Explaining death to a child is perhaps one of the hardest things to do as a parent. The concept can be confusing and downright frightening for such an impressionable mind. When it’s someone close to your heart, it can be all that more difficult.
Dave Grohl has never been able to fully escape the wave of grief that came from Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Part of the reason why is that Grohl can never fully put Cobain in the past – Nirvana’s breakout success and massive global reach means that he’ll always be inundated with Nirvana songs, questions, and references for the rest of his life. It seems like Grohl has come to terms with this reality, but explaining it to his young daughter is another matter entirely.
While promoting the 30th anniversary of Nevermind for Absolute Radio, Grohl shared the story about what happened when a Nirvana song came on the car radio as he and one of his daughters were driving around.
“There was one day when we were driving and a Nirvana song came on,” Grohl explains. “And my daughter Harper, who’s twelve years old, she said ‘Dad, how old were you when you were in this band?’ And I said I was probably 21 or 22 when we recorded it, it was ‘Come As You Are’, and she was singing along with the song.”
And then Harper asked a question that surprised Grohl. “She said ‘What was Kurt like?’ And I said ‘Well, he was very sweet. He was kind of shy, a little reserved, and could be sort of quiet.’ It was really cool because she was asking me about my life then because she wanted to understand it through the music.”
Grohl also talks about how his daughter made the observation that it was a bit odd that someone so shy could sing songs in front of thousands of people every night. The warmth that Grohl has for Cobain, then and now, comes through in the chat, and even though there’s still a fair bit of trauma and anger involved with the entire situation, Grohl seems to have a good grasp on how to discuss such a touchy subject with someone who is genuinely curious about his past.
Check out the interview clip down below.