The Legends That Pushed Dave Grohl To Be A Drummer
via Jim Powers / Youtube
Influenced By Legends
Dave Grohl is not your typical rocker. He’s known for being one of the coolest rockstars on the planet. But more than that, he was also part of not one but two legendary bands – Nirvana and Foo Fighters.
He’s a talented drummer, a charismatic guy, and basically someone whose fame is well-deserved. He was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the second time — the first one was in 2014 as the drummer of Nirvana.
And unsurprisingly, he drew inspiration from two other iconic rock ‘n roll sticksmen: Rush’s Neil Peart and Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham.
Speaking to Ultimate Guitar, Grohl recalled how influential Rush’s 1976 album “2112” was to him.
“First of all I didn’t have a [drum] set [when I first heard ‘2112’], so it was just pillows in my bedroom,” he recalled. “And I put a record on this pillow, that was my hi-hat, and this pillow was my snare. The first album that I really noticed the drums on was ‘2112’ by Rush, someone gave it to me. That was the first time when I really listened to the drums.”
“I couldn’t play what was being played on the record,” he continued, “but it was the first time I thought, ‘Wow, drummers do that? Oh my god!'”
In 2018, he was asked by Rolling Stone whether he would tour with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson if they asked him to after Peart announced his retirement in 2015.
“I’d say ‘I’m not physically or musically capable, but thanks for the offer,’” Grohl answered. “Neil Peart, that’s a whole other animal, another species of drummer.”
It wasn’t just Peart. The moment Grohl first heard Led Zeppelin, it was a life-changing moment for him.
“And then over time I think my biggest epiphany was when I discovered Led Zeppelin, and then that’s when I really started listening to [John] Bonham,” he told Ultimate Guitar, “and that’s when I discovered how drumming can be not only powerful, but poetic, and that’s what I got into.”
“John Bonham is the greatest rock drummer of all time,” Grohl declared in a Mojo magazine interview. “Bonham played directly from the heart. His drumming was by no means perfect, but when he hit a groove, it was so deep it was like a heartbeat. He had this manic sense of cacophony, but he also had the ultimate feel. He could swing, he could get on top, or he could pull back.”
“Led Zeppelin, and John Bonham’s drumming especially, opened up my ears,” he mused.
Grohl admitted in several interviews how much Bonzo influenced him. He said that he spent years in his bedroom trying to emulate the late Led Zeppelin drummer’s speed and power behind the kit. He was so obsessed with Bonham that he even tattooed himself with Bonzo’s triple-circle emblem using a sewing needle and some ink.