Profiles in Holiness: Dave Grohl

I first discovered Dave Grohl listening to the nineties music of Nirvana. After a shambolic academic record — and to his parents’ horror (his mom taught public school in Fairfax County for 30 years!) — Dave quit school his junior year to rock it out playing drums in local punk bands. And at the tender age of only 17 he toured the world with his first band Scream.

In 1991 Dave met Kurt Cobain, the lead singer, who invited him to audition for Nirvana’s drum position and the rest is history. After Cobain’s death by suicide in 1994, Dave formed the band Foo Fighters. He was living a directionless life in Los Angeles and decided he needed to come home to Virginia to steady himself.

Dave bought a house right here in Alexandria behind Emmanuel at 1800 Nicholson Lane where he and his twenty-somethings Foo Fighter bandmatesĀ hand builtĀ a studio in the basement where they recorded their second album — a Grammy award winning album behind our church!! It’s pretty amazing. I’ve heard that you can hear birdsong on some of the tracks because they didn’t have air conditioning and had the windows open. Beautiful, right?

Illustration by M.Wohler after “Nevermind” Liner Notes.

Dave Grohl is a total local boy who never got caught up in his international celebrity. He is generous, a great dad, super self deprecating, and is widely known as the nicest person in rock and roll. This is how he rolls.

During the pandemic Grohl was challenged to a drum battle by a 10 year old English girl named Nandi Bushell. He thought it was cute but she turned out to be a real challenge and he admits that she beat him hands down. I think his lack of ego and humility to ā€œloseā€ to a little girl drummer earns him a halo, a definite saint.

“After going back and forth with Bushell a few times, he jokingly conceded victory to her, and later wrote and performed a song in her honor. Later, after speaking to Bushell over a video chat, Grohl offered to have Bushell perform with the Foo Fighters on stage, an offer he made good on when she appeared with the band during their August 26, 2021 show at the L.A. Forum, where she performed drums on “Everlong” as the show’s finale. The videos of the drum battle received tens of millions of views.” (Wikipedia)

On October 5, 2021, Grohl’s memoir The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music was published by Dey Street Books.

— Margaret Wohler


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The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog

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