The Foo Fighters’ frontman once took my Les Paul at a Halloween gig and played it onstage, with glee, for 90 minutes. But his new autobiography is full of better stories and plenty of wisdom.
“Life is just too damn short to let someone else’s opinion steer the wheel.”
—Dave Grohl, The Storyteller
In 2013, I was playing a Halloween party at Paul Allen’s Beverly Hills home/studio. It was a surreal gig, playing “Season of the Witch” with Donovan while supermodels, musicians, titans of industry, and celebrities like Sacha Baron Cohen, Dan Aykroyd, and Gina Gershon weaved around the packed yet spacious and spooky dance floor. Right in front of me, dressed like an Amish farmer, was Dave Grohl bobbing his head to the music. I held out my guitar to him and shouted, “DO YOU WANT TO PLAY?” He shrugged his shoulders like, “why not,” jumped onstage, took my Les Paul, and proceeded to play for 90 minutes, pretty much nailing every cover song requested by the crowd.
It was an impromptu jam at a party, but Grohl turned it into an epic performance, putting everything into every song, hitting the high notes by screaming like his life depended on it while beating my guitar like it owed him money. I remember thinking, “Man, no wonder this guy is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. He gets it.”
I hadn’t thought about that for years until last week, when Dave Grohl told me his life story over the course of 10.5 hours as he read the audio version of his autobiography, The Storyteller.
Right in front of me, dressed like an Amish farmer, was Dave Grohl bobbing his head to the music. I held out my guitar to him and shouted, “DO YOU WANT TO PLAY?”
If you’re a musician, you know people like the young, pre-Nirvana Grohl: the seemingly misguided who dropped out of high school to tour with a bunch of grown men in a dodgy van, sleep in abandoned squats, and survive on a diet of gas station corn dogs, generic cigarettes, and whatever else a $7 per diem can get you. Most professional musicians go through a similar rite of passage when they first forsake all common sense, security, and comfort to play music full time. Check back with those friends 10 to 30 years later and you’ll hear a lot of stories—some sad, some triumphant, but few more inspiring than Grohl’s. Consider these differences between Grohl’s experience and other sadder versions of parallel musicians’ lives.
Grohl put in the work.
Before he had drums, Grohl learned to play by hitting pillows in his small childhood home and making drumbeats with his mouth when no kit or pillows were available. He played and listened all the time, learning every song by his favorite bands. So, when Scream auditioned drummers, he already knew the entire catalog, proving that success is when preparedness and opportunity intersect.
Grohl had the humility to listen and learn along the way.
Like many young drummers, Grohl was shoehorning fills into every space, thinking he was killing it. One day, Scream bassist Skeeter Thompson forced Grohl to get very high and play one simple groove without any fills for 30 minutes. Grohl described it as “breaking a wild pony.” I know a lot of young drummers who could not or would not do this. Consequently, they never get to the next level.
Grohl puts everything into every performance.
When Nirvana saw this skinny kid playing the shit out of his drums for the tiny crowd at a Scream show, they knew he was the guy. I see guys onstage checking their texts between songs or looking bored. If you’re going to play, be in it. Every gig is not just a performance. It’s an audition for the next gig.
Grohl said, “It’s hard to put into words the belief I have in music. To me, it is God. A divine mystery in whose power I will forever hold an unconditional trust.” We’ve all met wild-eyed Law of Attraction zealots who look at the universe as a divine vending machine, where you say the magic words, believe with all your might, and then get the shining prize you crave. It’s not about the prize; it’s about the journey: the rejection, embarrassment, discomfort, and lessons you learn along the way. The reward is that you become the person you’re supposed to be. I suspect the trick to manifesting your destiny is to move forward trusting that what’s happening to you is happening for you. Big dreams remain an empty distraction from real life unless you put in the work, sacrifice, and hustle to make it happen.
Honestly, if, like Grohl, you steadfastly work, keep your mind/soul open, say yes, be grateful, and put your whole heart into it, eventually, amazing things will happen to you. It will be a wild ride full of soul-crushing and soul-expanding experiences that will lead you where you’re supposed to be. That may be rich and famous or poor and anonymous, but if you can find happiness in one, you will have it in the other as well.
- Foo Fighters & the Hawkins Family Announce Taylor Hawkins ... ›
- Rock and Grohl: A Foo Fighters Primer - Premier Guitar ›
- Gibson Releases the Dave Grohl ES-335 - Premier Guitar ›
- Dave Grohl | The Storyteller - Premier Guitar ›
The Tour Collection is defined by a minimalistic, vintage-inspired aesthetic, top-of-the-line components, and a simplified electronics configuration featuring new, custom pickups by Supro.
Available in the collection is the 16-inch-wide double-cutaway DC, the 15-inch-wide single-cutaway SS, and a 14-inch-wide Mini DC. Each model comes in three finishes: Slate Blue, Solid Wine, and Solid Black.
Every detail of the Tour Collection was chosen to achieve retro minimalism. Small diamond fingerboard inlays match 1930s-style diamond f-holes, and an undersized Throwback Scroll-style headstock achieves excellent head-to-body balance. The collection also features satin nickel hardware and custom Vintage Deluxe Grover tuners with a 15:1 gear ratio. Each model also features a simplified two-knob electronics configuration with 50s-style wiring to retain top-end clarity upon rolling off the volume knob. The neck shape in the Tour Collection is similar to the slim C-shape found throughout the D’Angelico line, but with more thickness in the shoulder to allow for snug hand fit as well as extra sustain. Medium Jumbo fret wire and a 12-inch fingerboard radius allow for quick navigation of the fingerboard while also prioritizing comfort for both rhythm and lead playing.
In 2020, Supro and D’Angelico became part of the same family of brands under Bond Audio. At that time, EVP of Product Ryan Kershaw and CTO Dave Koltai began designing custom pickups under the Supro name for the Tour Collection project.
“Supro Bolt Bucker pickups were designed to offer the tone of the most sought-after vintage "PAF" pickups from the late 1950's. Scatter wound, just like the originals, Supro Bolt Buckers utilize 42-gauge enamel wire along with a mixture of Alnico II (neck) and Alnico V (bridge) magnets to provide the perfect balance of warmth and clarity with unrivaled articulation and note bloom.” - Dave Koltai, Chief Technology Officer at Bond Audio.
Introducing the Excel Series Tour Collection | D'Angelico Guitars
All models are available for pre-order and will be in stock this holiday season. US MAP $1499. For more information, please visit dangelicoguitars.com.
The Cream Amp is a handmade low-gain overdrive pedal based on the Electra Distortion circuit.
The Cream Amp was designed to deliver full dynamics amp-like dirt to your clean and crunch amp or to another pedal in the chain without altering your tone too much. To add some grit at low volume or to make your amp sound more full, use the Drive control to set the gain and the Level control to match with your amp.
- Two knobs to control Volume and Drive
- Shielded inputs/outputs to avoid RF
- Filtered and protected 9VDC input
- Daisy-chain friendly
- Current draw: 7.5mA
The Cream Amp pedal is hand-made in Barcelona with carefully selected components and has a price of 100.00€. The pedals are available and can be purchased directly from the Ananasheadonline store.
For more information, please visit ananashead.com.
The Red Sea was born out of the vision to provide complex signal routing options available to the live/performing musician, that up until now, are only found in a studio mixing environment.
Introducing the Red Sea, an all-analog signal routing matrix, designed for countless stereo and mono signal path routing options. The Red Sea was born out of the vision to provide complex signal routing options available to the live/performing musician, that up until now, are only found in a studio mixing environment. The Red Sea has accomplished this in a compact, easy-to-use, and cost-effective solution.
Wet | Dry | Wet
The Red Sea gives you the ability to run a FULL Stereo wet dry wet rig using only 2 amps or just 2 signals to the FOH, while also giving you complete control over your Wet & Dry mix! Use the Blend knob to control the overall mix between stereo wet effects and mono dry/drive signals.
Stereo Dual Amps
Run dual amp modelers if full stereo w/ stereo effects. Gone are the traditional ways of one amp in the Left channel and another in the Right channel. Now use the Red Sea to seamlessly blend between two separate amps in true stereo. Think of this as a 2-channel amp where you can blend anywhere between both amps.
Stereo Parallel FX
Red Sea has two independent stereo FX loops. Use each FX loop to run stereo delay's and reverb's in parallel, where each effect does not interact with each other. Huge soundscapes can be achieved with washy reverbs and articulate delay repeats while being able to blend between each FX loops mix level.
The Red Sea can also do the following routing options:
- Wet | Dry utilizing a single amp
- Clean Wet | Dry | Wet (drives DO NOT run into wet effects)
- Wet | Dry | Wet with dual delays (one in the L channel & other in R channel)
- Parallel Dual Amps (run dual amp modelers in FULL stereo)
- Convert a tube amp's serial FX Loop to a parallel FX Loop
- Stereo and Mono analog dry through (avoid latency in digital pedals)
Stardust V3 was designed to capture the sound and response of 3 distinct amplifier models.
Stardust V3 was designed to capture the sound and response of 3 distinct maxed-out amplifier models. An all-analog signal path with discrete gain stages featuring MOSFET transistors provides juicy overdrive tones with great note separation that clean up to that sparkly sound that we all love and heard in recordings of the past. Set gain and tone and control everything from your guitar. Sparkly clean to crunchy mean are all there.
You can select the amplifier voicing via the onboard toggle switch.
BSM: Voiced after a blackface amp head that was primarily targeted for bass guitar players but got famous for electric guitar classic rock tones.
VLX: Voiced after a chimey 2x10” combo offering the perfect amount of controllable crunch
DLX: Voiced after one of the most popular low wattage 1×12″ combo amps that have found their way in countless recording studios and clubs around the world.
Stardust V3 now comes with top-mounted jacks and soft-click true bypass via a high-quality relay. The pedal has loads of output volume and enhanced headroom provided by 18V DC (boosted internally) so that it can also be used as a preamp going straight into your Power Amp or AudioInterface when combined with a separate speaker simulation device.
Street price: 199 Euro / 199 USD.
For more information, please visit crazytubecircuits.com.