Thursday, November 25, 2021

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

Dave Grohl is comes across as one of those friendly, but not very popular artistic kids that would be hanging out smoking and would use profanity as word fillers. Many would end up "getting a real job", but some would continue to nurse the passion and try to continue to live as an artist. Most of those would still need a day job to support themselves. Only a dedicated few would actually be able to support themselves as a musician. Dave is one of those "few". 

Grohl's career has had a number of lucky breaks combined with a willingness to take risks. He enjoyed going to a jazz club and dared take the stage and play drums despite minimal experience. He later spotted an advertisement for one of his favorite bands (Scream) needing a drummer. He auditioned and followed up later after not hearing back. Even thing he at first did not take the plunge to join, only to change his mind and drop out of school to join the band. He toured with the band for a few years, only to be stranded on the west coast as the band broke up. A band called Nirvana was in need of a new drummer. He was recruited and joined the band. He continued living a life of bare subsistence as he continued to focus on music. Nirvana hit it big, allowing him to finally enjoy some more financial success. However, the band broke up after Cobain's death. Grohl continued to focus on his music and put out a demo of some of his songs. This lead to the Foo Fighters and continual musical success. Even with success he would stay down to earth and be focus on the music.

The Storyteller is primarily a collection of anecdotes documenting key events in Grohl's life and career. There are tales of the struggles on the road as a starving artist. There are also many incidents of being in the right place at the right time. In one case, his band happened to be at a venue where Iggy Pop had a release party and he was recruited to play in the band. There are many other stories of chance encounters with his musical idols.

There are also stories of Grohl as a family man. One year he was in Australia at the same time as a school daddy daughter dance. He managed to rearrange the concert dates to get two days off to fly back to California, attend the dance and return. (And to make things more interesting, he had food poisoning on the trip back.) His friendships with other musicians also led his daughters to have interesting experiences, like a pajama party with Joan Jet or a piano lesson with Paul McCartney.

Through all the experiences, Grohl portrays himself as a friendly, energetic guy that is just ready to roll with whatever life throws his way. He would take chances to meet people that he had idolized, and is willing to spend time with his fans. In a concert in Sweden, he fell off the stage and broke his leg. After receiving medical attention, he returned to finish the concert - with a medic holding his leg in place. After cancelling only a few shows, he returned to tour, sitting in a "throne" to support him with his leg in a cast. The show must go on.

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