Dave Grohl is an expert on classic rock. A lifelong fan of everyone from The Beatles to Rush, there’s a reason why he is regarded as one of the last true rockstars, and that’s because he learnt his tricks from some of the best in the business.
Whether it be the fact that his songwriting was influenced by John Lennon or that his early forays into drumming were inspired by the likes of Ringo Starr and Neil Peart, without the most distinguished classic rock bands, it is certain that Dave Grohl would not have become the world beater that we all know and love today.
Whilst he has waxed lyrical at many points over the years about outfits such as The Beatles, Rush, Led Zeppelin and more, there is another act from this era that had a transformative effect on his creative vision: the New York legends Kiss. It transpires that Kiss’ 1976 record, Destroyer, had a life-changing impact on Grohl, altering the course of his life for the better.
In 2015, Grohl delivered a speech for Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, and Co. during the ASCAP Pop Awards, recalling the first time he heard their anthemic form of rock. Grohl remembered bringing Destroyer home, stating: “Picture this: Springfield, Virginia, 1976. A skinny young boy with shaggy brown hair on a yellow yard-sale bicycle brings home a copy of the album Destroyer, his first KISS record. Everybody remembers their first KISS record, and this is how I remember mine.”
The former Nirvana drummer continued: “Up until that point, it had been mainly Beatles and Carly Simon, maybe a little Phoebe Snow, f—in’ 10cc. But the album cover alone was enough to make me break my old piggy bank into a thousand pieces and scrape up enough lawn-mowing money to give it straight to Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.”
“With nuclear anticipation, I let the needle drop on that legendary intro to ‘Detroit Rock City,’ perhaps the greatest introduction to any rock ‘n’ roll album ever recorded. It filled my speakers and my imagination. Thirty-four minutes and 27 seconds later, KISS had filled my soul. I was now a member of the infamous KISS army.”
After that fateful moment, Grohl’s life changed for the better, and he became the biggest Kiss fan in his locality: “Before long, my room had become a f—ing shrine. Posters of these four musical monsters lined my walls, action figures filled my shelves and KISS albums overtook my once A.M.-friendly record collection. I was converted…”
Guided by the otherworldly essence of the band, Grohl said: “Every morning, I would wake up in my tiny bedroom and take a good look at my superheroes before walking to school. They got me through those years and ultimately inspired me to follow this unreasonable dream of becoming a professional rock ‘n’ roll musician.”