Tone Report Weekly 188 - Page 13

It was late. I was driving south on the 101, somewhere between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and though it had been a long day of Golden State driving, I’d found solace in a few minutes of ocean watching near the Cliff House and—more importantly—in 97.7/104.5 KFOG. Dave Grohl shouldn’t be unfamiliar. Nirvana was such a seminal part of my musical upbringing that, without him banging the piss out of the drums—as he might say—the experience surely wouldn’t have been the same. If there was ever a radio station I wish I could export back to Indiana, it’s KFOG. And at 8:56PM local time it served up another gem: “Everlong.” Sometimes bands just don’t work out. I mean, sometimes band members don’t get along or—let’s face it—the music sucks and no one is into it. But when Kurt Cobain died in April of 1994, Nirvana just ended. Just like that. And not just the regular “Everlong.” The acoustic version. So, minutes to midnight back where I’m from, I’m in traffic belting out every word of what is, in my opinion, the greatest rock song of 1997. (Sorry Stephan Jenkins, you can’t win ‘em all.) And in that moment I realized something about myself: Dave Grohl is my spirit animal. Here’s why. We’ve got some history. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re both self- taught converted drummers. Or even that “Everlong” was one of the first covers I learned to play on the guitar. Or perhaps that a Foo Fighters song was featured during my wedding. (“Miracle” from the acoustic side of “In Your Honor,” which met my bride-to-be’s requirement of having a string feature in the music.) But in that moment I felt, in some small way, that Dave I were connected. Like we were old friends singing together Carpool Karaoke-style. And in a sense, for anyone like me who grew up in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, the notion that we all sort of go way back with He’s the king of second chances. And lest you forget, Kurt’s tragic suicide occurred just months removed from the release of an album that had debuted at number one, a Nirvana appearance on SNL, the recording of the now much-hallowed MTV Unplugged performance and the launch of a European tour. And though the tour was cancelled early on—due to issues with and concerns over Cobain’s health—the band was still one of the biggest acts in the world at that time. But then it all came crashing down. In interviews since Kurt’s death, Dave has talked about how music was too painful at that point, too strong a reminder of the horrific loss of a close friend—scary, even. He didn’t even want to turn on the radio, let alone resume playing. But as time passed, there was a realization that music was the one thing that could help him work through all that had happened. Which is how the Foo Fighters were born. 13