Dave Grohl is the real deal. After spending the early '90s clocking stage time in one of the most influential bands of his generation, no one would have thought twice if he had shied away from the limelight following his Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994.
But instead, he did just the opposite: He formed his own band, Foo Fighters, that has since become so popular and prolific in its own right that it has long since grown out of Nirvana's shadow into its own hit-making force. Grohl, too, has become a more confident and engaging performer, winning over fans with his warm demeanor and natural charisma.
To say I'm a fan of Grohl's is a bit of an understatement. Anyone who follows me on the Gimme Noise Twitter account knows that even the possibility of a run-in with the rock star is enough to get me tweeting up a storm -- so much so that I started the #creepinondavegrohl hashtag at this year's SXSW. So consider this list an extension of my ongoing fascination with the Foo frontman, and a way for you to quickly glean some knowledge from the countless interviews and profiles I've read on Mr. Grohl.
He and his band will play the Xcel Center tonight.
10. He loves Bob Mould, and has jammed with him. "I was a huge Husker Du fan, and obviously Bob Mould's music has influenced the way I write music and the way I play guitar," he told Classic Rock magazine. "I had this song that I thought might sound cool if he sand with me on it, call and response, so I texted him and said 'Hey, do you want to come down?' And he did. We weren't really sure what we were going to do. I watched him play guitar and as I watched him do it I realised that I owe more to Bob Mould than to maybe any other musician. There's specific things that he does that I learned from him, not from anyone else."
9. While auditioning for D.C. hardcore band Scream, Grohl lied about his age (he was actually 17, but said he was 20) so he would be taken seriously.
8. He thinks he has borderline OCD. From an interview with Andrew Denton: "Well, ever since I was young I have been obsessed with music. To me it's like a puzzle. It's like a Rubik's cube. If I were sitting here talking to you and there was music in the background, I would kind of pretend to listen to you, but I would be focused on, 'I bet that's an 18 inch kick drum and that's kind of an interesting drum move that they have going.' It's a part of my mind that borders on having an obsessive compulsive disorder."
7. His favorite joke is painfully cute. "Why was six scared of seven? Because seven, eight, nine."
6. He still can't figure out why "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was so popular. From a Mojo interview: "Do I think it's the greatest single of all time? Of course not! I don t even think it's the greatest Nirvana single. And compared to Revolution by The Beatles or God Only Knows by The Beach Boys ?! Give me a break! Smells Like Teen Spirit was a great moment in time... but there's better."
5. His childhood nickname was "Hans Grohlo," according to some celeb magazine I read while I was getting my hair done once.
4. He never goes on stage without a piece of gum -- or five -- in his mouth. "I have to when we play live because all that screaming will dry out your throat," he told Time. "The last thing you want to do is gag and barf in front of 20,000 people."
3. He loves fancy cheeses. "I heart cheese. Cow cheese. I'm not down with goat cheese... I just imagine sucking a dirty goat's tit. I don't want that in my mouth. Whereas a cow, with those big supple handlebar nipples, I'll suck the hell out of those," he told Blender. "If I were going to make you a cheese platter, it would include Esrom, a northern European cheese with a bite - it's one of those cheeses that tastes fine, but afterward your hand smells like old pussy. Then Bierkase: delicious, goes well with a nice hefewisen, which is wheat beer. And finally I'd have to go with Chaumes, a french cheese that tastes like God."
2. He admires Bob Dylan. "Being asked by Bob Dylan to go on the road with him is like being knighted or something. How could we say no?" he told Uncut.
1. He sees his most recent album as one of his last chances to really rock out before he gets too old. "As we get older there's this urge to mellow, because it just seems age-appropriate," he recently told Classic Rock. "But then I thought, fuck that! I'm 42 now. I don't know if I'm going to be able to make this record when I'm 46 or 49. It's my last chance. So I'm going to go for it."
FOO FIGHTERS play TONIGHT, SEPTEMBER 14, with Rise Against at the XCEL ENERGY CENTER. All ages. $34.50-$54.50. 7 p.m.