On my 12th birthday, I was gifted an album that had dropped a few months earlier. It was called Nevermind and would usher in a rock wave from the Pacific Northwest that still resonates to this day. Long story short, Dave Grohl has been part of my musical life since I hit puberty. Nirvana gave way to Foo Fighters for Grohl, which eventually led to the drummer-guitarist-lyricist becoming the king of rock ‘n roll and its greatest champion.
Meanwhile, I devoted my life to travel, food, booze, and writing. Turns out Grohl likes a few of these things too. So I wasn’t too shocked when — 27 years after Nevermind changed everything for me — our worlds finally collided in real life over some barbecue a few weeks back.
“You take that pulled pork,” Grohl says before we’re even introduced.”Put it on a white bun with some coleslaw and it’s the best fucking thing you’ve ever had in your entire life.”
His wrists mimic chopping meat the way a drummer rips into a jam and his eyes roll back in his head. Clearly, the man has a passion for Carolina barbecue.
As far as passion points go, pulled pork is a good one. The succulence of the low-and-slow pig, with smoke meeting salty, fatty, unctuous flesh is a delight… when done right. Standing next to Grohl’s huge, custom-made smoker — full of about 20 pork butts — it seems like he’s doing it right. The smell is downright heavenly.
Grohl had been in New York for the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame vote the day before our lunch. He hopped a plane back to Los Angeles and arrived just in time to start smoking some pork around midnight. Ten hours later, he was still in the parking lot of the Sportsmen’s Lodge in sunny Studio City, California. The moving truck Grohl and his buddies use as a base of operations is a testament to the time and effort it takes to live the low-and-slow life. An empty handle of Seagram’s vodka sits next to empty Domino’s pizza boxes and wings containers — a good night was definitely had in that parking lot as they worked the vents and stoked the fires.