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Trivia / Foo Fighters

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  • Awesome, Dear Boy / Cut Song: Once invited to make a song for a Godzilla movie, Dave couldn't say no, and did "A320" for Godzilla (1998). Dave considers it his favorite Foo Fighters song, and once he actually saw the movie, was relieved to see it was only "at the tail end of the end credits" given Godzilla "was the worst movie we'd ever seen in our lives."
  • Big Name Fan: David Letterman. He describes the band as his favorite, and they've been part of so many significant moments in his life that Slate published an article charting many of them before his final show. A few of them:
    • The band rescheduled an entire leg of their tour to perform "Everlong" on the first episode of Late Night following Letterman's live-saving open heart surgery in 2000.
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    • When the band were the musical guests for an entire week of shows in 2014, Letterman recalled a heartwarming story where "Miracle", one of the band's less popular singles, was the soundtrack to a significant bonding moment between him and his son.
    • The band were Letterman's final guest on his final episode of Late Night and once again performed "Everlong" to soudntrack a montage of moments from Letterman's long history as a late night host.
  • Black Sheep Hit: "Big Me", an upbeat pop rock song, was their first major hit single. A minor case is "Walking After You", a downtempo love ballad. "Learn to Fly", their first on the Billboard Hot 100, was soon reviled by Dave for not being representative of the band's sound and yet played by him every night. And of course, "Everlong", their most popular song, closer to emo than their usual hard rock style and so out of place when they perform it that is usually the show closer.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit:
    • Subverted with "The One", written for the movie Orange County, and received great popularity in the UK both from radio airplay and its video, but a physical single was not released, except as a one off competition prize. Singles were released in Australia and New Zealand but remain rare. "The One" did appear as a B Side to the following single "All My Life", which contributed to "All My Life"'s success. However, if "The One" had been a full single in the UK all signs indicated it would have been a huge hit, and many fans were disappointed when it didn't even appear on their Greatest Hits.
    • Played straight by the full band version of "Walking After You", from a mostly forgotten The X-Files album. At the time, it was far more popular than the version on The Colour and the Shape, mostly because the X-Files version was issued as a single (although these days, is not as widely heard).
  • Breakup Breakout: After all this time, it's easy to forget that Dave Grohl was once a member of one of the most important bands in history.
    • It should be noted, however, that the Nirvana B-side "Marigold" was a Grohl composition that featured him on vocals. Grohl had already written and demoed most of the first album songs in 1992, and he had also released a self-released cassette album called Pocketwatch under the "Late!" pseuydonym. However, these would have been of minimal interest beyond the most obsessive member, but if Nirvana had stayed, it's possible Grohl might have broken out on his own anyway, given his various abilities.
  • Chart Displacement: The band didn't hit the Hot 100 or topped one of Billboard's Rock Charts until "Learn to Fly", meaning the hits from the first two albums ("This Is a Call", "Big Me", "Monkey Wrench", "Everlong"...) weren't that successful chart-wise. Related, the band only had three top 40 singles, "Learn to Fly", "Best of You" and "The Pretender" (which was actually the lowest of those even if it spent months atop the Rock Charts) - "All My Life" barely missed at #43.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Dave is not fond of One by One, saying that 7 of the 11 tracks are subpar. He has said he never played the seven tracks again in his life, but that's technically incorrect.
    • Dave is also not fond of "Oh George" from the self-titled debut.
    • For a very long time, they refused to play "Big Me" live because whenever they did, they'd be pelted with Mentos mints, since the song's video spoofed Mentos commercials, frequently making Dave chastise their audience. They started playing it again after Weezer covered it with great acclaim during their joint "Foozer" tour in 2005-06.
    • Considering their lack of mention of it and Grohl's appearance at an AIDS awareness festival, it's pretty clear the band doesn't want to be reminded of their infamous support of the "AIDS isn't real" movement in their early years.
  • Creator Breakdown: Dave Grohl recorded the Foo Fighters' debut album by himself as a way of coping with Kurt Cobain's death. Follow-up The Colour and the Shape also shows how his divorce and the Troubled Production were affecting him.
  • Cut Song: Dave's independent cassette release of the first album included "Winnebago" as part of its tracklisting, with three extra tracks consisting of "Wattershed", "Podunk" and "Butterflies". Ultimately the record company preferred "Wattershed" to "Winnebago" so it appeared on the official LP with "Winnebago" becoming a b-side to the first single "This Is A Call" along with "Podunk". The two tracks were reinstated on the Japanese release as well as US and Australian tour editions. "Butterflies" however remains exclusive to the cassette.
    • From "The Colour And The Shape", we have a fair few: An unreleased original "I'm Alone Again", a rerecorded "Butterflies", "The Colour And The Shape", "Dear Lover" and "Make A Bet", as well as a fair few covers. In fact, the group reportedly recorded twice as many songs as appear on the album, though a selection were picked. Some group members preferred tracks that were left off the LP.
    • After Taylor Hawkins was hospitalised with an overdose, the group had grown tired of their initial Adam Kasper produced version of "One By One". As a result they kept the original "Tired Of You", rerecorded the remaining tracks they liked, discarded around 5 or 6 tracks they felt were sub-par and wrote new ones to replace them. Three of the tracks dropped from the initial LP were released, "The One" (a non-LP single), "Walking A Line" (released on the Special Edition) and "Normal" which ended up as a B-Side to "Times Like These". Like the "Million Dollar Demos" of the LP tracks that leaked (actually the original version of the LP), they have a slicker production sound than "One By One".
  • Doing It for the Art: Wasting Light, Dave's love letter to analog recording, literally reviving its Garage Band days by recording in Dave's garage. It was also a practice in the self-discipline a performer is required to have when working with limited resources: the band practiced the songs for weeks until they were absolutely perfect before recording a single note.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • Dave Grohl's original Foo Fighters tape consists of the entire first album plus "Winnebago" and "Podunk", and a song called "Butterflies". When the record company decided to remix it and release on CD as the first Foo Fighters album, "Winnebago" and "Podunk" were left off for use as B Sides. "Butterflies" was also left off, but has deliberately never been released on CD, so the only way to get it is through transfers of the tape. This hasn't stopped Grohl playing it live.
    • An earlier example is Dave Grohl's album Pocketwatch which he released under the name Late!. He released this as a mail-order only cassette. He was asked if they could do a CD version but he decided not to to keep the tape special. Supposedly, the master tapes have now been lost.
    • A few B-sides are only available in rare sources, namely vinyl singles, outside of YouTube - these include "Spill" and "Bangin'".
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: The Colour And The Shape is the band's most widely regarded album, but the band are critical of it, feeling they've got a lot better since then, but that critics take no notice. This is illustrated in Nate Mendel's comments in the liner notes of the 10th Anniversary Edition of the album.
  • No Export for You:
    • "The One" wasn't sold anywhere but the US and Australia, and a very limited UK run.
    • Inverted with the various Australian exclusives:
      • "Generator" is extremely popular in Australia due to the fact it was released widely only in Australia as a single. The UK had a short one-week release, although the single is widely available thanks to the band's popularity.
      • Stacked Actors, was also an Australian exclusive. Both songs still get played live often and both go down extremely well.
      • "The Sign" (on In Your Honor), "Once & for All [Demo]" (on Echoes Silence Patience & Grace) on the UK versions of the respective albums. (The latter appears as an iTunes bonus track.)
      • "Better Off" was a bonus track for Wasting Light in Japan and was also on a bonus disc with the US Best Buy release of the album, but wasn't released anywhere else (not even as a B-Side). Both Japanese and the US Best Buy releases sold heavily on import, the Best Buy release selling out quickly thanks to their website allowing worldwide sales and only a few copies being available in US stores. This is a reversal of the above trope, because the UK usually got the bonus tracks. The US Best Buy release also included "Rope (Deadmaus Mix)" which at least was made available as a download and 12", but was not on CD otherwise.
  • The Pete Best: William Goldsmith and Franz Stahl, as they only played live but not in albumsnote  The latter still says his tenure with the band were the best 2 years of his life.
  • Recycled Theme: The verse riff from "Gimme Stitches" is a slower version of the one from the The Colour And The Shape outtake "I'm Alone Again". They are otherwise quite different.
  • Similarly Named Works: "These Days" from Wasting Light shouldn't be confused with R.E.M.'s "These Days" from Lifes Rich Pageant.
  • Troubled Production:
    • The Colour And The Shape. It was the first album as a full band (the self-titled was recorded almost entirely by Grohl), and Dave Grohl found it hard to direct the other band members. He found that drummer William Goldsmith could not reproduce the parts he wanted and had clashes with the album's producer Gil Norton. So he took a break, during which he recorded the drums himself and made Goldsmith quit the band in a manner Grohl regretted. The album sessions featured a number of songs that didn't get finished for the album such as "Alone Again" and an electric version of "Butterflies", two distinctly different 'fast' and 'slow' versions of "Up In Arms" (the album version being edited from two such takes, one half featuring Goldsmith's drumming and the other half Grohl's). The album remains Foo Fighters' best regarded release, but band themselves are not that fond of the album, feeling they were inexperienced and went on to better things. This is evidenced by the fact the label had to get Nate Mendel to write the liner notes for the booklet of the 10th Anniversary edition of the album rather than Grohl as intended. Mendel is critical of the album and notes that they always had to record albums twice, and half the songs didn't get used.
    • One by One, as the band was exhausted and pissed off. They also later felt they rushed into production, as they wanted to get back into it after Taylor OD'd. The entire album was re-recorded from scratch in just two weeks as no one liked what had been done before. Scrapping an entire finished album also meant One by One became one of the most expensive albums in rock history. The experience made everyone involved so miserable that they weren't even talking to eachother at rehearsals until Chris accidentaly started an argument that almost broke the band up. It took Dave going off to record with Queens of the Stone Age before everyone had time to cool off again.
  • Throw It In!: Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs was sitting in on the Foo Fighters sessions and watching Dave record everything with producer Barrett Jones (the album was recorded in a week), and when Dave got to "X-Static", he asked Dulli if he wanted to play and handed him a guitar.

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