How Dave Grohl Went From Nirvana Bandmate To Rock Icon

by Christian Lim

Kurt Cobain tragically quoted Neil Young in his suicide note by stating, “It's better to burn out than fade away.”

Fortunately, Dave Grohl has done neither.

Nirvana was the vehicle that showcased Cobain's genius, and over the past two decades, the Foo Fighters have been Grohl's.

Back in 2008, I went to see the Foo Fighters in concert at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. It was their second night at the venue, and they were fresh off the release of their album, Echoes, Patience, Silence, & Grace.

A friend and I were surrounded by people who had come back to see the band perform for the second straight night.

A jaw-dropping experience ensued. I had never seen a man run around a stage so maniacally for that long. It was two hours of Grohl nonstop screaming and shredding on his blue Gibson guitar.

His energy was so high throughout the entire set, I felt exhausted afterward, even though I was only a spectator.

Driving home, I said to myself, “Now that's what a rockstar looks like.”

That concert wasn't Grohl's first rodeo as frontman of the Foo Fighters. The band had released five albums prior to Echoes, and each one went platinum. Hits like “Everlong,” “My Hero” and “Learn To Fly” had already been recorded.

Since then, the Foo Fighters have continued to produce chart-topping songs like “The Pretender,” “Wheels” and “Something From Nothing.”

As far as hit songs go, Dave Grohl's résumé matches up to any of his iconic rockstar contemporaries.

But, beyond the songs and platinum-selling albums, there is a certain genuine quality about Grohl that makes him the quintessential rock icon.

The man truly loves rock music, and he lives his life to champion and preserve it. Anyone who has seen Dave Grohl's 2013 documentary, "Sound City," can clearly see this.

The famous analog Neve recording console, which resided in Sound City Studios (until its closing in 2011), is a piece of music history. It was used by countless rock icons such as Fleetwood Mac and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The documentary, directed by Grohl, is an homage to the music that has shaped the very essence of his being.

Music royalty, like Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks and Trent Reznor, is showcased in what can be described as Grohl's personal love letter to the genre to which he belongs.

Grohl treasured the historic Neve console so much, he purchased it from Sound City Studios and installed it in his home studio, Studio 606.


Not only did he want to continue using the Neve console, he also wanted the console itself to continue producing great rock music, as it has done since the late '60s.

Far from finished, Grohl still continues to be a rock icon.

This past June, at a concert in Gothenburg, Sweden, he fell off the stage at the beginning of the Foo Fighters's set and suffered a broken leg.

He was fully aware something was wrong, and he calmly told the crowd, “I think I just broke my leg.”

Instead of being rushed to the hospital, Grohl got back on stage after receiving some medical attention, and he finished the concert while sitting on a chair.

This level of dedication to the performance, the fans and the music is unmatched. His overall commitment to being a rockstar is what endears Grohl to his fans.

He has been creating music and performing for over two decades, and incidents like what happened in Gothenburg give no indication of him slowing down anytime soon.

Burn out or fade away? It seems like Dave Grohl will continue to shine as one of his generation's rock icons for many years to come.