John Fogerty has recently been quoted as saying that Dave Grohl has a childlike enthusiasm for music. Grohl’s fans have seen that time and time again over the years, watching him play in a number of situations (including Nirvana and Foo Fighters, but also collaborating with everyone from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers to John Paul Jones). He’s brought his love of music to a new level via his documentary Sound City and the subsequent tour, which has seen him performing with Stevie Nicks, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Fogerty himself. Grohl’s joy was on full display at his keynote speech today (March 14) at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, marking quite a contract between the jaded music industry insiders who tend to cram the streets of Austin during SXSW. Here are our 10 favorite moments from Grohl’s speech.
1. He’s been a crowd-pleaser since the moment he was born. Grohl said that his mom told him that he was “born to applause.” When she gave birth, a couple of medical students were observing, and it was the first birth they’d ever actually seen. As he noted, “hanging upside down, covered with blood, being spanked by a stranger,” was great and early preparation for his eventual career as a rock musician.
2. Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein” rocked his world. Grohl dedicated much of the speech to his love of punk rock, but it was Winter’s instrumental classic, which he’d heard on a K-Tel compilation, not on Winter’s 1972 album They Only Come Out At Night, that made Grohl want to pick up an instrument. He mentioned throughout the speech that he wanted to eventually provide that type of inspiration to other musicians.
3. Inducting Rush at this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony? It’s been a long time coming. Grohl described setting up pillows as drums in his bedroom before he had a drum kit and “playing until sweat was dripping off of my Rush posters.”
4. The Foo Fighters’ debut LP was not his first experience as a one-man band. He demonstrated, from the stage, how he multi-tracked as a kid: Playing an acoustic guitar riff into a tape recorder, then putting that tape into a stereo, playing it back and tapping along a drum line, and recording that on the tape recorder. Most of his songs back then were about his dad and his dog.
5. He had to “cut loose” at an early age. One of the songs his first group (called “Nameless”) played at a “Battle Of The Bands?” Kenny Loggins‘ “Footloose.”
— Brian Ives, Radio.com