Dave’s Still Here – A Lamentation by Ouroboris

Dave’s Still Here – A Lamentation by Ouroboris
Cast your mind back:

Do you remember when Dave Grohl did the vocals for “Skeeter” (by vocals I mean he told a spoken word story) on King Buzzo’s solo EP?

“AND HE’S STANDING THERE WITH HIS DICK IN HIS HAND!!!”

Laugh? We nearly went to Ethiopia! Remember how cool that was? Wow man! Dave Grohl and The Melvins! Before that, it was just cool to watch him make jokes in Nirvana interviews when not, of course, “pounding the skins” (sorry I’ve been reading Spin magazine articles online) for Nirvana. Then Kurt died, and if the Gen X media now running nearly every major music website would have you believe, millions grieved openly in the street, wailing and flagellating themselves like monks with their copies of Nevermind. WHYYYYY?!?!?!

It wasn’t really like that. triple j announcers did beg people on air not to kill themselves though, and even set up a helpline. My friends and I took turns calling it and faking grief, as well as boring the call operators with stories of how much he meant to us all. One of my friends even convinced one of the call centre monkeys he was related to Kurt, but I digress.

We all remember that don’t we? Nirvana, Kurt, and of course … Dave. Remember how exciting it was when Dave had a new band? Oh wow! Dave and his new band did an album, too. I mean … it wasn’t Nirvana but still, y’know. I mean, it was something! The Foo Fighters soon rose from the ashes and Dave only had to kill the most respected emo band to do so, but hey! Things were all good. Sunny Dave Real Estate toured the world, and Dave’s previous reputation of being the great pussyhound of Nirvana slowly faded away. He had a new band and Pat Smear was in it! What an exciting time to be alive!

Then the second album came out, and some out of the 17 billion Nirvana fans yawned and moved on. Many who followed The Cult of Dave stayed, though.

I mean it was Dave man!!!

DAVE!!!

He popped up and drummed a few songs for Pearl Jam on their big 1995 tour! Oh wow it’s Dave! It’s like watching a grunge superjam moment! Wow!!

Sunny Dave Real Estate were the first Grunge royalty. By Dave’s birthright, the band was set for life. When they first started in 1995, The Foo Fighters were constantly referred to as the “Dave Grohl ex-Nirvana drummer” band. Understandable in the beginning, but it just kept going. Whether it was Time Magazine, a street press, Dave Letterman or Kerrang magazine – this description prefaced the band in every interview or mention on TV. 1995, 2005, 2015 – it doesn’t matter really. Dave is and will be the Nirvana drummer for life.

Now, most band members of former megabands (or even most bands, really) HATE constantly being referred to for their old bands. But not Dave. No sir. See, it’s seen as a sign of the “nice guy” thing that Dave “cheesy advertising smile he loves to make fun of” rides out. At least we thought he was. The sad reality might be that Dave was just as chameleonic and manipulating as his arch nemesis and final stage boss, Courtney Love; a gifted charlatan who knew how to ride the “guy in Nirvana” reputation with just a pinch of “nicest guy in rock” thrown in.

WHAT THE FUCK MAN? ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT DAVE?

Yes, I am. Try to keep an open mind. It’s not like people haven’t screamed “goddammit I’m sick of Dave Grohl!” before today, but here, I am trying to take another direction. So after a few collaborations and appearances and Foo Fighters touring the world and side stepping the fall of grunge and alternative unlike 98% of the bands of Nirvana’s time, Dave is doin alright! He turns up drumming on Josh Homme’s (then) slowly rising band Queens Of The Stone Age album “Songs For The Deaf”, and it’s like “DAVE!! HE’S DRUMMING AGAIN!!”, as Gen X’s now mid to late 20 year-olds’ tears of nostalgia stream freely down their faces.

I mean … just the sight of Dave behind a kit again … *sniff*

*Sniff!* … Sorry, I … I need a moment.

OOOOOHHAAAHHH!!! IT’S JUST SO GOOD TO SEE AGAIN!! I WANT THIS PLAYED AT MY FUCKING WEDDING!!!

Sorry.

So Dave and The Foo Fighters. They’re out there. They’re touring. They’re writing songs about Kurt and how much he meant, and also about Courtney and how much of an unctuous bag of cunt she is. And it’s all good.

It’s all good.

There’s no point in listing every collaboration and band and appearance Dave has made. We all know it was so numerous and so frequent that CNNNN’s newsbar once joked in 2003 that “Dave Grohl is now drumming for 235 bands.” We all laughed, but little did we know this was more than a joke. It was a premonition. A premonition that we, as the no sellout grunge alternative generation clad in designer cons and choking down energy drinks, may have in fact created a fucking monster. This guy. This guy had been given the golden ticket by birthright. There was literally nothing he could do that we wouldn’t disagree with. It didn’t matter how many times he “guest appeared” on other records or walked out on stage to “join [insert band name here] for a few songs” – we just let him.

We … let him.

For just how long can that ticket last? It seems like fucking forever.

“I was in Nirvana.”

Krist Novoselic can use it to get a specially made credit card and probably enjoys the odd perk or two. Dave didn’t want perks. He wanted our every fucking waking moment. Like Kaneda growing and replicating at an alarming rate in “Akira”, there was no escape. A growing unease began to creep over some Nirvana fans. It was like the uncle who always turns up drunk to the family Christmas gatherings and hugs his nieces for too long. He was just … there.

Forget Elvis. Mojo Nixon was wrong. Dave is everywhere.

Avoiding the fact that Foo Fighters were so big by the mid-2000s that they weren’t just attracting alt rock survivors like the scattered Baby Boomers their parents had been (I was there man!). They were attracting “normal” people. The Foo Fighters were being championed by the FM stations your less than cool school friends tortured you with in their car. Dave wasn’t just on triple j anymore – he was on stations that once played “Mmm mmmm mmm” every hour. By the year 2005, Dave had become omnipotent. He was everywhere. He was cool and uncool. He hung out with Lemmy one minute and movie stars the next.

It was kind of impressive how he did it. In just a few short years, he went from being a recurring joke about a session drummer and knocking on studio doors that nagged everyone for a spot, to inciting white hot rage and venom at the mere sight of his beard.

Guilt began to creep over us like a bad smell.

Fuck man. We created this guy! This monster is our responsibility!

A slow realisation, like an alcoholic’s moment of clarity, soon hit and showed us that those comparisons Nirvana had had to The Beatles by the media in the 90s were to come at a cost. A very high cost. If Nirvana were in fact The Beatles than inevitably … Oh God … Oh … God

If Nirvana were The Beatles, then what follows would have to be Wings.

“I couldn’t see us playing stadiums and becoming one of those big stadium rock bands”
– Dave Grohl, 2001

Wings. The very mention of the band’s name causes violent seizures in hardcore Beatles fans. Dave was Paul and The Foo Fighters were Wings.

Somewhere in the early 2000s, Dave and The Foo Fighters managed to weather the fall of Grunge by simply slowly edging his songs towards banal, radio rock which was so painfully ordinary and FM-ready that we didn’t actually notice. So, as the kids growing up in a Foo Fighters world embraced the mundanity of songs like “Learning To Fly”, the Nirvana generation covered their ears in pain. Like a frog in boiling water, it took some time to realise that we had been deceived. Dave did not want to be different. He wanted to be the same. The same as all of them. The Norms. The goddamn conformists! Oh, how could we not see it?!?!

By the end of the decade it was too late. Dave and Foo The Band were everywhere. They were shit and they weren’t gonna stop, or go away. What was worse though, was that Dave was everywhere, and going away is something he never needs to do because every room he walks into he is greeted by a million smiles. Dave is like a perfectly engineered alt star that morphed Hannah Montana style into what he is today. Look at the man’s credentials. He literally has every fucking generation born from 1967 to now covered.

– Played in Scream and was a part of the second wave of the Washington DC hardcore scene – older Gen X.
– Played in Nirvana – the rest of Gen X but also older Gen Y.
Foo Fighters – everyone else born after 1990.

Genius.

Articles now appear to be regularly not just criticising Dave, but begging and pleading with him to just fuck off already. One expert pointed out that every time they watch a documentary, regardless of whether or not he should be commenting on the subject, there he is … Dave.

“Oh man I remember the first time I heard these guys I was like …”

He could be talking about Skrillex and it wouldn’t matter. In-between Foo Fighters and being Dave Grohl, he also has enough time to sit down before a camera and happily give an opinion. It doesn’t actually matter if his opinion is relevant – he’ll give it anyway. Dave not only dominates every music website on almost a monthly basis, but if he breaks his leg then it is also on every fucking newscast for 2 weeks.

“Dave’s still touring on that leg … Whattaguy!”

“Don’t feed the ego.”

I forget who said that but it’s true. The thing is, the sad truth of it – we created Dave by mistake. We created a no bullshit anti-rock star with underground cred who was waiting patiently for the chance to ride high on a wave of rock star ego indulgence. He didn’t let on that that was what he wanted, but it was.

In the last year alone, Dave has found a way to compare himself with everyone – from Buddy Guy and Bonnie Raitt to Big Black and Husker Du, and made a whole documentary for HBO about “the process of making a great record and exploring music in different places”, which was the most ingenious method of conning people into buying his new album, rather than stealing it. So clever, even Taylor Swift must’ve been shaking her head in awe and saying “Damn, that was better than my Spotify stunt!” Dave has grown into the ultimate rock star; unquestionable and carrying more than 30 years of music cred (25 that is gold plated) across the board. He is the new generation of ageing dinosaurs; a composite of every member of The Rolling Stones rolled into one. So statemans that to even cough in his direction wrong is verboten.

But Dave’s mask of ego is starting to slip. Although the “Sonic Highways” documentary was not immediately obvious, or the hypocrisy of his American Idol criticism quoting The Foo Fighters as “a bunch of guys in a garage”, his recent quote on “shitty little one and a half hour shows” is so obvious that I’ve read four articles today that mentioned it, and every one pointed out the same glaring oversight which Lord Grohl has not seen or not cared for. So to give a little perspective, this is Dave Grohl in 2001. A few years before he went on Howard Stern and made fun of “stadium rock” like Creed.

“I really can’t see us playing big stadiums like these stadium rock bands.”

And this is Dave’s retarded to all fuck criticism of bands playing shows for less than three or four hours.

“You don’t want that shit. All of those new bands that play those little two-hour concerts, you don’t want that shit. Two hours and 15, I don’t think is enough. Two and a half hours, does that sound okay? That’s not enough is it?” Grohl said. “Here’s our fucking problem. We’ve been a band for 20 fucking years, we have a lot of fucking songs, and then add my big mouth on top of that, and we’re going to be here all night.”

The most obvious criticism that every article including a previous one that was published here made:

“The biggest problem with Grohl’s argument is probably that for “those new bands” it may be a little difficult to flesh their 10-track debut out into a three hour show, but we’re sure Grohl could give them some advice if they’re struggling.”

Dave came from the world of punk rock where playing 3-hour long shows was seen as boring and pretentious. The reality of what he said here and even threw in “well you know and I talk a lot”, shows that Dave himself knows full well that he’s a “big stadium rock band” that plays three hour long shows of the most boring ass moderate rock, which Creed themselves could not have achieved … and he loves every minute of it. He may not have been able to see himself playing stadium rock shows in 2001, but I bet he never saw himself disappearing so far up his own ass that he would shit on new bands just starting out.

We didn’t either.

And for that, we are sorry.

Dave’s Still Here – A Lamentation by Ouroboris
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