Coast down there, which is like Daytona Beach.
I rented a moped and rather than take the bus down to the show, since I'm a do-it-yourself guy, I drove my moped up onstage like Rob Halford from Judas Priest. Afterward, I had a few drinks and was driving to my hotel a mile and a half away, and I stumbled upon a sobriety checkpoint. I thought I'd breeze right through, because I didn't think I was drunk and I was on a moped, which is like a bicycle with baseball cards in the spokes. But I blew over the limit and wound up in the pokey. Now every time I go to Australia I get stopped at immigration and have to tell my ridiculous story.
Where there lawyers present the last time you spoke to Courtney Love?
ANDYSTERN, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA
No. We've never been in the same room with lawyers. I think the last time was....1998? Things are going fine. We're not in court; we seem to be very happy and doing our own things. It's one of those things where you might bicker back and forth via lawyers and when you see each other you kind of just giggle. We bumped into each other in an elevator at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles, and she invited me to Michael Stipe's room. I went up and said hello.
What’s the nicest thing you can say about Courtney Love?
Um. Well. I guess that she’s truly an individual. I’ve never met anyone like her in my whole life [laughs]. Next question.
What's your favorite possession from childhood that you still have?
SIDDOGG, TULSA, OKLAHOMA
[Whistles] What coukld that possibly be? Probably my record collection. That's been destroyed, but I still like to look at the covers. I used to think that cleaning your albums with rubbing alcohol was acceptable, seeing as how it's antibacterial. Your records end up looking like Krispy Kremes. Kids, don't clean your records with rubbing alcohol.
If you were a parent would you let Michael Jackson baby-sit your kids?
BUENO, SAN FRANCISCO
No. I'm still trying to stick up for him. I feel bad for the guy. You hate to see anyone fall apart. Nevertheless, he should keep his fucking hands off my kids.