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olivejuicemusic

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Reply with quote  #1 
I recently came across this quote on the Dead Kennedy's Facebook page by Foo Fighters frontman/ ex Nirvana drummer Dave Grohol. I reposted it on my personal page. Soon after I received a mixed reaction from some of my fellow FB/ Music community friends. Though the page got several likes, a couple friends, who I respect very much, described the rant as hypocritical and judgmental. As I started to analyze the quote in more depth I did uncover what appeared to be a hypocrisy in relation to Mr. Grohl's complex relationship to the band Nirvana. It is my understanding that he was not an original member and was called on to replace drummer Chad Channing for his lack of skills and enthusiasm for their new more direction of the band. Upon further examination, I found that Grohl's quote made no reference to him personally in the band. When it comes to how Nirvana originally got started I think the quote holds true. On a personal note, I would consider myself a fan of Nirvana's but not a particular fan of the Foo Fighters (Grohl's band that went on to obtain great success after Nirvana's demise due to lead singer Kurt Cobain's suicide.) but after a recent opportunity to see them live I was greatly impressed. Grohl's enthusiasm and uplifting nature kept a crowd of 20,000 people entertained and cheering for nearly 3 hours. I consider this no small feat in todays short attention span Internet world. I'd love for this discussion to continue here. What do you think? Is Dave Grohl just a a grumpy old hypocrite rock star or a rare trubador for a diminishing DIY Culture ?

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SpeakerSonic

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Reply with quote  #2 
Some things Dave Grohl does are pretty ok, I guess. Sonic Highways was neat for me because I run a recording studio. The songs from that show are trite and the worst part of the show, but to see the different studios was cool for me. Sound City, I liked for the same reasons, plus all of the great music and bands that were rep'd in that show. Awesome! Kudos to Grohl for that.

But this rant is kind of stupid, imo, because, he puts his focus on Nirvana and not reality. Nirvana is just that, an unattainable place. A shangri la, a mirage. Nirvana was a great band, made bigger by "suicide". They had two excellent albums and sure they shook up the rock world for a hot minute. I am a fan, and still listen and wonder, what would have happened had Courtney Love not staged Kurt Cobain's death to look like a suicide. I'm hitting on too many topics here. Let me focus in on "You don't need a fucking computer or the internet or The Voice or American Idol."

Computer: Pretty much the only way for bands to communicate for booking shows anywhere beyond their backyard. 
Internet: Emails, booking, same thing as a computer.
The Voice: America loves this show. It has replaced Nirvana as the number one musical act in the world. It also teaches kids, that if you work hard on your own, and then get help at the highest level, you will in fact be an amazing singer, and you have the chance to be a "star". The show does, however, suck in the sense that there is no real criticism. All of the "coaches" prance and praise every singer like they're the best thing ever. I also find the music is often not my taste and focus' on pop stars, which Elvis was a pop star, so they're not all bad. But my wife likes the show, and I like music, so we watch it together.
American Idol: The worst shit that has ever happened to music. Stupid catch phrases, soap opera storylines, Simon Cowell is the biggest douche bag and I can't say enough about how this show S's a big fat D. 

Yes, you don't need those things to be a true rock n roller. But if you want to get out of the garage and become "the next Nirvana", you need all of those things. You need "The Voice or American Idol" so that you can be the rage and rebellion against that structure and that system. 

I'm not a fan of Dave Grohl's music. He writes really dumb screamy songs that tend to try to have a pop hook, and it just sounds formulaic and boring to me. He did have some funny videos with his first few albums, and the songs I think had a little bit more interesting lyrics... I think. I dunno, I've really tuned him out. I also don't think he is the all knowing "voice of rock". He is a rich white dude who's had almost no musical struggle, ever in his life. He's respected in the industry because he's made the industry and himself, millions and millions of dollars. 

I realize I've tip toed in and around parts of the topic, but that's my feelings regarding Grohl.
olivejuicemusic

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Reply with quote  #3 
Holy shit this is a great response!
olivejuicemusic

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Reply with quote  #4 
I had a some more thoughts on this. I understand that most of your opinions about Dave Grohl have to do with is recorded material. It also makes sense that this would be your focus being a studio owner.

It's funny to me that I find myself, though half heartedly, defending Dave Grohl on this thread. The truth is outside of his drumming in Nirvana and a couple of other guest drumming spots I own none of his recordings. I am totally unfamiliar with Foo Fighters outside of their hits. I think if I'd been a part of this discussion several years ago I would have probably sided with you more.

Three years ago I had the opportunity to see Dave Groh give the Keynote speech at SXSW. And I was totally blown away. He went into dept about his experiences playing in bands before and after Nirvana. He talked about the early days of mink rock and indie music. He talked about the importance of heart and honesty in songwriting. He spoke about his discovery of the reciting process and the life of a touring musician.


My second experience with Mr. Grohl had me working security at a sold out Foo Fighters show just this past Fall. Let me remind you I was not a big fan of his music. But I gotta tell you the guy kind of won me over by pure will. The energy this 46 year old guy exerted with his leg in a cast rivaled any 20 something punk band I've seen in my now several years as a DIY touring musician. The three hour set included a continuous flow of the bands hits, short set of classic rock covers (good ones like Tom Pertty's Break Down) and an amazing story, including video, about how Grohl, now famously, shattered his ankle but continued a world tour on the condition that his crew make him a motorized guitar rock throne. And they did. The repercussions of an organization like the Foo Fighters canceling a world tour on the multiple crew and venue workers, promoters etc. is hard to imagine. The way he decided to continue with his leg in a cast while at the same time incorporating the story in his act as well as huge kudos to his own crew was pretty darn cool. I've never seen a more enthusiastic and grateful performer in my life.

Of course being the drummer for what was at one time the worlds most popular rock band gives you an enormous advantage in becoming a rock musician. But it doesn't guarantee you a successful career for over 20 years selling out 20,000 seat venues. I think sometimes we over look that just because some is famous it doesn't mean that they don't work extremely hard to get that way. I still don't know if I'm a fan of Dave Grohl's music but I think I might be a fan of Dave Grohl.
B

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Reply with quote  #5 

 I haven't read any of this yet, and I may never watch the full video, but I appreciate you both posting.
B

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Reply with quote  #6 
Okay. I read all of the above.

 When I was in the Thin Lads our home venue (like my home venue now is Sidewalk) was The Corner aka Dominic's aka Formerly Dominic's (depending on the year). I remember a flyer for SCREAM, the band Grohl was in at the time. I didn't check out the show the night they played there though. "Damn, Barry. Great story."
 I always saw Grohl as the dude that didn't quite get it, but maybe he just isn't the kind of guy I identify with. My make up is such that in Nirvana it was Cobain that I identified with. For some it may have been Novoselik (had to look up the spelling) or Grohl... or someone on the crew. I am a front man/writer, so I pretty much always mainly identify with the front man, though I can see/admit when the front man is an ass (like Jagger when he decides to not come on stage until after the other Stones have come out).
 Foo Fighter music is just not interesting enough for me, which makes sense because I just don't find Grohl that interesting. He is a hard worker, and maybe he's a decent guy, but it takes fucking genius to really hold my interest.
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 I don't know a lot about Nirvana, so can't say anything about Grohl being brought in.
 I will say that back in Norfolk in the 80's Waxing Poetics were the big local band, and they tossed out Chris Hite and brought in a guy that was perhaps more technically proficient. Chris just rolled with it and never spoke bad about any of those guys as they went on to play bigger places and make bigger money. In the mid 90's Chris actually used to play drums with me as a solo musican, though we only rehearsed and never did a show. As I recall, Chris was even friends later with the drummer that replaced him. (This doesn't add much to the discussion, but I get to praise Chris Hite anyway.)[promo_early_chris]
 That's Chris 2nd from left. He said this later in an interview: "I only played with the band for about a year and a half. Bill was a much better drummer than I was at the time, and although he didn’t sing, his drumming was more solid."
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 As for what Speaker says about computers, I find it true, in a sense. Some of the older ways of doing stuff have been shut down, so you maybe can't book shows the same way (like when a lot of the payphones got taken away, so you couldn't make calls from every corner at a payphone booth anymore).
 Pay Phones :: Payphone.com          The above is a payphone, kids.

 If you were good enough, people'd find out about you even if you didn't do any internet work, but in that case someone would probably jump in and start doing internet work for you.

 I've never seen The Voice and I've only seen clips from American Idol. Simon is all about vacuity and technical proficiency. I am NOT a fan.

 "I also find the music is often not my taste and focus' on pop stars, which Elvis was a pop star, so they're not all bad." (quote by Speaker)
Here I disagree. In my eyes, Elvis wasted his gift. I can't stand most of the music he recorded. Same for Ray Charles and numerous others considered great by many.

 ".....because some[one] is famous it doesn't mean that they don't work extremely hard to get that way." (quote by olivejuicemusic)
Here I agree. That having been said Donald Rumsfeld worked hard as well, so no one gets any credit from me just because they work hard. Work can be an excuse to not play, and play can prove much more interesting. As for fame, society on the whole is fickled and looking for distractions, so any narcisist with talent in their field can get famous. (Everyone is famous, it's simply a matter of degrees we are talking about, unless you'd like to argue that some are famous and some are infamous.)
 If you think Turner Cody and many more couldn't be famous and rich right now, think again. It's a decision to use our talents in a more eithical way that insures less fame and money, if you ask me. People pay to hear what they want to hear, not what they need to hear, with few exceptions, me being one of them. I wouldn't walk downstairs to see Madonna. (I must say I do respect Grimes though.)

 Maybe I didn't add a lot here, except for amount of text, but I haven't typed my views on a community board in a while and decided what the heck.


SpeakerSonic

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Reply with quote  #7 
Sweet read Matt and Barry!

I've seen/watched this speech a few years back and did find it to be very good. Matt, maybe you even posted it on facebook after you saw it...? He's articulate and intelligent, even with the gum chewing style profanity, it still has a sense of smarts, and real heart. Mr. Grohl has a fine sense of humor. I just wish his music reached me and i felt like it was awesome so I could get behind him more enthusiastically. 

Now Adele is not a long term industry person, but her music has more heart, and her talent is unmatched in modern music. She writes and sings mostly soulful style ballads but she fuckin' ROCKS the vocals! If you guys haven't heard her new album, do yourself a treat and put it on for a front to back listen. Yes Barry, I think she has Genius. 

When it all comes down to it. I want to be touched by what I hear. I want to be effected, I want to transcend. I want to have a "skin orgasm". Here's an interesting read/view: 

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/07/music-gives-some-people-skin-orgasms.html#

If music does something profound to me, I'm more likely to be interested in what one has to say. Dave Grohl gets a bad rap by some, as there are haters, because he's like king of the rock 'n roll hill right now. He's not doing anything interesting musically with his band/lyrics/sound for me per say, but he is doing things for studios and musicians and for that I respect him. His heart is in the right place. 
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