Before reading (well, listening to) The Storyteller, I had heard Dave Grohl referred to as, ‘the nicest man in rock’ and after reading The Storyteller, I can very much confirm that to be true. Obviously I know that this is his memoir so he can spin his story any way he wants, but given that his industry is known for its debauched antics, he always genuinely seemed to have a focus on the music first and foremost and buying a nice house near his mum to raise his family.
Opening sentence: ‘Dad, I want to learn how to play the drums.’
Most widely known for being the drummer in Nirvana and front man of the Foo Fighters, it’s interesting that throughout this memoir, Dave Grohl doesn’t necessarily focus on the things you think he will – or that other celebs might have done, such as their moments of super-stardom or relationships.
For example, his first wife only gets mentioned in passing to refer to the marriage ending and while he, of course, mentions Nirvana and Kurt Cobain – he was only actually in Nirvana for 3.5 years, so that part is covered but in context of all the other amazing things he’s done in his life.
I actually thought he and Kurt were childhood friends for some reason. I didn’t realise Nirvana were already a band looking for a drummer when he joined them.
The power of manifesting
I loved discovering that from a child, Dave has believed in the power of positive mindset, manifestation and focusing on your desires. He believed he would be a famous rock star – and so it was. I mean, there was a little more to it than that, it’s not that he didn’t work hard or have struggles but his intent was always there.
His unspoken rule, ‘fake it till you make it’ is one we could all do with at some point for that confidence boost.
Every day is still a blank page waiting to write itself.
The storyteller indeed
This memoir is just packed full of hugely entertaining and insightful tales from Dave’s life. Some of my favourites included:
- His connection to Kerry in Ireland. He said he loves that part of the world, his mother has Irish heritage
- A sweet story about mistaking his mum’s shoe for a kitten
- His after gig tradition is KFC with champagne (sounds delicious, am going to try it)
- It blows his mind that he’s friends with Paul McCartney. Paul McCartney’s even once came over to his house and played Lady Madonna on his piano then gave his daughter, Harper a piano lesson.
- He’s a huge fan of Little Richard
- He’s a huge fan of Lego
- The funny way he ended up with a criminal record in Australia
- His sense of fun when he held his 40th birthday at a medieval restaurant. A place that mainly catered for kid’s parties.
- He has has never done cocaine – coffee is his drug of choice. When recording for Them Crooked Vultures his coffee consumption was filmed and released as this Fresh Pots video
- New Orleans is his favourite city in the world. As shown in the Foo Fighters documentary series, Sonic Highways
- The Storyteller was written before the sad passing of Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins and Dave talks about their special friendship and how grateful he is to know him, which is such a nice touch, especially in retrospect now
Dave Grohl – family man
Alongside his amazing stories of the music industry, what come through so clearly in The Storyteller is Dave’s love and respect for his mother, who he calls his best friend, and the fact that his wife and three daughters are the centre of his world.
There’s such a good story where he takes his kids to Harrods toyshop, they want Barbie’s and he sees Joan Jett Barbie, tells them all about her and encourages his daughters with the below quote:
I listened to this on audiobook (with great guitars between each section break), narrated by the man himself. Dave is a fantastic storyteller (as the title suggests…) and that really just elevated the whole experience for me. He is such a humble, lovely man, who takes nothing for granted and adores making music and his family. Total legend.
Listening to people narrate their own memoirs is my favourite way to enjoy this genre – highly recommend listening to The Storyteller!
- Audiobook narrated by Dave Grohl;
- Running time: 10 hrs 35 mins;
- Published by Simon & Schuster 2021;
- Get your copy of The Storyteller here;
- 384 pages;
- My rating: