Dave Grohl once turned down the chance to become Tom Petty’s drummer
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has revealed that he once turned down the opportunity to become Tom Petty’s drummer.
The chance to work with Petty arrived at the wrong time for Grohl who wasn’t in the right headspace as Nirvana had only disbanded a few months before, and the drummer was still mourning the death of his close friend Kurt Cobain. Grohl did still make a one-off appearance on SNL with Petty, but, the chance to make it permanent was one that he didn’t think was the right move at that time.
“We had so much fun and we all got along so well,” Grohl said of the collaboration on SNL when speaking to Howard Stern. The musician then explained that he was shocked that Petty wanted him to play with him as The Heartbreaker “could get a world-class drummer – like any dude”.
Stern then asked about Petty inviting him to become his permanent drummer, to which Grohl replied: “We played SNL and afterwards he was like, ‘Man, that was good. It would be a shame if that’s the only time we do it’ sort of thing.
“And then he called me at home and he’s like, ‘Well look, if you want, here’s how we do it: you get your own bus and we don’t tour too hard’. He was kind of explaining like, ‘If you’re into it, come out and do it for a little while’.”
However, Grohl had only just formed the Foo Fighters and getting behind the drum kit full-time wasn’t conceivable. “I just felt weird about going right back to the drums, because it would have just reminded me of being in Nirvana,” he told the radio host.
Grohl added: “It would have been sad, for me personally. It would have been an emotional thing to be behind the drumset every night and not have Kurt there. So I was like, ‘Nah, fuck it. I’m gonna try this other thing’.”