Six Degrees of Grohl


In the rock world, a mere flick of the guitar pick—Paul Stanley style—could land you face to face with a singer, guitarist or producer who’s logged stage or studio time with Dave Grohl. Here are Grohl’s knee-jerk thoughts on some of the most famous, infamous or devil-horn worthy from within and outside of the rock arena:

Kurt Cobain: "Such a sweetheart, and one of the funniest people you’ve ever met. Honestly. People don’t realize that: Everyone imagines Nirvana walking around with a black cloud over their head, but that dude was fuckin’ hilarious."

Norah Jones: "Fuckin’ cuter than anyone than I’ve ever met in my entire life. And wickedly talented."

Josh Homme: "He’s like my big bodyguard. Josh is the perfect friend. He’s the best guy to go drinkin’ with, he’s the best guy to play music with, and you know when you’re around him, everything’s gonna be alright. He’s like a big daddy. He’s got that big daddy vibe. That’s why chicks dig him so much: He just makes em feel safe."

John Kerry: "Ah! I hope he runs again. I really hope he runs again. I don’t know if that’s possible. And he almost fucking had it as well."

Lemmy Kilmeister: "My hero. I hope that when I’m 62 years old, I can still be as much of a badass as Lemmy."

Courtney Love: "I hope she’s doing well. I haven’t heard from her in a long time and maybe that’s a good thing. I mean, it seems like she’s gettin’ it back together. More than anything you just want the people you know to be healthy and happy. Really, that’s the most important thing."

Ian Mackaye: "He’s a saint. Untouchable. That guy is 100-percent right on. No question. I don’t know that he’s ever made a mistake in his life."

Shirley Manson: "Legs, baby! That girl’s got legs!"

Joe Strummer: "Like a fuckin’ knight. That guy just embodied strength and courage and wisdom. He was very cool — and…a gentleman."

He’s splayed himself open on Foo Fighters classics, bashed away on Cobain juggernauts and fought back tears of laughter behind Jack Black. Here’s Dave Grohl on a smattering of songs he’s played on over the years:

In Bloom (from Nirvana’s Nevermind, 1991): When I first heard it, it reminded me of the Bad Brains in a weird way. It reminded of “Re-Ignition.” I remember thinking, “This song is weird. I don’t think anyone is gonna like it.”

All Apologies (from Nirvana’s In Utero, 1993): Something that Kurt wrote on that same 4-track in our apartment in Olympia. I remember hearing it and thinking, “God, this guy has such a beautiful sense of melody, I can’t believe he’s screaming all the time.”

Tribute (from Tenacious D’s Tenacious D, 2001): Recording with Tenacious D is such a bitch, because you’re laughing so hard there’s tears rolling down your face, and you’re trying to keep time. It’s not easy.

Times Like These (from the Foo Fighters’ One by One, 2002): At the time, I thought it was the best song I had ever written in my life, because it came from such a real place, and it was immediate, it happened out of nowhere.

A Friend of a Friend (from the Foo Fighters’ In Your Honor, 2005): The first song I ever wrote on an acoustic guitar. I wrote that in 1990, when I first moved up to that apartment in Olympia. Before I wrote “Marigold,” I wrote “A Friend of a Friend.” I don’t think I ever played it for Krist or Kurt, but it’s about them.