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Music

The Beatles are the first band Dave Grohl "fell in love with"

@josephtaysom

Like millions of others, Dave Grohl’s first musical obsession arrived in the form of The Beatles, a group that hypnotised him as a child and placed him on a spectacular journey that he’s still on today.

While Grohl’s musical tastes have moved on over the years and progressed into different areas, his love of The Beatles is a life-long love affair that continues to show no signs of ending. The former Nirvana drummer was in his early childhood when they marauded their way into his existence, and since then, nothing has quite been the same again.

Grohl grew up in Virginia, and as a teenager, he fell into the local punk scene, which had a transformative impact on his life. It wasn’t just the music that spoke to him profoundly, but the culture and everything attached to the movement made the Foo Fighters frontman feel like he was part of something bigger than himself, which gave him a sense of true belonging.

Without Grohl being exposed to The Beatles at an early age, he perhaps never decides to pick up an instrument, falls in love with punk, and the subsequent dominoes that have fallen in place from that point.

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Opening up about his earliest musical memory, Grohl once recalled: “The Beatles were the first band I fell in love with. I got both the blue and red albums when I was about seven. When I started learning guitar, my mother gave me a chord book with all of The Beatles’ songs in it. And I’d play along with the album. In the music, I started to discover arrangement and composition, melody and harmony. It was like a puzzle, just fascinating. They were far more complex than they let on.”

Grohl was 12 when he started to learn the guitar, and The Beatles were the perfect handbook for him to understand the basic mechanisms of the artform. Furthermore, his fixation with the group has left a permanent mark on his definition of songwriting. He continued: “Their sense of songwriting was so much deeper than just ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’. It was heavier than typical AM radio pop. So everything I listened to after that was based on that idea of songwriting. I would gauge songs on that basis. It burned this impression in my head that every song must have melody somewhere.

“With the Foo Fighters, even when I try to come up with something as fucked up and dissonant as possible, there’s always a thread of melody in there,” Grohl added. “And that’s The Beatles’ fault, not mine! It was like that in Nirvana, too. Kurt was the same way. The three of us grew up listening to The Beatles, then classic rock and punk. Somehow, it all came together.”

Grohl’s love of The Beatles will never leave him, it’s part of his musical DNA, and that’ll never change. Even though, on the surface, they have little in common with Foo Fighters, the Fab Four are woven so deeply into his definition of songwriting and subconsciously guiding him.

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