Foo Fighters frontman and generally awesome rock star Dave Grohl is on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone, as he discussed everything from waking up at 5:45 each morning to make breakfast for his daughters to his band’s HBO series Sonic Highways. In fact, writer David Fricke says that he had more than 10 hours of material to work with, between Grohl’s stories and those of his bandmates, mom, friends and producer Butch Vig. As we all know, Grohl loves to talk about music, and while some people have started to sour on the “overexposure” of Grohl and all things Foo Fighters, the fact remains that the man is still one of the most charismatic and seemingly nice stars in the business.
Obviously, fans of Foo Fighters should read the whole interview, or at least get the general idea by checking out the teaser excerpts, but if it takes twisting your arms to get you to indulge in some Grohl storytelling, Fricke’s “10 Things We Learned Hanging With Dave Grohl” is the happy medium. That’s because buried at No. 10 on this list is probably Grohl’s best story of all – the time that he met and jammed with Prince.
“Then three years ago, Prince books 21 nights at the Forum [in L.A.]. I can’t fucking wait. I go to the first show, in a party bus with all my friends, boozing it up. I walk into the Forum Club and bump into somebody from a road crew I’d work with before. He says, ‘Prince knows you’re here. He wants to jam.’ The end of the night, I’m standing next to this black curtain. I pull it back – there’s Prince with Sheila E. I go, ‘Hey, man, great show.’ He says, ‘When do you want to jam? How about Friday?’ All right, cool!
“For a week, I held that cellphone, on vibrate, waiting for it to ring. Friday comes around and I just go down there for soundcheck. The person who works with Prince says, ‘He’s a little under the weather. He’s not going to soundcheck today.’ So I go to catering. I’m talking to my tech; I have no idea what’s going on. And Prince just appears: ‘Hey, man, what are you doing here?’ I thought we were going to jam. ‘Alright. Do you want to play drums?’
“We start playing. He’s got the whole band up there, throwing chord changes with his fingers, conducting the band as we’re jamming. I can’t believe this is happening. And it’s happening in a completely empty Forum. Then he puts on a guitar and starts playing [Led Zeppelin’s] ‘Whole Lotta Love’. It’s fuckin’ bad-ass. We do that for ten minutes. It slays. He says, ‘We should do that, man. What are you doing next Friday?’ (Via Rolling Stone)
Of course, as wonderful as that story is, there’s still no video of this amazing moment in music history. But it’s a story that Grohl has been telling for a few years now, as he briefly touched on it in this interview…
And it’s way better when he’s telling it to a crowd of his screaming, rowdy fans…
The irony is that for at least a brief time, there was some beef between Foo Fighters and Prince, who wasn’t cool with the band recording a cover of his song “Darling Nikki.” In fact, as MTV reported in 2007, the artist remarked that Foo Fighters should “write their own tunes.” So when Prince took the stage for the halftime performance at Super Bowl XLI and performed “Best of You” during his set, the band was a little confused.
“Dude, I have no idea why he did it, but I’d love to find out,” [Taylor] Hawkins laughed. “I mean, the thought went through my head that maybe he was doing it as a sort of ‘F— you’ to us, or maybe he really likes the song. Either way, it was pretty amazing to have a guy like Prince covering one of our songs — and actually doing it better than we did.” (Via MTV)
Grohl’s love and respect for Prince is well-documented, as I looked through several threads on Prince fan message boards to find this old quote from Grohl (although the original source escapes me) from after that specific performance, because he seemed like he had died and gone to music heaven.
He did the half time show at the Super Bowl last year and that’s a huge gig, that’s like 80 bazillion people watch that when it happens. And we heard a week before that he was going to do “Best of You” and I was like ‘What?’ ‘Why’, he has got a hundred hits. Why is he doing one of ours, that’s crazy? When I saw it tears came to my eyes because I grew up listening to Prince. That guy is a musical genius. He’s an incredible drummer, he’s an incredible guitarist, he’s an incredible songwriter. He’s magic. That guy is unbelievable so when someone you hold in such high regard, when someone like that covers one of your songs you got to pinch yourself because it doesn’t feel real. But the other day when he did at the 02 arena, at the same time within that hour we were playing on the MTV music awards in America, we were doing a prince song with Cee-lo from Gnarls Barkley and so we were doing “Darling Nicky” with Cee-lo singing at the same time as he was doing “Best of You.”
Coincidence? Who cares. It’s time to get Prince and Foo Fighters on a stage so we can all see it and share Grohl’s undying love.