Dave Grohl on rift with father who ‘imagined I would take the conventional route’


Dave Grohl is one of the world’s best-known rock stars, but his journey to fame and fortune wasn’t always easy.

The Foo Fighters frontman has revealed that his father didn’t approve of him joining a rock band – and a rift formed between the pair.

Writing in his new memoir, the 52-year-old said: “My mother was always very supportive and encouraged me to follow my own path.

“My father was a conservative Republican speechwriter so I don’t know that he understood a child like mine’s mind.”

His father, James Harper Grohl, was a journalist and political consultant who had clear expectations for the son his life would lead.

Grohl wrote: “I think my father just imagined I would take the conventional route through life where I would go four years through high school, four years through college, getting a job, having a wife, having some children.

“But I don’t know if I ever considered that even when I was young. I don’t think I ever considered that conventional route.”

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In The Storyteller, Grohl describes quitting school and leaving home to join the punk band Scream and tour the US and Europe.

He later became the drummer in Nirvana and founded Foo Fighters following the death of Kurt Cobain.

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Grohl says his father was also musically gifted, but that his classical training meant “his idea of playing music was much more strict than mine”.

He added: “Mine was more emotional, his was more logistical. He stopped playing the flute because he didn’t have four hours a day to play it anymore.”

The star also says that he “didn’t really need his approval” to travel the world playing music, but won his father’s respect as his career advanced.

Grohl wrote: “I remember him coming to see us play at a punk rock club in Washington DC. And I think it was then that he recognised I was actually pretty good at what I did, as a drummer. He could appreciate a musician’s craft.

“Even though we were playing this loud, fast, noisy, dissonant punk rock, I think that he could see that I wasn’t bad at what I did.”

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Grohl added his father was relieved when Nirvana found commercial success – and that now, as a father himself, he understands why he was concerned.

Speaking about his daughter, he wrote: “I have a 15-year-old that wants tattoos and piercings and s*** but I keep telling her just to wait. Hold off. Don’t do it now. Just wait. You have got nothing but time.

“So I understand the concern that he had when I told him I’m leaving school to jump in a s***** band and travel squats in Europe.”

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl is out now

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