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Opinion:

Why Dave Grohl is one of the greatest modern rockstars

It is safe to say that Nirvana was the sum of its brilliant parts. It would not have been the trailblazing force if you took Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic or Dave Grohl out of the equation. It is without argument that the band’s decision to fire original drummer Chad Channing and replace him with Grohl was a momentous and critical choice. By entering the equation, Grohl added the iconic double-kick to ‘In Bloom’, taking the song in a completely different direction. The original exists in the ether of the dark web and it does not, as you can imagine, have the same punch. Grohl’s drums drove every single aspect of Nirvana’s heavy-hitting sound, and titans such as ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ or ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ would not be the same without the Ohio native. Grohl also gave Nirvana the riff for their most raucous offering, ‘Scentless Apprentice’, to name just a handful of his achievements.

After the demise of Nirvana in 1994, Grohl would feel like hanging up the sticks on an already jaw-dropping career, as the tragic suicide of friend Kurt Cobain hit him harder than conceivable. However, after spending time as a recluse recording demos and unsure of his next steps, Grohl would record a fifteen-track demo album. It would, in turn, become the first-ever Foo Fighters record. 

After filling in on drums for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Pearl Jam, Grohl assembled the first Foo Fighters line-up. This included former Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear, former bassist of emo’s Sunny Day Real Estate and drummer William Goldsmith. Together, they released their self-titled debut album in 1995, and after a couple of changes to the line-up, the rest would be history. It is a testament to the band’s long and successful career that they are finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.

However, Grohl would not stop there. He has since collaborated with countless iconic musicians, including the likes of Brian May, Lemmy, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie. He once more assumed his rightful place as the world’s primary heavy-hitting drummer on Queens of the Stone Age’s 2002 magnum opus Songs for the Deaf. In fact, he even appeared on Tenacious D’s self-titled debut album in 2001, going on later to feature as the devil in the video for the hit single ‘Tribute’.

Nope, he didn’t stop there either. In 2009 he formed Them Crooked Vultures. This short-lived hard-rocking supergroup saw Grohl link up with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin and again with Queens of the Stone Age’s leader Josh Homme in a ferocious show of rock and roll grandeur.

In short, Dave Grohl‘s addition to music and culture has been massive, in this respect, you could call him a phenomenon of creativity. His list of achievements in music, film and society are too manifold to recount succinctly. One thing is clear though, he is one of the world’s greatest and last-living rockstars. It is fitting that he has appeared live with Paul McCartney, as both’s careers have been equally as impactful. 

Showing the true extent of his stature, one has to note a simple fact. Grohl was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 for his role in and outside of Nirvana. This means, in 2021 he is due to be inducted into the Hall of Fame twice. This puts him on a par with former Beatles George Harrison and Paul McCartney, solidifying his place as one of the greatest modern rockstars.

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