This Is A Call

Album: Foo Fighters (1995)
Charted: 5 35


  • This was one of the first songs Dave Grohl wrote after his Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain was found dead. The months following Cobain's suicide were very difficult for Grohl, not just because he had lost a dear friend, but because he lost his musical direction and inspiration. Thanks to a great deal of encouragement from his friends, he found his musical voice and set to work on his solo project that would become Foo Fighters.

    Grohl, who was the drummer in Nirvana, wrote this song on his own, played every instrument on it, and did the vocals. Released as the first Foo Fighters single, the song was an emphatic statement by Grohl and proof that he could carry a musical project on his own. This was no small feat considering he was doing the work - lyrics, vocals, guitar - that Cobain had once handled for him.
  • According to Dave Grohl, the verses are nonsense, which is something he did intentionally because he had too much to express. His other motivation for writing gobbledygook verses ("fingernails are pretty, fingernails are good...") was to keep listeners from misinterpreting them, since he knew his words would be scrutinized in context with the death of Cobain.

    Grohl says that while the verses mean nothing, the chorus means everything, as he is saying goodbye to his past with the line, "This is a call to all my past resignations." Said Grohl: "It's just sort of like a little wave to all the people I ever played music with, people I've been friends with, all my relationships, my family. It's a hello, and in a way a thank you." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bert - Pueblo, NM
  • This song became an anthem for Foo Fighters and remained in their setlist throughout their career. Paul Brannigan's 2011 biography of Dave Grohl is titled This Is A Call after the song.
  • Grohl married Jennifer Youngblood in the summer of 1994, and it was on their honeymoon when Dave wrote this song. He says much of it was composed in a bathroom while they were staying in Dublin.
  • Released to radio stations in June 1995, this was the first Foo Fighters single, although in America it wasn't available for purchase. This technicality kept it off the Billboard Hot 100, but it did make #35 on Billboard's Airplay chart and #5 in the UK.
  • This was the first Foo Fighters song Taylor Hawkins heard, and it's one of his favorites. He was touring as the drummer for Alanis Morissette when it came on in their van, and everyone loved it. Hawkins joined Foo Fighters two years later.

Comments: 3

  • Suzi from Arcadia, CaI know! This is a great first album wouldn't you say?
  • Bert from Pueblo, Nmidk why they don't play too much stuff off of the self-titled album. i guess its since that album was just Dave Grohl, and the rest of the guys had their creative input to the other songs. That's the only reason I can think of.
  • Matt from Millbrae, Cathis is a great album-opener. anyone know why they don't play their debut songs anymore?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The Punk Photography of Chris Stein

The Punk Photography of Chris SteinSong Writing

Chris Stein of Blondie shares photos and stories from his book about the New York City punk scene.

Trans Soul Rebels: Songs About Transgenderism

Trans Soul Rebels: Songs About TransgenderismSong Writing

A history of songs dealing with transgender issues, featuring Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Morrissey and Green Day.

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.

Cheerleaders In Music Videos

Cheerleaders In Music VideosSong Writing

It started with a bouncy MTV classic. Nirvana and MCR made them scary, then Gwen, Avril and Madonna put on the pom poms.

Michael Franti

Michael FrantiSongwriter Interviews

Franti tells the story behind his hit "Say Hey (I Love You)" and explains why yoga is an integral part of his lifestyle and his Soulshine tour.


CommercialsFact or Fiction

Was "Ring Of Fire" really used to sell hemorrhoid cream?