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The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music Hardcover – October 5, 2021
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The #1 New York Times Bestseller
So, I've written a book.
Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ("It's a piece of cake! Just do 4 hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!") I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I've recorded and can't wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child.
This certainly doesn't mean that I'm quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it's like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters…the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.
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Kinetic… Grohl writes with equal fervor about his path from “that guy from Nirvana” to the leader of the uberfamous Foo Fighters and his parenting experiences. An exciting read for fans and a remarkable perspective on the last 30 years of rock music.” -- Booklist
About the Author
DAVE GROHL is a 16-time Grammy-winning musician and 2-time Emmy-winning director.
Grohl has been one of the most beloved and respected figures on the international music scene since his recorded debut with Nirvana on 1991's generation-defining Nevermind. Grohl took center stage with Foo Fighters' 1995 self-titled debut, the first album in massive 12-Grammy-winning catalogue that now includes The Colour & The Shape (1997), There Is Nothing Left To Lose (1999), One By One (2002), In Your Honor (2005), Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007), Wasting Light (2011), Sonic Highways (2014), Concrete and Gold (2017) and, most recently, Medicine at Midnight (2021).
Grohl has a well-earned reputation as a prolific collaborator: His various endeavors have included "Cut Me Some Slack,” written and recorded with Paul McCartney and Grohl's Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear; Them Crooked Vultures, formed with Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones and Queens of the Stone Age's Joshua Homme, late legends David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, as well as Mick Jagger, Neil Young, Elton John, Nine Inch Nails, Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen, to name a few.
In 2013, Grohl made his debut as a feature director/producer with the acclaimed documentary Sound City. Named for the Van Nuys CA studio where Nirvana recorded Nevermind in 1991, which would sell more than 30 million copies and transform the modern musical landscape. Premiering to unanimous raves at Sundance and achieving a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, Sound City focused both on the history of the legendary studio and on the ongoing fight to preserve the human element of music. Hailed by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone as an "exhilarating documentary about what makes life worth living,” by The New York Times as "candy to several generations' worth of rock fans" and NPR as "a celebration of just how unbelievably awesome it is to make rock music for a living," Sound City has since been certified as a Gold Longform Video by the RIAA, while the Sound City—Real To Reel companion album took the 2013 Grammys for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media and Best Rock Song (“Cut Me Some Slack”).
Grohl also directed the eight-part HBO docuseries Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, which premiered in October 2014 and went on to win two of the four Emmys for which it was nominated (outstanding sound mixing for nonfiction programming and outstanding sound editing for nonfiction programming). Described by Grohl as a love letter to the history of American music, Sonic Highways was comprised of eight one-hour episodes, each chronicling the creation of one song on Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways album, each written and recorded in a different American musical landmark -- Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
- Publisher : Dey Street Books (October 5, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0063076098
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063076099
- Item Weight : 1.6 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.93 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #9 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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In the Introduction, Grohl describes an epiphany he had when he realized how he wanted to age: “I would celebrate the ensuing years by embracing the toll they'd take on me.” He also explains that his memory is triggered by sound, and his recollections of the events in his life are mostly centered around songs, albums, and bands that he was apart of.
From the very beginning of the book, Grohl's ability to eloquently communicate his experiences is on full display. Perhaps this should not be surprising given his years of songwriting, but I was still impressed with his ability to produce such well-written and evocative prose. Songwriting skills don't always translate to being able to write a book, but clearly Grohl can do both.
The first part of the book covers several different topics. Grohl discusses his daughter Harper's interest in learning to play the drums, his own memories of going to Jazz clubs as a child with his mother, drum lessons from Lenny Robinson, and his daughter Violet's first musical performance. He recalls his first romantic heartbreak, he remembers getting hit in the head with a golf club as a child, breaking his leg after stage diving during a show, the influence of his “ultra-cool” cousin Tracey, and his habit of playing percussion with his teeth.
The second part continues with memories of Grohl's early music years. He covers the influence of the punk band Scream, his decision to drop out of school, early days on tour with Scream, meeting and playing with Iggy Pop, adventures in Amsterdam, and joining Nirvana. He remembers the early days with Nirvana, playing Saturday Night Live and breaking a drum stick, and the feeling of the three members of the band slowly drifting apart...
Part three has chapters that discuss Kurt Cobain’s death, the death of Grohl's friend Jimmy Swanson, playing with Tom Petty, early Foo Fighters memories, and the birth of his daughter. . In part four Grohl covers talking to President Bush, psychics and dreams, going to jail in Australia, the birth of his daughter Harper, an intense workload, meeting the Obamas, having chest pains, and meeting other music icons like Paul McCartney and Elton John.
In part five Grohl covers some of his later experiences, including his daughters' conversation with Joan Jett, a commitment to a daddy-daughter dance, the musical ability of his daughter Violet, and flashes of some of the most pivotal events in his life.
Overall I enjoyed reading this book. I was impressed with Grohl's writing style, and he includes so many wild and hilarious stories about his life. I also appreciated all of the pictures that he includes throughout the book, as they show what he looked like during the time periods that he is describing. I think that fans of Grohl's will really enjoy this book, and even if you aren't familiar with his work at all, you can still appreciate some of these incredible stories.
The Storyteller is jam-packed with non-stop story after incredible story, and yet will still leave you wanting more and more… just like a great Foo Fighters concert. Don’t miss it!
“Someday I’ll have to tell you the rest.” Oh, Dave… Trust me, we’re going to hold you to that promise. 😉
But I want to mention something that, for me, was a big missing piece, which was a description of the beginning of putting the Foo Fighters band together. Dave leaps from the intermission between the end of Nirvana to suddenly the release of FFs’ second album and world tour. How did FF come together? He mentions the band members at the end, almost as a tribute (which moved my review from a 4- to a 5-star), but I really wanted more insight into the origins of the Foo Fighters. I guess that’s my own personal obsession, and shouldn’t distract from the joy of reading this wonderful memoir. Congrats, Dave. It’s a great read. If this rock star thing doesn’t work out, you have a career as a writer.
Top reviews from other countries
Mais do que uma simples biografia, esse livro é uma ode ao rock. Com uma escrita fluida, envolve o leitor da primeira a última página. Um gênio dos nossos tempos.
Livro obrigatório para quem gosta de Rock.
Beyond being a great Nirvana fan since I was 15 and of course a big Foo Fighters fan too, I've always liked Grohl's personality, his approach to life, his way to deal wiht success, family, fatherhood.
It's interesting to read a book written by a regular family man who is at the same time a world-stage rockstar. Someone could expect one more crazy-abused-addicted-depressed-disruptedfamily-eccentric rockstar.
There are some great stories in there and the book is definitely worth reading . For me, as a father of three like him, some passages are really inspiring, like (spoiler) that one in which he takes a flight from Australia just to attend his daughter's school dance. And another flight after the dance back to Australia!
But I neek to talk about, as many have had, the lack of information between early 1993 and Kurt's death. Nothing. Nil. Zero. Nada. Dave makes clear Nirvana wasn't a trio of childhood best friends (“Nirvana were three distinct individuals, each with his own idiosyncrasies and eccentricities…but outside the music, we lived our lives, each very different from the others) but it looks like history stops between 92 Christmas and Kurt's death. I can imagine how painful was this period and the scars that still remain, but readers have the right to know about it. Nirvana's stardom, In Utero's recordings (why not tell the ups and downs? fights? label pressing?), NYC unplugged, Kurt's depression and drug abuse…Hard times, but life's like this, isn't it? Tons of pages have been written about this period, Dave's account from inside would be definitely the most accurate and honest. And of course more respectful with Kurt, the band and himself. He writes in the end that there are ten times more stories than those written in the book but in my view this 1993 gap is not just another story.
This gap, although frustrating, doesn’t mean this book is a bad reading or a non-recommendation. Yes I definitely recommend it. Maybe the frustration is proportional to my expectations….And that's why I won't give 5 stars.
Reviewed in Canada on October 31, 2021