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CEO Reads: Tales of Life and Music

Jane Cowell

11 May, 2023

Dave Grohl playing guitar under stage light

Wow I cannot believe that Nirvana’s Nevermind album is now over 30 years old! If you are looking for Dave Grohl’s take on his years in Nirvana and the 1994 suicide of lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain then this memoir is not for you.  While it is touched on it is not the point of this collection of stories about his life from Grohl. 

Instead, we are entertained by the tales of a self-described hyperactive misfit from suburban Virginia with a teacher for a mum who went on to become a third member of Nirvana and a mega star with his own band the Foo Fighters. I loved the tales from his childhood as he teaches himself to be a drummer with his pillows and how he found punk music which totally spoke to his soul.  His household was definitely short on cash – and it is so sweet that he acknowledges his grandmother for the first time his bank account reached $100!

We get to really know the young Grohl through the stories he chooses to share, with his total respect and love for his single mother who allowed him to be himself and fly, and the estrangement with his Republican father as it was clear that their values were definitely not aligned. The life of a punk band member, crammed into vans, eating corn dogs and relying on the kindness of strangers for a bed for the night are all included and are alternatively funny, heartbreaking and wonderful as Grohl moves from teenager to a man.

Be prepared to smile, feel grief, excitement, be bewildered, hungry and grateful as we travel though Dave Grohl’s life with him. It was a fun ride!

- Jane Cowell

What we do not get in this collection though are the intimate details of his personal life as a man, and as a famous man.  Some dark points are touched on and the highlights of being a father are beautifully illustrated in select stories. But you know what? That is okay, just because you are famous does not mean that you need to share everything with your fans, and it is perfectly normal to protect your family from more intrusion into their private moments with you as well. 

There are some very entertaining stories of his interactions on the road with the Foo Fighters and also his excitement and gratitude when meeting his idols.  Grohl has also always chosen “life” even in the dark moments and this faith in himself, his talent, and his commitment to hard work he always credits to his Mum.  So, what is not to like about a punk rocker, famous around the world, whose love for his family shines through and who also totally loves his Mum?  

I really liked the Dave Grohl revealed in this memoir, and yes that is probably the point of it, but it does not retract from how entertaining these stories were.  Be prepared to smile, feel grief, excitement, be bewildered, hungry and grateful as we travel though Dave Grohl’s life with him. It was a fun ride!  I listened to this as an audiobook with Dave Grohl reading it so it was like Dave was just telling me his stories and made it much more intimate I think.

And don’t turn off the audio too early, as like any band performance there is an encore after the credits roll.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl

Also available as eAudio (Libby), eBook (Libby). 

About the Author

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