Foo Fighters

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Foo Fighters
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

30 Foo Fighters Facts:

1. The band was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl as a one-man project following the dissolution of Nirvana after the suicide of Kurt Cobain.

2. While in high school, Grohl played in several local bands, including a stint as guitarist in Freak Baby and played drums in a group named Mission Impossible.

3. The group took its name from the UFOs and various aerial phenomena that were reported by Allied aircraft pilots in World War II, which were known collectively as foo fighters.

4. When he was 13 years old Dave Grohl went to see American punk rock Naked Raygun at The Cubby Bear in Chicago – his first ever concert.

5. Foo Fighters made its live public debut on February 23, 1995, at the Jambalaya Club in Arcata, California.

6. Guitarist Pat Smear was a founding member of punk band the Germs and the touring guitarist for Nirvana from 1993 to 1994.

7. Chart Attack voted Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins as the sexiest musician at the 2000 Summersault Festival. Dave Grohl was placed fourth.

8. The first pressing of Foos’ 1999 album There Is Nothing Left To Lose came with a rub-on FF tattoo like the one on Dave’s neck.

9. ‘Learn to Fly’ was the band’s first song to enter the Billboard Hot 100, as well as their second-highest charting song on the Hot 100, peaking at number 19. The song’s music video won Best Short Form Video award at the 43rd Grammy Awards in 2000.

10. Dave Grohl played drums on the soundtrack for the 1994 Beatles film, Backbeat. He was joined by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Gumballs’ Don Fleming, The Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli and Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner.

11. During the September 4, 1997 concert at Radio City Music Hall, right before that year’s 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, Smear announced his departure and gave his instrument for the new guitarist, Franz Stahl, to finish the set. Stahl, who played with Grohl in Scream, flew from a tour he was performing in Japan after getting the invitation to join the band.

12. Before joining the band, Taylor Hawkins was Alanis Morissette’s touring drummer. He appeared in Morissette’s videos for ‘You Oughta Know’, ‘All I Really Want’ and ‘You Learn’.

13. Dave Grohl once made a cameo appearance with his wife Jennifer on The X-Files in a 1996 episode called Pusher.

14. Taylor Hawkins overdosed on heroin in 2001, which put him in a coma for two weeks

15. Dave Grohl became friendly with the late David Bowie on the 1997 festival circuit and later played his 50th birthday party. He later contributed drums to a cover of Neil Young’s I’ve Been Waiting For You on 2002’s Heathen.

16. While the Foo Fighters were on break, Hawkins played in a three-piece cover band, Chevy Metal.

17. In 2000, while on tour with Foo Fighters in Australia, Grohl was arrested by Australian police while driving a scooter under the influence following a concert on the Gold Coast in Queensland. He was fined $400 and had his Australian driving permit revoked for three months.

18. In August 2009, Grohl was given the key to the city of his hometown Warren, Ohio. A roadway in downtown Warren named ‘David Grohl Alley’ was dedicated to him with murals by local artists. Later in 2012 Warren, Ohio unveiled a pair of gigantic 902 lb. (409 kg) drumsticks to honor him.

19. Dave Grohl could have joined Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Petty offered Dave the drummer’s seat on a permanent basis after he sat in with the band on Saturday Night Live.

20. Foo Fighters second album The Colour And The Shape, was a Grammy nominee for Best Rock Album in 1998. Even though Foo Fighters are an American band, the word ‘Colour’ in the album title is always spelled with the British spelling. This was a nod to producer Gil Norton, who is British.

21. During the band’s sold out shows at Wembley Stadium in June 2008, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin joined the band on stage.

22. Wasting Light released in 2011 was the first Foo Fighters album to top the United States’ Billboard 200 chart as well as peaking at number one on the UK chart. The album also topped the charts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, and Singapore.

23. In 2012, Grohl was estimated to be the third wealthiest drummer in the world, behind Ringo Starr and Phil Collins, with a fortune of $260 million.

24. During the concert in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 12, 2015, Grohl, fell off the stage early in the set and fractured his leg, but he returned to finish the set in a wheelchair and on crutches and kept playing until the end of the concert. However, the remainder dates of the European leg was cancelled costing the band as much as $10 million in lost fees and travel expenses not offset by box office revenue.

25. Over the course of the band’s career, four of its albums have won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album.

26. Taylor Hawkins claimed that he once turned down an offer to join Guns N’ Roses. He said that he was approached by Axl Rose to join his new line-up of the band following the exit of their original members.

27. In 2016 Dave Grohl leapt to the defence of a teenage heavy metal band from Cornwall, England, after their local council said they were too loud. The Black Leaves of Envy were told they would have to stop practising in a family garage after noise complaints from neighbours. Grohl penned an open letter to the authority after the band contacted him asking Cornwall Council to ‘reconsider the restrictions’.

28. Taylor Hawkins once revealed that the worst gig they ever played was opening up for the Chili Peppers in the late 90s. They were so drunk they couldn’t even play, and managed just three songs and then laid down on the stage.

29. As a Christmas gift, Grohl once recorded a song for his then-girlfriend, pressing and packaging it as a proper release. He gave the sole copy to her and then destroyed all the remaining tapes.

30. Grohl chews gum before and during their sets, which keeps his mouth from getting dry. He prefers Dentyne Ice, and says, ‘Onstage, I need a minty-fresh microphone.’

On March 25, 2022, Taylor Hawkins was in Bogotá, Colombia, where he was scheduled to perform with the Foo Fighters later that evening. After Hawkins complained of chest pains, emergency services were called up to his room at the Four Seasons Casa Medina hotel. Health personnel arrived and found Hawkins unresponsive; they performed CPR, but he was declared dead at the scene, at the age of 50.

Important Dates In The Life Of The Foo Fighters:

On this day in music
25 Jun 2023
Elton John played the final UK concert of the UK leg of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road farewell tour at Glastonbury headlining the Pyramid Stage on the festival's final day. During this years festival Foo Fighters made a surprise appearance and The Arctic Monkeys headlined the Pyramid Stage, their third appearance at the festival.
23 Jun 2023
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl decided to take the train before a surprise show at Glastonbury Festival. The singer - whose band played a set on the Pyramid Stage under the guise of The Churnups - and 40 others boarded the 11:00 BST service from London. GWR said the group had exclusive use of Paddington's First Class lounge all morning, with the first group arriving at 10:20. Grohl was one of the last to arrive, in an apparent effort to keep his identity secret ahead of the surprise Glastonbury performance.
3 Sep 2022
The Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert was held in London, England. Sir Paul McCartney, Queen and AC/DC were among the rock royalty to pay tribute at Wembley; while Liam Gallagher opened the show with a fitting rendition of Oasis's 'Rock And Roll Star'. Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl choked back tears as he played the band's first show since the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins in March of this year. The star was singing 'Times Like These' when he paused to collect his emotions on the lyric: "It's times like these you learn to love again."
3 Apr 2022
Winners at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas included, ‘Leave the Door Open’ by Silk Sonic, Album of the Year went to Jon Batiste for We Are, Olivia Rodrigo won Best New Artist and Best Pop Solo Performance for ‘Drivers License’. Best Rock Performance went to Foo Fighters for ‘Making a Fire’, their ‘Waiting on a War’ won Best Rock Song and they also won Best Rock Album for Medicine at Midnight.
25 Mar 2022
American drummer Taylor Hawkins died age 50. He had worked with Alanis Morissette as her touring drummer on her Jagged Little Pill tour. He joined Foo Fighters in 1997, and had a side project, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, in which he played drums and sings. He was voted Best Rock Drummer in 2005 by the UK drumming magazine Rhythm. At Live Earth in 2007, Hawkins was part of SOS Allstars with Roger Taylor of Queen and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
15 Feb 2021
Foo Fighters were at No.1 in the UK with their tenth studio album Medicine at Midnight. The album debuted at No.3 on the US Billboard 200 chart. It is the final Foo Fighters studio album to feature drummer Taylor Hawkins before his death the following year.
29 Aug 2019
Noel Gallagher said he wanted to start a petition to break the Foo Fighters up. It followed Dave Grohl and co’s headline performance at the UK Reading Festival, at which the frontman and Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins told the crowd they wanted to start a petition to get Oasis to reunite.
16 Jan 2019
American musician Lorna Doom died of cancer age 61. She was the bass guitarist for the punk rock band the Germs. Their music was influential to many later punk rock acts. Germs guitarist Pat Smear went on to achieve greater fame performing with Nirvana and Foo Fighters.
9 Oct 2017
Foo Fighters were at No.1 on the US album chart with their ninth studio album Concrete and Gold and their second album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. Dave Grohl had ended a self-imposed six-month hiatus from music to record the album while recovering from an injury sustained on the Sonic Highways World Tour.
22 Mar 2016
Dave Grohl leapt to the defence of a teenage heavy metal band from Cornwall, England, after their local council said they were too loud. The Black Leaves of Envy were told they would have to stop practising in a family garage after noise complaints from neighbours. Foo Fighters frontman Grohl penned an open letter to the authority after the band contacted him asking Cornwall Council to 'reconsider the restrictions'.
9 Jan 2016
Stars paid tribute to Motorhead frontman Lemmy at his funeral at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery. Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, Slash from Guns N' Roses, Robert Trujillo and Lars Ulrich from Metallica, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and Anthrax frontman Scott Ian all spoke at the service. Lemmy's bass guitar was plugged into a stack of amplifiers and the volume turned up, with the congregation applauding as feedback from the speakers filled the chapel.
21 Aug 2015
After the Westboro Baptist Church, famous for their anti-gay demonstrations, staged a protest before a Foo Fighters concert in Kansas City, the band responded by driving a truck in front of the demonstrators and Rickrolling them by blasting a version of Rick Astley's hit 'Never Gonna Give You Up.'
12 Jun 2015
Dave Grohl fell off the stage and broke his leg only two songs into a Foo Fighters show in Gothenburg, Sweden. He received medical attention and returned to finish the show in a temporary cast, propped up while somebody held his leg. The rest of their European tour was cancelled while he had surgery and the tour resumed on July 4 in Washington, DC, with Grohl performing from a custom-made guitar throne.
12 Apr 2011
Foo Fighters released their seventh studio album Wasting Light. The album was preceded by the successful single 'Rope' which became only the second song ever to debut at No. 1 on Billboard's Rock Songs chart. Wasting Light earned four Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album.
15 Oct 2008
Jon Bon Jovi became the latest musician to disapprove of the use of his songs in John McCain's US presidential campaign. The Bon Jovi song, ‘Who Says You Can't Go Home’, was used during rallies held by Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Foo Fighters, Heart and Jackson Browne had all asked Mr McCain to stop using their tracks in his presidential bid. Bon Jovi, a Democrat supporter, threw a $30,000 (£17,000) per person, fund-raising dinner for Democratic candidate Barack Obama at his New Jersey home in September.
20 Feb 2008
Winners at this year's Brit Awards in London, included Take That who won the trophies for best British live act and British single, The Arctic Monkeys won best British group and album - both for the second year in a row and Foo Fighters won best international group and album. Kate Nash won best British female and Mark Ronson was named best British male. Kylie Minogue won best international female and Mika was named best British breakthrough act. Sir Paul McCartney performed a medley of hits, including 'Live and Let Die', ‘Hey Jude’ and 'Lady 'Madonna' after he was honoured with an outstanding contribution award. The show was presented by Sharon Osbourne.
30 Sep 2007
Foo Fighters went to No.1 on the UK album chart with Echoes Silence Patience & Grace the bands sixth studio album and second UK No.1. The album was nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning Best Rock Album, and was also awarded the Brit Award of Best International Album.
25 Sep 2007
Foo Fighters released their sixth studio album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. The album was nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning Best Rock Album, and was also awarded the Brit Award of Best International Album.
7 Jul 2007
The Live Earth concerts took place around the world with The Police closing the days events in New Jersey. The concerts were organised by former US Vice-President Al Gore, as part of his campaign to "heal the planet". Rock stars from around the world performed to hundreds of thousands of fans to highlight climate change. Concerts were held in Washington, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney. Madonna brought London's Live Earth concert to a close, playing a song she had written for the event. Other major acts who appeared included; Snow Patrol, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Genesis, The Beastie Boys, James Blunt, Foo Fighters, Duran Duran, UB40, Snoop Dogg, Enrique Iglesias, Crowded House & Joss Stone.
26 Aug 2005
Green Day were named best band on the planet at the 12th annual Kerrang! rock awards, they also won best live act. Welsh metal group Funeral For a Friend won best British band, while New Jersey's My Chemical Romance picked up best album and best video. Iron Maiden were inducted into the Kerrang! Hall of Fame and Marilyn Manson took the Icon Award. Best single went to Foo Fighters 'Best of You' while Trivium were named best international newcomers. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor was named classic songwriter while Killing Joke were given a lifetime achievement accolade.
22 Oct 2002
Foo Fighters released One by One their fourth studio album which includes the successful singles 'All My Life' and 'Times Like These'. One by One won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2004, the second for the band.
2 Nov 1999
Foo Fighters released their third studio album There Is Nothing Left to Lose, the album marks the first appearance of drummer Taylor Hawkins. Early pressings of the disc included a temporary tattoo, similar to the one featured on the album cover.
16 Aug 1997
Blur, Prodigy, Beck, Kula Shaker, Dodgy, Foo Fighters, Placebo, James, Ash, Dodgy and Gene all appeared at the two day V97 UK festival in Chelmsford and Leeds, weekend tickets, £50.
20 May 1997
Foo Fighters released their second album The Colour And The Shape the album was a Grammy nominee for Best Rock Album in 1998. Even though Foo Fighters is an American band, the word 'Colour' in the album title is always spelt with the British spelling. This was a nod to producer Gil Norton, who is British.
14 Aug 1995
Foo Fighters made their network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman when they performed their new single 'This Is A Call'.
4 Jul 1995
The debut album by Foo Fighters was released. Dave Grohl wrote and recorded the entire album himself, with the assistance of producer Barrett Jones at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, Washington. Grohl later said he recorded the album just for fun, describing it as a cathartic experience to recover from the suicide of Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain. He chose the name "Foo Fighters" for the project to hide his identity.
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