"Foo Fighters" are what the US Air Force calls UFOs. Dave Grohl has had a fascination with UFOs since childhood. "When I was 10 or 11, I had this romantic idea that there was something outside the world we know," he told Uncut magazine in 2007. "I've always done my own little investigations here and there. I've never been visited by aliens or had any sort of close encounter, but I've had a couple of dreams that were really vivid, dreams where the sky implodes and it's the dawn of this new era where we learn to live in the same world as things from other planets."
Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana. After Kurt Cobain died, he switched to guitar and formed The Foo Fighters.
The Foo Fighters impose a $100 fine for "any mispelling or other stupid typos" on advertising materials, as their 2000 concert rider reveals. The rider also notes that the guys would rather have the promoter buy their underwear. Much funnier is the band's US/Canada 2008 rider, where cereals are wanted unopened and "not recycled from last night Dio's show," dressing or ketchup is to be fresh, not with "the last 4 millimeters" in the bottle, lunch should include "soup of the day" but only vegetarian because "meaty soups make roadies fart," and many other food demands "since rock bands and their crews need to eat every 90 minutes or so."
The 2008 rider also contains some advice on how meat should be prepared, as "lightly cooked chicken breasts with goo on them... are definitely not going to get you a hug from our bass player, Nate." The preferred meat for the Foo Fighters is "big ass kielbasas that make men self conscious" or bacon which is "god's currency."
As a sort of an apology for all the whims of the band comes the last sentence of the rider food and drink part, "We are just another band trying to make enough money to fuel our private jet. Please help." The tour manager's sense of humor also manifests in the demand for specific cups – solo red or blue plastic cups, about which he says in the rider, "I will call out a catering jihad if we do not have these cups."
Then there's the "Wow, rock stars ask for some stupid crap" part of the rider, where the Foo Fighters give a detailed request on DVDs, magazines and again underwear. The rider concludes with advice about leftover food, which is to be given to a local kitchen or shelter or collected by "our roadie that looks like Osama Bin Laden."
Grohl takes on a lot of side projects. He played drums for the band Queens Of The Stone Age and fronted the death-metal group Probot.
Their first album was a solo project for Dave Grohl because he didn't have a band yet.
Hawkins was part of the backing band for Alanis Morissette before he joined the Foo Fighters. She was devastated when he left but knew he was destined for greatness elsewhere.
Casey Baker - Austin, TX, for above 2
Grohl often chews gum before and during their sets, which keeps his mouth from getting dry. He prefers Dentyne Ice, and says, "Onstage, I need a minty-fresh microphone."
The bands debut album was written and recorded almost entirely by Grohl. He wrote just about all of the songs while he was still the drummer for Nirvana.
Mark - Chicago, IL
Their original second guitarist Pat Smear was also the second guitarist for Nirvana when they toured for In Utero
Justin - Rochester, England
Grohl hates drum machines. He ranted to UK newspaper The Sun. "All that s--t ruins music these days," he said. "Drum machines work for pop artists, but when it comes to rock and roll, don't [mess around] with the human element. I had favorite drummers because of their inconsistencies. Modern production has robbed drummers of personalities, and it really pisses me off."
Keeping with his alien fascination, Grohl named his record company Roswell after the city in New Mexico where a supposed flying saucer crashed on a ranch in 1947.
Dave - Lowbanks, ON
Dave Grohl's greatest influence is John Bonham. He even has the Led Zep drummer's trademark three-circle logo tattooed on his wrist.
Dave Grohl plays guitar like a drummer. "I was never taught how to play the guitar. I don't know what the chords to 'Everlong
' are," he told Rolling Stone
. "I only know what happens when I put the fingers there. But that riff is a good example of how I look at the guitar."
"The low E string is the kick drum," Grohl added. "The A and D strings are snares. The G, B and high E are the cymbals. So you have a kick-snare relationship in the riff. Then when the chorus comes around, you wash all the high strings as you would wash a cymbal. It makes it percussive, and it gives that dynamic. It's why I play those Trini Lopez-model guitars – you can play them real soft. And you can beat the f--k out of them. They have that range."
While on tour in Auckland, New Zealand, Foo Fighters inspired an audience of 50,000 to dance so hard that it registered as seismic activity by volcanic watchdog site GeoNet. Two separate monitoring stations picked up the ground shaking three times per second, which registered as a steady rhythmic motion - about the same level as a volcanic tremor.
In 2011, the Foo Fighters had a 52-page tour rider that was filled with such fun activities as coloring book pages and word searches.
Dave Grohl's mother, Virginia Hanlon Grohl, is a former English teacher, who published her first book at the age of 79 in 2017. From Cradle to Stage is a collection of interviews with the mothers of other famous musicians including the moms of Pharrell Williams, Kelly Clarkson and Dr. Dre.