Dave Grohl has lived out his childhood dreams ten times over throughout his career, and even now, the Foo Fighters frontman doesn’t take the opportunity to perform alongside his heroes for granted.
Grohl has put the cache attached to his name to good use, and he’s not afraid to ask for a favour from legends of the game, although not everyone takes him up on his offer. Most notably, David Bowie politely turned down a chance to collaborate with the Foo Fighters singer, but he firmly believes in the idiom, ‘Don’t ask, don’t get’.
In 2008, Foo Fighters were set to headline Wembley Stadium, and Grohl knew he couldn’t approach the performance like he would an ordinary gig. He needed to pull out all the stops to put on the show of all shows, which meant bringing out some extraordinary special guests.
Much to his delight, Grohl had befriended Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, which gave him the bright idea to invite him and Jimmy Page to perform with the Foo’s at Wembley. He felt like it was an impossible dream, but the Zeppelin pair didn’t take any convincing.
Grohl later recalled: “I thought, ‘Well, we’ve gotta call John Paul Jones’.
We had wound up performing ‘The Pretender’ with him that year at the Grammys and we made friends so I figured, this is the most momentous occasion of my entire life, why not call the band that changed it all for me.”
Grohl added: “So I got on the phone with Jimmy Page and he basically said, ‘Well what do you want to do?’ And I was terrified to answer. I felt like I was in a waking dream. But I had to say something, so I said, ‘How about ‘Rock and Roll’?’ so he said, ‘Yeah, what else?’ I said, ‘How about ‘Ramble On’?’ he said, ‘Great, see you at rehearsals.’ I mean it was that easy, I couldn’t believe it.”
Understandably, considering he was standing next to two of his idols, Grohl was a bag of nerves, and his memory is a “blur”. Detailing further, he recalled: “You know it’s kind of a blur to be honest, I know it’s on f***in’ Palladia or whatever, but I remember the rehearsals the day before when we were soundchecking at the stadium. I was so nervous, and hungover actually [laughs], and when they showed up I couldn’t believe that finally the moment I had been waiting for — to sit on a drum stool, look to my left and see Jimmy Page, look to my right and see John Paul Jones — was actually happening.”
Grohl’s friendship with Jones would continue to flourish, and in 2009, they formed the supergroup, Them Crooked Vultures, alongside Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme. Watch the footage below from when Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin momentously collided at Wembley.