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Dave Grohl on his favourite George Harrison song

Dave Grohl, the former drummer of Nirvana and frontman of Foo Fighters, has never shied from identifying some of his key musical influences. While he was an obvious fan of heavy rock groups like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, Grohl was always a keen disciple of The Beatles. As a child, he would listen to his Beatles records on repeat and learned the drums by playing along to Ringo Starr’s beat.

The Nirvana drummer has also expressed his love for 1980s pop icon Prince. When the Purple Rain singer covered Foo Fighters’ ‘Best of You’ at the 2007 Super Bowl, Grohl explained that he had been shocked. “As my tears hit the keyboard like the Miami rain that night, I realised that this was without a doubt my proudest musical achievement,” he wrote in his Dave’s True Stories. “All of those years spent in my bedroom practising alone to Beatles records, sleeping in cold, infested squats on winter fan tours across Europe, battering my drums until my hands literally bled… it all paid off in this moment.”

When Grohl discussed his favourite Beatles tracks during a 2019 BBC Radio 2 special for the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road, he identified George Harrison as his favourite Beatle. He placed ‘Something’ as one of his all-time favourite songs, explaining: “I would like to play my favourite song by George Harrison, called ‘Something’,” Grohl said. “I think that of all The Beatles — of course, each one of them is so entirely different, melodically they’re so different, songwriting, lyrically — but George Harrison, there was something about him that I almost preferred the most.”

He continued, explaining how he felt most connected with the ‘Quiet Beatle’, by adding: “I loved every single one of them for different reasons, but I connected to George Harrison’s sense of melody more than anyone.”

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This revelation may come as a surprise, with Grohl initially being a drummer, but he could clearly see something very special in Harrison’s guitar style that moved him. Following the death of Kurt Cobain, Grohl founded Foo Fighters and decided to pick up the guitar to front the band. Grohl’s adoration for Harrison was such that he even wrote one of his early songs about the late Beatle. 

“On the first Foo Fighters record, there is a song entitled ‘Oh, George.’ I basically wanted the guitar solo to sound like something he would do,” Grohl explained. “But the guitar solo in the song ‘Something’ is the first guitar solo I ever learned. It’s such a beautiful solo. Melodically, it’s safe to say that it’s one of the most classic guitar solos of all time. Such a beautiful song.”

Grohl later identified ‘Taxman’, the opening track on Revolver, as another of his favourite Harrison compositions. “‘Taxman,’ a George Harrison song,” Grohl said. “It’s one of my favourite riffs and rhythms of all Beatles songs. I love the chords; I love the melody; I love the snare sound. You have to imagine that in 1966, they were inventing a lot of rock ‘n’ roll recording by figuring out new ways to engineer these sessions.”

Adding: “I have to say that this song, still to this day, sounds better than most rock ‘n’ roll songs. The riff, the rhythm, the melody, the lyrics.”

Listen to Dave Grohl’s ode to George Harrison, ‘Oh, George’, below.