If there was one song that finally confirmed that Dave Grohl was destined to be more than just the drummer for Nirvana and a handful of punk bands, it was the Foo Fighters song ‘Everlong’.
Featuring on the band’s album The Colour and the Shape from 1997, it has become a symbol of Grohl breaking out from the iconic grunge trio and firming up his place in front of the mic. It’s a song that has gone on to frequent TV shows and films, providing romanticised rock and roll revelry and a swooning swing that few can match. That didn’t mean he didn’t lay down some killer drums too though.
Released on May 20th, the album was the first real foray into music for Grohl after the Foo Fighters self-titled LP was more a rough demo cut with Grohl and producer Barrett Jones performing all the roles. This time, the band was nearly fully-formed and ready to deliver some alt-rock joy, but Grohl was still the man with the sticks — something you quickly pick up on when listening to the isolated drum track from the Foo Fighters classic. He lays down a ferocious beat that not many percussionists can come close to.
The second single to be released from the sophomore album of the Foo Fighters, ‘Everlong’ has become a symbol of Grohl’s growing stature as a songwriter. Made all the more brilliant thanks to the surreal music video that came with it, soon enough the Foo Fighters were dominating MTV, a position they would rarely relinquish ever since.
Of course, what would follow would be huge fame, stadiums sold out at every turn and the kind of legendary status that only his previous band could top. A lot of it comes down to this song’s success, but none of it would have been possible without Grohl laying down the foundations on the drums.
Recently, the drumming for the song has once again been put in the limelight thanks to a young girl named Nandi Bushell. A child prodigy on the kit, Bushell provided a searing drum cover of ‘Everlong’ and challenged Dave Grohl to a ‘drum-off’ in the process.
Naturally, nice guy Dave responded with his own rattle through the fills and was clearly invigorated by playing the song once more saying, “That’s the first time I’ve played that in years!” The performance is seriously bouncy and incredibly joyful, it’s like an adult who has found all his old toys.
Of course, ever since releasing the song, the band’s permanent drummer Taylor Hawkins has taken the sticks for the song’s inevitable place in the setlist. However, that takes nothing away from the complexity and concise performance Grohl gave in 1997, all underpinned by his signature power. Grohl was a drummer raised on the talent of John Bonham and there’s more than a bit of Bonzo in these fills.
The song may well be remembered for Grohl’s powerful lyrics or his acoustic strumming before anyone thinks of the drums on the track. The song is rightly seen as Grohl’s emergence as a songwriter but when you isolate the percussion of Foo Fighters ‘Everlong’ you can see that he was always a drummer at heart.