Thursday, April 27, 2023

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music 
by Dave Grohl
Read by Dave Grohl
10 Hours, 35 Minutes
Published October 2021 by HarperCollins Publishers

Publisher's Summary: 
So, I've written a book. 

Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ("It's a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!") I have decided to tell these stories just as I have always done, in my own voice. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I've recorded and can't wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child. 

This certainly doesn't mean that I'm quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it's like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters...the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.

My Thoughts: 
I love music, almost all kinds of music, from all eras. I've known who Dave Grohl was Nirvana hit big. I'm a huge Foo Fighters fan. So imagine my surprise, when I said to my assistant that I was listening to a book by Dave Grohl and she said, "Who's that?" Who'd have thought that reading a book would afford me the opportunity to introduce someone to music they didn't know? Yet more proof of the power of reading! 

Anyhoos, about the book. Dave Grohl grew up in suburban Virginia and refers to it as a Wonderbread existence that he knew at a very young age that he was not cut out for. A punk rock fan at a young age, Grohl taught himself to play the drums. When he was still in high school, he convinced his mother to allow him to drop out of school (even though she was a teacher) and he was soon touring with the band Scream. Life was tough and Grohl grew up fast. When he was just 21, he was introduced to Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselić, who were looking for a new drummer for their band. Their rise was meteoric but more than Cobain could handle and four years after Grohl met him, Cobain committed suicide. 

Grohl drifted for a while after that, recording on his own and even doing a drumming stint with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (they offered him a permanent gig, but he declined). Convinced to sign again with a record label, Grohl decided he didn't want to be a solo act and started bringing in other musicians. Soon Foo Fighters was born and the rest, as they say, is stadium superstar history. 

If you've ever been to a Foo Fighters concert, seen Grohl on television, or watched him on social media, you're going to find that Dave Grohl the author is exactly the same guy you've seen. He's funny, down-to-earth, incredibly appreciative of the life he's got, and, probably, as obsessed about music as he was the day he decided to teach himself to drum on pillows in his bedroom. He fangirls and name drops and it never seems overly gushy. He is, perhaps, more in awe of his mom than of anyone else he knows. He comes off as a loving father (he once flew from Australia to California and back again in a little over 24 hours just to make a father-daughter dance). 

The chapters were clearly written as individual stories (some repetition appears because of this) to create a through story. It feels just as if you sat down with Grohl and asked him about himself. He is enthusiastic, vulnerable, and funny. I can't recommend the audiobook enough; it amplifies that experience tenfold. One warning: this is a book written by a rock and roll guy and it has the language to prove that. If you know me in real life, you know that doesn't bother me and you're probably already expecting it. If I gave stars to books, this one would be a five-star read for me!

1 comment:

  1. Dave Grohl is such a cool guy. I will definitely be checking this one out.