Some time ago, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl sat down with British music magazine Melody Maker for one of its final issues. Grohl was asked to name his ten favourite albums of all time, and his choices do not disappoint. They reflect the eclectic side of the punk-inspired rocker that we all know and love him for.
Two decades on, it’s interesting to see the lasting effects of some of his picks. In his memoir The Storyteller, Grohl gives a shoutout to the legendary Athens, Georgia alternative rock band the B-52’s for introducing him to what he characterised both in the book and the interview as “weird music”. Grohl saw the band perform on Saturday Night Live as an eleven-year-old and had his mind blown by the absurd sounds of ‘Rock Lobster’ and ‘Dance This Mess Around’.
Aside from the B-52’s, his list also included cuts from The Beatles, Bad Brains, Melvins and even Public Enemy. However, the most interesting choice came by way of the English rock leviathan, Led Zeppelin. Since Nirvana burst onto the scene in 1991, as a drummer, Grohl has been compared to the late Zeppelin rhythmic mastermind, John Bonham. He hits the drums hard and with lightning precision, owing a lot to Bonham.
Grohl’s love of Led Zeppelin and John Bonham is well known. He even has multiple tattoos depicting Bonham’s iconic ‘Three Rings’ symbol from the cover of Led Zeppelin IV. When listening to any of his best drumming moments, be it Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘No One Knows’, or otherwise, the similarities between the two men are made very clear.
Duly, it won’t come as a surprise to find out that Grohl prefers the Led Zeppelin album that has Bonham’s most noteworthy showcase on it, and covets the song more than any of their others.
He explained: “Led Zeppelin completely moulded the way I play the drums. No one can deny that band anything. All their albums are great. I prefer Houses Of The Holy and In Through The Out Door to their first two, but Coda was the best, ‘cos’ Bonzo’s ‘Montreux’ was on it – John Bonham’s one drum symphony. I stayed up many a night working on that one. I’ll play it for you right now if you want!”
Coda, the 1982 compilation, has long been a favourite of diehard Led Zeppelin fans. Featuring some of the band’s best ever live performances, there’s no wonder that Grohl picked it. ‘Bonzo’s Montreux’, is perhaps the best performance that Bonham ever delivered. It remains one of his most influential moments some 46 years after it was first recorded, a testament to the indomitable skill of the late legend.
Listen to ‘Bonzo’s Monteux’ below.