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Music

The first book that Dave Grohl fell in love with

There are many reasons to love Dave Grohl. Whether it be his work in Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters or even the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, as a musician, he’s done it all. A true conqueror when it comes to rock music, it’s indicative of the nature and quality of his work that he’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.

Added to Grohl’s distinction is that he’s managed to keep himself relevant over the past 30 years, and with Foo Fighters sweeping the awards at this year’s edition of the Grammys, it’s something that doesn’t look like waning any time soon, a testament to his work. 

As is fitting for a man that’s seen and done it all, Grohl is one of rock’s most well-respected figures, and in recent years, his sage wisdom has been sought out on all manner of subjects. In October 2021, the focus switched to Grohl’s thoughts on reading and literature as he released his debut book, The Storyteller, a memoir of his life that is a must-read for anyone wanting to get to know the Foo Fighters frontman a little more. 

A collection of his memories, it follows Grohl’s life from a young punk upstart in the band Scream to the soaring heights of Nirvana and then the stadium-filling success of Foo Fighters. It’s a funny and sometimes tear-jerking work, and it makes a strong claim for being one of the best rock memoirs.

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During a 2021 interview with Graham Norton, Grohl was asked if he liked reading as a child, and his surprise may come as something as a surprise. He said: “I hated reading. I hated it. I was a terrible student. I just loathed any assignment that had to do with like reading a classic or Shakespeare… it was like repellent, I felt like the kid from The Omen in Church. I was just like, ‘(vampiric screech) books! no!’ But, when I was about ten years old, I picked up the book called The Amityville Horror and oh my God, I could not put that thing down, I read it a hundred times.” 

Grohl continued: “I went straight from that to The Excorcist. So now, I’m like becoming a punk rock kid, and I just want horror and gore and terror. I found that if it was something engaging to me, that I could not stop reading.”

We all have to start somewhere, and this sentiment is true with reading. As a child, it’s about reading what you like and figuring yourself out, as the young Dave Grohl found when he was galvanised by Jay Anson’s classic, The Amityville Horror. I doubt he’d have ever dreamed of writing a novel as lucid as The Storyteller when he first picked Anson’s book, but that says it all. 

Watch Dave Grohl discuss getting into reading below.