Krist Novoselic: How I Met Dave Grohl, the Biggest Guy in Rock and Roll
By Krist Novoselic in Krist Novoselic
Tuesday, Nov. 17 2009 @ 12:52PM
|Dave Grohl, right, with his Them Crooked Vultures bandmate: John Paul Jones (left), and Josh Homme. Krist Novoselic is a regular contributor to Reverb.|
Since we are talking about drummers and this November's rock music releases, I would be remiss not to mention Chad Channing and his work on Nirvana's Bleach re-issue. It's good to see Chad get his due as a drummer. His great work speaks for itself. There was a time between Bleach and Nevermind when Nirvana was drummerless. And the story has been told about how Dave joined Nirvana because the band Scream was stuck in North Hollywood.
I remember going to the airport and picking this dude up. He was easygoing--just like some guy named Paul McCartney told the Times. He brought up his drum set--a yellow TAMA with a 26" kick. The man understood John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) and Dale Crover (the Melvins), and this kick proved it. We wasted no time and rehearsed the next day. I knew Dave was coming, so beforehand I'd found a rehearsal place in Tacoma's north end.
It was a productive session, but the next night Kurt and I just messed around at practice for some reason. We all left together, and I could feel that Dave was a little distressed. That shows his serious work ethic. Don't get me wrong, Nirvana had a good work ethic, but perhaps Dave was feeling a little remorse at that moment for betting it all on these two guys from Washington.
We got into the groove again and played most nights. We already had songs like "In Bloom" and "Polly" from the session we did with Chad. They were well developed and benefited from the recording we did with Butch Vig in Madison, Wisc. There's a heavy version of "Polly" that shows what the band did with the tune with Dave on the drums. But on Nevermind, that's Chad, recorded in Madison, on the crash cymbal.
Kurt loved writing songs. He was always compelled to create, and the new tunes just kept coming. We kicked around this Pixies-like riff, and the tune "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was born. The band started playing shows, too. Along the way we became a tight unit. And playing together was as easy as it was fun.
For me, the years 1990 to 1994 seem like 10 years. So much went on, and of course so much went wrong. But life went on after Nirvana. I love the Foo Fighters. Dave kept that work ethic and focus, and that's why he's the greatest rock musician in the world today.