The throne is vacant again

foo fighters is the band that Dave Grohl founded once Nirvana died out at the same time as Kurt Cobain He made the decision to take his own life. Grohl, an exceptional and dispossessed batterydecided to leave the drums to sing and play the guitar. With that decision he had not vacated the seat of a drummer. Grohl had freed a throne…

The Foo Fighters story is so unlikely, it seems like a Macondian tale. Dave Grohl (1969) was a drummer for a punk band from Virginia, Scream, which had landed in California in 1990, as the highlight of its tour throughout the United States. In Los Angeles they discovered that this would not only be the end of that trip, but of the group itself.

So without much enthusiasm, Grohl called a friend, Buzz Osborne, singer of The Melvins, who told him that another friend, Kurt Cobain, of Nirvana, needed a drummer. Without knowing them, he went to Seattle and gave music one last chance. As he is a drummer like no other, he immediately won the job and they recorded the album that revolutionized rock in the 1990s: Nevermind.

From nothing, to glory, to unseat number one on the lists of Musical hits to the very michael jacksonlike someone who drinks beer on a hot afternoon.

Plural

Grohl’s time with Nirvana barely lasted three years. To transmute the pain of Kurt Cobain’s death, he rented a studio and worked alone (alone!) An entire album, in which he recorded drums, guitars, bass and vocals. A small work of art published in 1995, with the name of ‘Foo Fighters’ (unidentified flying objects, in US military jargon).

When he needed a backing band in 1996, he searched the ashes of the recently broken-up rock group Sunny Day Real State. He offered Nate Mendel, and William Goldsmith, bassist and drummer, to join. He then called up Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear and went from Foo Fighter to plural, a real band.

For the second album, in 1997, Goldsmith could not handle Grohl’s rhythmic demands and left the throne. Then came Taylor Hawkins (1972), a percussionist who, unlike Grohl, had studied music and who was noted as Alanis Morissette’s drummer, due to his frenetic and methodical style.

the blonde metronome

From then on the collaboration between Grohl and Hawkins was symbiotic. Each with its own style.

Grohl is a bastion of the rudiments, almost of baroque consistency, due to the amount of resources to compose. Hawkins, on the other hand, was a metronome with blonde hair and a beard, who made the necessary arrangements, without inflated triplets of drums and kick drums… not too much flam (flam = two beats that, by percussive magic, seem like one and that they give flavor to a rhythm, like the chili pepper in a ceviche). They were opposites in that sense. But they were twins in forcefulness: pure force, as true rock needs.

Hawkins’ legacy is having earned the position of drummer for the Foo Fighters. Something embodied in the eight studio albums that he recorded with them without Grohl disputing the style.

in love

The truth is that Grohl and Hawkins complemented each other musically and made the drums the gravitating instrument of the Foo Fighters’ music: an extremely rhythmic rock, with melodies reminiscent of nirvana (a confluence of rock and pop), which have given way to smash hits like Everlong, My Hero, All my Life, The Pretender, Best of You… or albums as solid, almost perfect, in terms of rhythm, as Wasting Light.

The two used to joke that they had fallen in love. His was one of those diaphanous and well-managed friendships, only cut short by the abyss of addictions. Hawkins was already in a coma, due to a heroin overdose, in 2005. And after being clean all this time, the ostracism of the pandemic has very possibly conditioned him to a relapse.
Grohl tragically loses a friend again. What a destiny.