There is no bigger name in music right now than Dave Grohl. If anyone can cancel huge tour dates at Wembley and pull out of a headlining slot at the legendary Glastonbury festival but somehow get more popular, then it is the Foo Fighters front-man who has developed a reputation as the “nicest guy in rock.” This is thanks to his down to earth nature despite being a rock god, and there are many instances where he has justified his popularity through his actions. Here are 10 times that Dave Grohl was just plain awesome.
10. Singing Happy Birthday at Reading
Despite being perhaps the biggest rock star in the world and one that has collaborated with many enormous names, Dave Grohl does not forget where he came from. He often talks about his family and his hometown, and this has certainly helped him to stay so grounded over the years. In 2012, the Foo Fighters were headlining Reading Festival and played in front of around 80,000 fans on the final night of the festival. It was a mammoth two and half hour set that saw the band play 26 songs, but he also took time out to sing happy birthday to his mother, who was watching on at the side of the stage. She was brought out on stage as a sea of people sung happy birthday to her, and it was a touching and heartfelt moment and one that surely endeared him to moms around the world.
9. Helping Young Fan Out Of The Mosh Pit
Dave Grohl once again proved his awesomeness by forming the super-group Them Crooked Vultures, which saw him play drums, legendary bassist John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) on bass and keys, and Josh Homme (Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age) on guitar and vocals. The trio released a fantastic record but it was their live shows that impressed the most. Due to the music being heavier than Foo Fighters material, it saw some of the shows get quite intense. Fortunately Grohl spotted a young fan struggling at the front of the crowd at a show in Blackpool, and he stopped the gig and pulled the fan up onto the stage. The young fan and his dad were then allowed to watch the show from the side of the stage, and once again Grohl lived up to his reputation by showing his care for the fans.
8. Dropping $1,000 Tips For Wait Staff
Dave Grohl is famous for his generosity, and this was once again on show in 2011 whilst he was at the Smith & Wollensky bar at the Rittenhouse Hotel. On the Friday night, Grohl had one drink and put down a tip of $1,000. He returned the next night and had a few more drinks this time around, and once again dropped a $1,000 tip for the wait staff. There are dozens of stories of musicians treating waiters and staff like dirt and generally being rude, so it is refreshing to hear of a celebrity of Grohl’s profile appreciating those serving him and being generous with his wealth. The staff probably could not believe their luck when “the nicest guy in rock” walked in, but to drop such generous tips will have given them a memory that they will always cherish, along with plenty of extra cash in their pockets.
7. Performing in Fans’ Garages
Grohl and the Foo Fighters have played sell-out shows at all the biggest arenas around the world and in front of thousands at the most iconic festivals. They are unquestionably one of the biggest rock acts of all-time, and fans will struggle to get their hands on tickets regardless of where they are playing. In support of their 2011 Wasting Light album, Grohl announced a contest where the eight winners would have Foo Fighters perform an intimate concert in their garage. This is where most bands start out, so to see a band with over 12 million albums sales rock out in a tiny garage in a suburb is a truly special event. One of the lucky fans reflected “I didn’t win the lottery, but I got this. If I won the lottery the first thing I would do is pay to have Foo’s play in my garage.”
6. Headbanging at Soundgarden
All musicians are avid fans of music and other bands, but the only time you will see them watching a gig is safely from the side of the stage and with VIP tickets. This is not Grohl’s style, who decided that for a 2011 Soundgarden gig he wanted the proper physical, sweaty and, smelly experience of being down in the pit with all the other fans. Video footage emerged of Grohl headbanging along with everyone else (without any security), and this is not something that you see many other musicians do. Grohl is one of the most famous and popular musicians of all-time, which makes this even more impressive. It also meant that he was recognized by other fans who gave him high-fives and enjoyed watching the show rubbing shoulders with the rock legend.
5. Stopping a Fight Mid-Show
As previously established, Dave Grohl cares for his fans and wants his shows to be as enjoyable as possible. During a performance at the iTunes Festival in London, Grohl spotted someone being violent in the crowd and immediately halted the show. He then said “Who’s fighting? Let me see him. Hey, you in the striped shirt, look at me, look at me…Get the f*** outta my show right now! Get the f*** out!” He may be the nicest guy in rock, but this proves that you certainly don’t want to mess with Grohl. He might not be quite as friendly if you act inappropriately at one of his shows. Many bands do not interact with the crowd or don’t seem aware of what is happening in front of them, but Grohl is fully aware of what is happening around him whenever he is on stage.
Warning: Video contains very NSFW language.
4. Helping a Fan Achieve His Bucket List Wish
Ken Powell is a terminally ill Foo Fighters fan who unfortunately missed out on his wish to meet Grohl & Co. after the front-man was forced to cancel some meet-and-greets due to food poisoning. Whilst the band were returning from the Australian tour, one of Ken’s friends was a flight attendant on their flight and informed the band of Ken’s wish. Being the good guy that he is, Grohl immediately snapped a photo of himself holding a sign that says “Hi Ken,” and sent the photo along with two VIP tickets to their show in Los Angeles. Ken will now be able to achieve his bucket list wish of meeting the band, and it is just another example of what a great and compassionate guy Dave Grohl is.
3. Fundraising Gig at Christchurch
In March 2011, the Foo Fighters performed a special fundraising gig after the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake a month earlier. The earthquake sadly killed 185 people and caused widespread damage across the city, and upon hearing this, Grohl decided to make a previously unscheduled trip to help with the relief efforts. The benefit show in Auckland managed to raise a whopping $354,903, and it is a great example of Grohl’s awareness of the world around him and how he can use his fame to make a difference. In an interview prior to the gig, Grohl stated “if there is one good thing about music, it can heal you. Music can save your life. So if we can play for a good cause, raise a little money, and show some people a good time then we’re doing a good thing.”
2. Trapped Australian Miners
On the 25th of April 2006, a mine collapsed in Beaconsfield, Australia, killing one person and trapping two in a story that gripped the world. The miners made a request for an MP3 player to be sent down with Foo Fighters material on it, and Grohl was moved to tears when heard that his music had lifted their spirits. According to StereoBoard, Grohl sent a personal message to the miners that said, “I want you to know that when you come home, there are two tickets to any Foos show, anywhere, and two cold beers waiting for yous. Deal?” The miners were trapped for two weeks, and Grohl would make good on his promise by meeting and drinking heavily with one of the miners after a gig at the Sydney Opera House. Grohl also wrote a song titled “Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners” which appeared on Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.
1. Carrying On Show After Breaking Leg
The story that has taken the world by storm, Dave Grohl recently cemented himself as a hero and great guy after carrying on a gig despite breaking his leg earlier in the show. Playing at Gothenburg in Sweden, Grohl fell from the stage during the second song of the set and lay by the side of the stage. Still clutching the mic, he stated “I think I just broke my leg. I’m going to hospital. I’m going to fix my leg and then I’m going to come back.” The band played cover songs whilst Grohl was patched up by on-site medical staff, and then he made rock history by returning to the stage to finish the set with a medic holding his heavily bandaged leg in place. An x-ray after the show revealed that he had broken his leg, but he had once again amazed the world with his awesomeness.