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The Cult of Dave Grohl’s Personality: Why the Foo Fighters Frontman Is Everyone’s Favorite

A deep dive into why Grohl is one of our most likable legends

dave grohl legacy
Illustration by Steven Fiche
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    Foo Fighters Week continues here at Consequence with an analysis of how the Foos’ legacy wouldn’t be half as good without Dave Grohl’s world-building. Keep checking back throughout the week for more interviews, lists, editorials and videos — it’s all things Foos, all the time. You can see everything in one convenient place here.


    One of the most sensible things a person can do with a gobsmacking heap of money is never work again — just spend all day doing whatever you like and hope your riches don’t give your descendants too many personality disorders. Yet of the tiny fraction of musicians who find themselves in this position, almost all of them keep coming back. They need something from the audience. Over a long enough career, they’ll usually tell us what they need.

    Some want to be called a genius wherever they go; other desire to transcend their art and be recognized as a great humanitarian; and a surprising number desperately want us to believe they have a big dick. So what does Dave Grohl need?

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    If you believe the man himself, he needs someone to share just how much he loves rock and roll. It’s the grand theme of many of his stories, which have been repeated until they’ve taken on the weight of foundational myths: Grohl, who at 17 held a seance with John Bonham’s ghost; who felt peace at the same time he felt his legs cramping up in the back of a tour bus; who moved on from the loss of Kurt Cobain to reinvent himself as the fallen icon’s opposite — an optimist who will always choose life.

    Pat Smear, former touring guitarist for Nirvana and longtime Foo Fighter member, confirmed as much last year. In reference to the 2011 song “Walk,” he said, “Every night when he sings the line ‘I never want to die,’ I look at him every time and think of Kurt. Every single time. Because Kurt was, ‘I hate myself and I want to die.’ And that’s the opposite-ness of them. And I do so love being with life lovers.”

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    Grohl exalts in existence. He’s happy to be here, happy to meet you, happy to play “Everlong” for the quadrillionth time. He’s one of our most likable legends — rock’s golden retriever.

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