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‘The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music’ with Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl shares stories from his new book "The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music” on Tuesday, Oct. 5 (Video: The Washington Post)

Dave Grohl rose to fame as the drummer of Nirvana in the early 1990s. For the last 26 years, he has led the Foo Fighters through 10 albums, 12 Grammys and a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. In his new book, “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music,” Grohl, who is also an Emmy-winning director, shares what it was like growing up as a kid with big dreams in Springfield, Virginia, and how he lived out those dreams making music on the world stage.

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Dave Grohl said he called his mother to ask her for her advice when he was asked to leave Scream, a D.C. hardcore punk band, for Nirvana. He added if she told him to stay, he wouldn’t have joined the band. “She — the most altruistic, generous person I’ve ever met in my entire life — said, “You know, sometimes you have to do what’s best for you,” which surprised me coming from her…If my mother would’ve told me [to stay], we probably wouldn’t be on Washington Post Live right now.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
In his new book, “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music,” Dave Grohl talks about the passing of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, a topic he says he was afraid to tackle. “I kind of knew what people wanted me to write. I kind of knew what people maybe expected me to write, but instead of doing that, you know, I wanted to focus on a much broader, emotional picture. And so the chapter in which I write about Kurt passing, you know, that was the last piece I wrote because I was kind of afraid to write it.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
The Foo Fighters are requiring proof of vaccination for their upcoming shows. When asked about bands and musicians who’ve opposed such restrictions, Dave Grohl said, “different bands have different policies, and they do it different ways.” “When it comes to my band and my crew, we want to make it as safe as a place as possible to see the music, to listen to the music…We do it the way that we hopes keeps everyone safe.” (Video: Washington Post Live)

Dave Grohl

DAVE GROHL, a 16-time Grammy-winning musician and 2-time Emmy-winning director, has been one of the most beloved and respected figures on the international music scene since his recorded debut with Nirvana on 1991's generation-defining Nevermind. Grohl took center stage with Foo Fighters' 1995 self-titled debut, the first album in massive 12-Grammy-winning catalogue that now includes The Colour & The Shape (1997), There Is Nothing Left To Lose (1999), One By One (2002), In Your Honor (2005), Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007), Wasting Light (2011), Sonic Highways (2014), Concrete and Gold (2017) and, most recently, Medicine at Midnight (2021).

Grohl has a well-earned reputation as a prolific collaborator: His various endeavors have included "Cut Me Some Slack,” written and recorded with Paul McCartney and Grohl's Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear; Them Crooked Vultures, formed with Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones and Queens of the Stone Age's Joshua Homme, late legends David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, as well as Mick Jagger, Neil Young, Elton John, Nine Inch Nails, Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen, to name a few.

In 2013, Grohl made his debut as a feature director/producer with the acclaimed documentary Sound City. Named for the Van Nuys CA studio where Nirvana recorded Nevermind in 1991, which would sell more than 30 million copies and transform the modern musical landscape. Premiering to unanimous raves at Sundance and achieving a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, Sound City focused both on the history of the legendary studio and on the ongoing fight to preserve the human element of music. Hailed by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone as an "exhilarating documentary about what makes life worth living,” by The New York Times as "candy to several generations' worth of rock fans" and NPR as "a celebration of just how unbelievably awesome it is to make rock music for a living," Sound City has since been certified as a Gold Longform Video by the RIAA, while the Sound City—Real To Reel companion album took the 2013 Grammys for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media and Best Rock Song (“Cut Me Some Slack”).

Grohl also directed the eight-part HBO docuseries Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, which premiered in October 2014 and went on to win two of the four Emmys for which it was nominated (outstanding sound mixing for nonfiction programming and outstanding sound editing for nonfiction programming). Described by Grohl as a love letter to the history of American music, Sonic Highways was comprised of eight one-hour episodes, each chronicling the creation of one song on Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways album, each written and recorded in a different American musical landmark -- Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.