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Music / Dave Grohl

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The nicest man in rock music
(and also possibly the busiest).

"A lot of nice people in rock, but he’s the nicest."
"Sometimes I get a bit unnerved by niceness because you think someone’s got an agenda, but I don’t think he’s got an agenda. And if he has, he’s playing a long game with it."
Nick Hodgson & Ricky Wilson, from Kaiser Chiefs, describing Dave Grohl at 2011 NME Awards

David Eric Grohl (born January 14, 1969) is an American rock musician and multi-instrumentalist mainly known for his work as the most famous drummer of Nirvana and the creator and frontman of Foo Fighters, but he's also involved with a ridiculous number of side projects.

Having spent his teenage years in hard-working but little-known hardcore punk bands, Grohl's first exposure to popular attention in the world of music was as the last of several drummers for Nirvana, joining the band in 1990. Four years later, they disbanded after the death of frontman Kurt Cobain.

Grohl, dealing with grief and knowing his perception in the public's mind as just another drummer, decided to start his own band, Foo Fighters, and is the creative force behind their output. Almost every single sound on their first album was played by him, whether it was made by drums, guitar, bass or voice. He did not intend for the band to be a long-term project and is on record stating that if he'd known it was going to last, he'd have chosen a better name. Nonetheless, the band is still going strong after two decades.

Grohl is also very busy with other stuff as well; while the discography below is somewhat exaggerated, it's not joking about how much he's in demand. Certain snarkers have even joked that the Rock Band video games should be retitled "Dave Grohl Band," considering that he is or has been involved in at least six of the contributing acts (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Nine Inch Nails, Tenacious D), which is more than basically everyone else on the planet. In fact, Rock Band 3 has an achievement with that very name, which you get by beating three songs on whose recording Grohl was involved.


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     Mission Impossible 
  • Getting Shit for Growing Up Different (1986)

     Dain Bramage 
  • I Scream Not Coming Down (1986)

  • No More Censorship (1988)
  • Live at Van Hall (1988)
  • Your Choice Live Series Vol.10 (1990)
  • Fumble (1993)
  • Live at the Black Cat (1998)

  • Nevermind (1991)
  • Hormoaning (1992)
  • Incesticide (1992)
  • In Utero (1993)
  • MTV Unplugged in New York (1994)
  • Singles (1996)
  • From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah (1996)
  • Nirvana (2002)
  • With the Lights Out (2004)
  • Sliver: The Best of the Box (2005)
  • Live at Reading (2009)
  • Icon (2010)

  • Pocketwatch (1992)
  • Neapolitan Metropolitan (1992)
  • Music From The Motion Picture Touch (1997)

     The Backbeat Band 
  • Music From The Motion Picture Backbeat (1994)

     The Melvins/King Buzzo 
  • King Buzzo (1995)

     The Stinky Puffs 
  • A Little Tiny Smelly Bit of The Stinky Puffs (1995)

     Foo Fighters (originally recorded songs are marked with an asterisk) 
  • Foo Fighters (Album) (1995)
  • Big Shiny Tunes (1996; "Alone + Easy Target")
  • Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 3 (1996; "This Is a Call")
  • Songs in the Key of X: Music From and Inspired by The X-Files (1996; "Down in the Park"*)
  • The Colour and the Shape (1997)
  • Tibetan Freedom Concert (1997; "This Is a Call")
  • Music From The Dimension Motion Picture Scream 2 (1997; "Dear Lover"*)
  • Come Again (released in the United States in 1998 as Essential: Interpretations) (1997; a cover of Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street"*)
  • Godzilla: The Album (also known as Godzilla: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1998; "A320"*)
  • The X-Files: The Album (1998; a new version of "Walking After You")
  • Steve Lamacq's Bootleg Session (also known as Melody Maker: Steve Lamacq's Bootleg Session) (1998; "Friend of a Friend"*)
  • Big Shiny Tunes 3 (1998; "My Hero")
  • Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 5 (1998; "Monkey Wrench")
  • Varsity Blues - Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture (1998; "My Hero")
  • MTV: The First 1000 Years: Rock (1999; "I'll Stick Around")
  • There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999)
  • Music From And Inspired By Mission: Impossible II (2000; "Have a Cigar", with Brian May*)
  • Me, Myself & Irene - Music From The Motion Picture (2000; "Breakout")
  • Cold: Live at the Chapel (2000; "Everlong")
  • WAAF: Survive This! (2000; "My Hero (Worcester-Firefighters Tribute Mix)"*)
  • 99X Live X 6 - Walk Unafraid (2000; "My Hero")
  • Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 7 (2000; "Learn to Fly")
  • Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 8 (2001; "Generator")
  • Music from the Motion Picture Out Cold (2001; "Win or Lose"*)
  • Orange County: The Soundtrack (2001; "The One"*)
  • One by One (2002)
  • Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 10 (2002; "All My Life")
  • Big Day Out Discrespective 1992-1997 / 1999-2002 The Best Of The Main Stages (2002; "Generator")
  • Big Day Out 03 (2002; "The One")
  • Rock Against Bush, Vol. 2 (2004; a cover of the Angry Samoans' "Gas Chamber"*)
  • Little Steven's Underground Garage Presents: CBGB Forever (2005; "Danny Says"*)
  • In Your Honor (2005)
  • Five Songs and a Cover (2005)
  • Radio 1's Live Lounge (2006; "DOA")
  • Skin and Bones (2006)
  • Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007)
  • The Colour and the Shape 10th Anniversary Special Edition (2007)
  • Radio 1: Established 1967 (2007; "Band on the Run"*)
  • Catch and Release - Music From The Motion Picture (2007; "Razor")
  • Greatest Hits (2009)
  • Wasting Light (2011)
  • Medium Rare (2011)
  • Thor: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2011; "Walk")
  • Real Steel: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2011; "Miss the Misery")
  • iTunes Festival: London 2011 (2011)
  • Sonic Highways (2014)
  • Songs from the Laundry Room EP (2015)
  • Saint Cecilia EP (2015)
  • Concrete and Gold (2017)
  • Medicine at Midnight (2021)
  • Hail Satin (2021) — released under the name "Dee Gees".note 
  • But Here We Are (2023)

     Harlingtox A.D. 
  • Harlingtox Angel Divine (1996)

     Puff Daddy 
  • "It's All About the Benjamins" single (1997; played drums in the Rock Remix)

     Dave Grohl 
  • The World Premiere Of Godzilla The Album (1998)
  • Rising Son - The Legend Of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi: Music Inspired By The Film (2006; "Vile")
  • Play (2018)

  • Earthlings? (1998)
  • Human Beans (2000; drums on "Rock Dove")

     Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 

  • Into The Pink (1999; producer)

     Reeves Gabrels 
  • Ulysses (Della Notte) (2000; drums on "Jewel")

     Mx Px 
  • The Ever Passing Moment (2000; cameo on "The Next Big Thing")

     Tony Iommi 
  • Iommi (2000; drums on "Goodbye Lament")

     Tenacious D 
  • Tenacious D (2001; drums on all tracks, guitar on all except "Fuck Her Gently", "Kyle Quit the Band", "Lee", "Friendship", "Karate" and the skits)
  • The Pick of Destiny (2006; drums on all tracks, vocals on "Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)")

     David Bowie 

     Queens of the Stone Age 
  • Songs for the Deaf (2002)
  • Like Clockwork (2013; drums on "If I Had a Tail", "My God Is the Sun", "Fairweather Friends", "Smooth Sailing" and "I Appear Missing")

     Cat Power 
  • You Are Free (2003; bass and drums on "Speak for Me"; drums on "He War" and "Shaking Paper")

     Killing Joke 
  • Killing Joke (2003)

     The Bangles 
  • Doll Revolution (2003; backing vocals)

  • Probot (2004)

  • Bleed Like Me (2005; drums on "Bad Boyfriend")

     Nine Inch Nails 
  • With Teeth (2005; drums on "You Know What You Are?", "The Collector", "Every Day Is Exactly the Same", "Getting Smaller", "Sunspots" and "The Line Begins to Blur"; percussion in "All the Love in the World")
  • Not the Actual Events (2016: drums on "The Idea of You")

     Rye Coalition 
  • Chariots on Fire EP (2006; producer)
  • Curses (2006)

     Pete Yorn 
  • Nightcrawler (2006; drums on "For Us")

     Juliette and the Licks 
  • Four on the Floor (2007)

     Jackson United 
  • Harmony and Dissidence (2008; drums on "Undertow", "Black Regrets", "Lifeboat", "Trigger Happy", "White Flag Burning", "Stitching" and "Like a Bomb")

     Lemmy Kilmister 
  • We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year (2008; "Run Rudolph Run")

     The Prodigy 
  • Invaders Must Die (2009; drums on "Run with the Wolves" and "Stand Up")

     Them Crooked Vultures 
  • Them Crooked Vultures (2009)

  • Slash (2010; drums on "Watch This")

     Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders 
  • Red Light Fever (2010; vocal and guitar)

     Mondo Generator 
  • Dog Food EP (2010)

     Michael Jackson 
  • Michael (2010; drums on "(I Can't Make It) Another Day"... sort of)

     Norah Jones 
  • ...Featuring (2010; "Virginia Moon", off In Your Honor)

     Zac Brown Band 
  • The Grohl Sessions, Vol. 1 (2013)


  • Alternative Rock
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Is well known for behaving like, well, Animal from The Muppet Show when he drums. To the point where he and Animal himself have a drum-off in The Muppets (2015). (He also played Animool, the drummer for a Muppet tribute band called the Moopets, in The Muppets (2011)). Ironically, Grohl has always claimed that his drumming ability is nothing special, even saying that Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins is far more talented than he is. It's thought that a lot of the attention given to Grohl's playing in Nirvana came from the fact that it was the first time the vast majority of people heard hardcore-style drumming.
  • Ascended Meme: The subject of one. The Rock Band franchise had the playfully derisive nickname of "Dave Grohl Band" due to featuring so many bands that Dave had been involved in. Rock Band 3 canonizes it with the "Dave Grohl Band" achievement/trophy, earned by beating five songs that fit that criterion, and it's not even difficult to accomplish.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Dave has a well deserved reputation as the "nicest guy in rock", but if you come to his show and try and start a fight, he will lose his shit with you as one jerk found out.
  • Doom Metal
  • Doting Parent: To his three daughters. After the 2012 Grammys when he was asked how he stays so grounded, and his response was having kids who "don't fucking care that [I'm] a rockstar" and "don't give a shit" that he's in the Foo Fighters, and say stuff like "Daddy, I need a smoothie. Now." to which Dave responds "Okaaay..."
  • Fun Personified
  • Genre Roulette: His variety of styles is impressive.
  • Grunge
  • Heavy Metal: His Probot side project was Dave writing metal songs in the styles of all his favorite bands from when he was growing up, and then asking those singers to participate. Not a single one turned him down.
  • I Have Many Names
  • I Am the Band: The first Foo Fighters album. Probot also has him playing almost all the instruments, with the exception of lead guitar on two songs (courtesy of Kim Thayil), and bass on two others (from famous singer-bassists Cronos and Lemmy).
  • Must Have Caffeine: The famous FRESH POTS incident, which actually landed him in the hospital at one point.
  • Nature Metal: Dave Grohl's heavy metal side project Probot has "Silent Spring", with lyrics and vocals by Kurt Brecht of punk/thrash outfit D.R.I. It's essentially a protest song ("That's not the way that I am / No") against runaway consumerism, pollution, war, and the defilement of a vividly anthropomorphized Mother Earth.
  • Nice Guy: So much his nickname is "the nicest man in rock n' roll". Many fans have stories about him that show his humility, friendliness, and generosity.
  • One-Book Author: A few of his side projects.
  • Rockumentary: Not only has he appeared in several, most prominently Back and Forth (2011), he is also the director of the award-winning and critically acclaimed Sound City (2013)
  • Self-Deprecation: He has always downplayed his drumming abilities, claiming in one interview that "I sit down and do an AC/DC beat." But as Probot proved, while he may not be overly gifted technically, he's certainly more than talented, able to play in the styles of the drummers of the bands from each singer he worked with.
  • Supergroup: Them Crooked Vultures. Probot is also a collaboration with many notable singers.
  • Thrash Metal


Video Example(s):


Foo Fighters

During Foo Fighters' performance at the 2011 iTunes Festival, Dave Grohl spots an unruly member of the audience trying to start a fight. Dave quickly stops the performance to call the person out and promptly boots him out of the crowd.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / GetOut

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