Browsing Tag

Foo Fighters

Arts and Entertainment, Brooklyn Bugle, Existential Stuff, Music, Opinion, poetry

A Visit from St. Grohl

December 24, 2014

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the hall
Not a creature was stirring, except for Dave Grohl.

Others may be dreaming of Santa and his sleigh,
But for the Concierge of Rock, ’twas another busy day.
As children were nestled all snug in their beds,
Visions of interviews danced in Dave’s head:
Some director wanted to ask him about BTO
He didn’t know much, but it would be on HBO!
A TV host wanted Dave’s thoughts about Kanye
(His answer would be broadcast on Sabado Gigante).
Before Dave could even consider what was to be said
Jeff Lynne called up, he needed some cred.
Could Dave show up in the studio at nine?
They were cutting an all-star version of “Telephone Line.”

Then Brad Paisley texted, just as it started to snow
Would Dave be able to back him at an awards show?
Then Nickelodeon called, would he help salute Starsky & Hutch?
Of course! When it came to TV, there was no such thing as too much!

Then suddenly came a knock at the door
It was Mission of Burma, to discuss a reunion tour.
They already had a drummer, but that wouldn’t get in the way
Dave could sing back-ups and play djembe.

Then the phone rang with a terrible clatter
Dave sprang from his chair to see what was the matter.
The voice on the receiver said something crass
Jann Wenner needed Dave to come help wipe his ass.
Jann barked “Get here soon! I need to go badly!”
It was one of the services the Concierge provided gladly.

Quickly, Dave summoned his ‘copter via his phone
So he could attend to the hygiene of his master at Rolling Stone.
More rapid than eagles the whirlybird came,
Then Dave whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Taylor! Now, Pat Smear! And Nate and Chris, too!
We need to assist ol’ Jann with a poo!
To the top of the porch! With all due speed!
He said he’d put me on the cover anytime I need!”

So high over the housetops the Foo Fighters flew
With a trunk full of Charmin, and some sani-wipes, too—
On the way they stopped briefly to see Stevie Nicks
For a ballad she was writing, Dave had promised some licks.
Oh, they also had to drop by the house of Bob Mould
Dave had to pay him for all the Husker Du songs he stole.

As leaves before a hurricane did they fly,
And before long they had arrived at Jann’s penthouse in the sky.
Ol’ Jann was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
“Sorry for the mess, Dave Fricke and I had a fight,
Let’s get going boys, I don’t have all night!

“Now, I’ll sit and do my business, then I’ll bend over the tub,
And then Mister Dave can give me a rub.
Be gentle and soft, and as thorough as you can,
Because, you must remember, I can always find another band.
Why, just one rough scratch, and you’ll be back where you started
And I’ll hand the TP to my ol’ pal Chris Martin.
Oh and Dave, please don’t forget how you got here
Future Islands are simply dying to clean up my rear.”

Dave reassured his master with an eager grin,
And spoke these words while wagging his tiny chin:

“I’ll polish, I’ll dab, I’ll powder you, too,
Please don’t desert your most loyal Foo.
Oh, sadly, it’s true, all your warnings and stories
If poor Kurt hadn’t died, I’d just be Tico Torres.
Last week I had a nightmare, I awoke with a start,
And realized I wasn’t half as talented as Grant Hart.
So that’s why I keep wiping, and working ‘til I fall over
I don’t know the meaning of over-exposure.”

Jann was chubby and plump, jolly and full of sass,
And laughed when he saw Dave wiping his ass.
“You’ve done well tonight, and don’t mind the stench
Now hurry along, you just got a call from Benmont Tench.
He’s working on a track with G.E. Smith and Liz Phair
It’s not very good, but cameras will be there.”

With a wink of his eye, Jann rose from his throne
And beckoned Taylor and Pat to quickly go home.
Of course Dave had to stay, even as it neared 12 O’clock
A call had just come in from 30 Rock.
Dave shouted after his friends, as they sped into the night
“Happy Christmas to all, Fallon needs me for a cameo tonight!”

From the Web

Arts and Entertainment, Brooklyn Bugle, Existential Stuff, Life, Music, News, Opinion

The Dark Night Of Dave Grohl: A Cautionary Tale

December 3, 2014

It had been a long night.  Damn, it had been a long week.

The Pepsi machine in the stairwell of the Super 8 motel outside of Dothan, Alabama refused to take Dave Grohl’s dollar.  He smoothed out the bill and fed it into the slot a third, fourth, and fifth time.  No luck.  On another occasion, he would have given the machine a good whack with his Converse; but he just didn’t have it in him tonight.  He crumpled to the floor, back against the machine, and wadded up the dollar and threw it into a corner.

That night, he had made a surprise appearance at a meeting for Dollar General Employees of The Gulf Coast.  He had seen an online ad trumpeting “Dollar General’s Tribute to HR,” so he had showed up at the George Wallace Memorial Convention Center, drumsticks in hand, ready to join the band for a version of the Bad Brains’ “The Big Takeover.”  But it turned out that the “HR” stood for Human Resources, and there wasn’t even a band there (just a DJ, playing “Captain of My Heart” and “The Logical Song,” over and over).  Grohl ended up standing in the parking lot in front a bunch of heavy-set women humming songs by the Wipers, a situation that seemed to antagonize the locals.


It was his third surprise guest appearance of the week; on Friday night, he had sat in with the band at Jefferson Davis Middle School in Frankfort, Kentucky when they played a medley of Wings’ songs for the 8th Grade Academic Awards Presentation; and on Saturday, he had been in Clearwater, Florida, to guest-drum with Kansas on TBN’s We Love God’s Country Best of Christian Music ’14 show starring John Davidson and Newly Re-Born Madame.

But tonight had not gone as planned.  Not only had he been misled by the Dollar General Event, not only had the soda machine rejected his dollar, but the Mitsubishi Mirage he had rented did not have Satellite Radio, a cashier at the Sonic had ridiculed his lack of a chin, and most significantly, U2 had performed that very night in Times Square with Bruce Springsteen and Chris Martin, and NO ONE HAD INVITED HIM.

How could such a thing have happened, he wondered, cradling his head in his hands, his sneakers sticking to the Mountain Dew stained floor.  You can’t have something like that without me!

Grohl had been a part of every single moderately-visible all-star guest opportunity since the night in Spring, 2002 when  he had joined Steve Morse, Captain Sensible, Leonard Phillips and Jim “Dandy” Magnum to run through a couple of Dickies songs at a Salute to the Cocoanut T-Zer.  Anytime and anywhere a reasonably recognizable punk rock semi-icon was needed, he had been there (of course, there was the time in 2008 he had missed the chance to sit in with Foghat  at the 5-Cherries All-Slots Casino in Tunica, Mississippi, but that’s only because Bobby Rondinelli had a CB radio in his van and heard about the gig first).

But he was a NATURAL to sit in with U2!  That was a NO-BRAINER!  And he HADN’T EVEN BEEN CALLED!

Soon, there were hot tears running down Grohl’s face.  He wrapped his arms around his knees, and tucked his head so low to the concrete that his newly dyed locks brushed some discarded Parliament Menthol butts that had been left near the vending machines.  He cried so hard he began to feel faint.

Suddenly, he became aware of a strange, chilled mist in the air; it felt like when you turn the air conditioning in your car too high on a rainy day.  He raised his head.  There was a peculiar brightness to the sky; it soon became so bright that he had to shade his eyes.  The vapor and the change in the air began to coalesce in one location, just a few feet in front of where Grohl sat, and about six feet off the ground.  The only thing Grohl could think was that it was like when the Good Witch appears in the Wizard of Oz.

Soon, the cool fog began to take a human form.  Grohl recognized the phantasm instantly.

“Kurt…Kurt, is that you?”
“OF COURSE it’s me.  Who did you think it was?  Lonesome Dave from Foghat?”
“Funny you should mention that, because I was just thinking –“
“Dave…You need to chill out, man.  Take a little break.   You are everywhere. I mean you’re more over-exposed than MC Hammer.”
“MC Hammer?”
“I’ve been dead for 20 years, remember? My cultural references are a little, uh, stale.

“Yesssir, Hammertime, Hammertime, alllrigh, that’s funny.”

These last words were spoken by a new specter, pale, fuzzy, and green, that had appeared alongside Kurt.


“HR?  is that you?!?” said Grohl.

It was indeed HR from the Bad Brains.

“Yesssir, that’s me, I am HR, yassssir.”
“But you’re not dead,” Grohl sputtered.
“No, nosir, I am not.  I am just really really high.  Thought I had a gig in town.  Was very confused.”

“BUT ANYWAY,” the Kurt poltergeist interrupted, “Listen, man, you don’t need to be the Official Party Guest of rock’n’roll.  I mean, you’re a perfectly good musician.  I like your stuff.  I mean, I liked it more when they were Husker Dü songs, but all in all, you do a pretty good job.  You can just lay back a bit.  You don’t need a TV show.  You don’t need to back every 14-year-old country muppet at every country awards show.  You literally don’t prove a thing by proving you’re good enough to play with, oh, I don’t know, Zac Brown.  I mean, Zac Brown, for the love of the baby Jesus?!?  You played with ME.  What more do you need to prove?  I mean, you played with ME,  you played with Kurt Fucking Cobain.  You were MY drummer.  Go ahead and make your nice little REO Green Day records, go right ahead, but you were ALREADY part of the greatest show on earth. I mean, go right ahead and sit in with Mission of Burma every now and then, but you have totally taken this thing too far. Is the world a better freaking place because you played with P Diddy or Juliette Lewis?!?  Just freaking relax. I mean, you’ve done really, really well for the guy who replaced Dale Crover.  Plus you’re STILL doing better than Dave Pirner.”

Kurt’s took a long draw from HR’s joint.

“Dave…Dave, are you paying attention?  Seriously, man, you’re like the thing that fucking wouldn’t leave.  Were you like the middle child, or something?  WHY do you need so much attention?  You’d think being Nirfuckingvana’s drummer, and having a few hit records on your own, would be enough.  But here you are showing up on every freaking talk show that’ll have you, it’s sort of like the way Mason Reese was in the 1970s.  Except he never played with Nirvana, so he had an excuse.  Dave?  DAVE?!?”

But Dave Grohl wasn’t listening.  He was just finishing writing a text.

“Good to see you, Kurt, real good, man,” Grohl spat out, distracted.  “It’s all good, it’s all good, y’see.  No more problems.  I just got a text – G.E. Smith wants me to sing lead in a tribute to Desmond Child and Rouge, TONIGHT, on the Chabad Telethon, so I am OFF to Los Angeles.  That’s right – ME, fronting Desmond Child and Rouge.  I am back in action, baby!”

Kurt began to fade back into the ether.

“See, it’s like this, brother Kurt… I’ll be everywhere—wherever you look. Wherever they’s a moshpit full of people who can’t tell Nickelback from Fugazi, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a ‘70s rocker and a camera pointed in his or her direction, I’ll be there…Wherever there’s an awards show and some country pop artist singing some song written by some team of hacks, I’ll be in the back bashin’ at the cymbals…Anytime there’s a billionaire rapper or hack movie star lookin’ for some credibility by having a famous rock’n’roller collaboratin’ with ’em, I’ll be there… An’ anywhere there’s a network exec looking for someone who middle America thinks stands for rock’n’roll—why, I’ll be there, too. See you soon, HR, and happy trails, Kurt – I gotta make a plane to Los Angeles.  ‘West Side Pow Wow’ won’t learn itself.”


From the Web

Arts and Entertainment, Brooklyn Bugle, Existential Stuff, Music, Opinion

Footnotes to the Prologue of a Manifesto

October 21, 2014

I have nothing against Dave Grohl. I’m serious. The Foo Fighters are an incendiary live band, Grohl has a genuine appreciation of the less-obvious edges of hardcore era that semi-spawned me, and even if he made a song that is worthy of G.E. Smith being hired by Toyota to write an Alarm imitation, I am quite goddamn sure that Grohl more or less means well.

Pete Seeger. Dave Grohl is not fit to weed his grave.

But just at the time when we needed our Johnny Rotten/Woody Guthrie cross, we got a rock’n’roll Pat Sajak. Assuming you are all familiar with Guthrie, let me define what I mean by “Johnny Rotten” (since here I am using this more as a generalized noun than an actual name): I mean someone intelligent, provocative, literate, musically adventurous, constructively obnoxious, witty to the point of being ridiculous, well-informed of current events, absolutely willing to piss people off regardless of the cost, and keenly aware of the social and political impact music can have. Honestly, I have a hard time thinking of an American equivalent, at least not since the days of Guthrie, Seeger and the Weavers, and Phil Ochs (and, for the record –and I know this will strike many of you as an odd statement — I honestly think Ochs is the closest thing to an American Johnny Rotten).

Now, America needs hypothetical Rotten/Guthrie for a lot of reasons, which I won’t detail here, because you are probably aware of many of them. I will note, however, that a young person (i.e., college age or soon-to-attend college) has far, far less chance of finding a decent job and affordable housing than age-equivalents in earlier generations, and that’s a problem that’s only going to get spectacularly worse; likewise, it’s going to become increasingly hard for these jobless young people to be supported by their parents, as the middle class vanishes and the United States becomes a place inhabited by the very rich and the poor with not a hell of a lot in between. Young people in America are going to need artists who shout loudly about issues other than legal weed.

All of Jim Morrison’s Dionysus crap didn’t stop his dad from starting the Vietnam war. Jimbo didn’t even BOTHER to tell anyone “Hey, my dad LIED about American ships being fired on in the Gulf of Tonkin, and all you kids out there who buy my records who are going to DIE in some freaking rice paddy in South East Asia, that was kind of my Dad’s fault, but peace and love y’all.”

Speaking of which, here’s an important note: Americans confuse sexual provocation and drug advocacy for political commentary. This is a long time problem of American activism. So, on one hand, artists like Iggy used their stage-pulpit to piss people off, but it meant nothing (though it was fun to watch). That’s performance activism, not political activism. Likewise, making a lot of noise for the freedom to take drugs is likely a semi-relevant issue, but it does not effect the course of events in any meaningful way; all the weed legalization in the fucking country isn’t going to keep Fox News or the Koch Brothers of the Tea Party from lying to you and wreaking economic and political Armageddon on this nation. Seriously, man, think about it: you have all been had. All the Free Love advocacy of the 1960s didn’t stop Vietnam, Nixon, Reagan, Bush; and all the legal weed advocacy in the world isn’t stopping Koch or the Tea Party. Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, to name two very important American activists, actually sang about unions and jobs and voting rights and important shit like that. “’Scuse me while I kiss the sky” was a long way from “’Scuse me while I play this benefit to supporting workers fired for not making armaments.”

So, to cut a long story short, people with the kind of power Dave Grohl have should be trying to actually fucking say something; or if they don’t, don’t fucking pretend you’re all heavy and cool and righteous, just go ahead and say “I’m Adam Levine,” and there’s really no problem with that. Seriously, in no way, shape, or form am I condemning light or non-issue oriented entertainment. I’m just saying we should sometimes be using the medium of free music to spread meaningful messages and information.

A case of Genesee Cream Ale.

Oh, and it pisses me the fuck off that Dave Grohl, who was inarguably the third most important person in Nirvana and arguably the fifth most important, has laid claim to the Nirvana legacy and holds on to that sucker tighter than an Ithaca College freshman holding onto a case of Genesee Cream Ale.

All of which, curiously enough, isn’t what I actually meant to write about today. I really just wanted to supply some footnotes to the occasionally obscure references in yesterday’s column:

Steve Ignorant was the founder/singer of the Crass. The Crass were almost completely musically worthless, but had great lyric sheets, and their heart was totally in the right place.

A painting by the incredible Billy Childish.

Billy Childish, who in a hundred years will be as famous as Van Gogh, is a painter, poet, and musician. As a musician, he put out literally dozens of albums, most famously as a member/leader of the superb garage rock group Thee Milkshakes. Childish is one of the only musicians to have found a way to make punk and garage music that had the intimacy, immediacy, and shock value of classic issue-oriented folk.

Although most Americans are familiar with Chumbawumba only from their one wonderful mega-hit, “Tubthumbing,” the band began as a anarcho-punk collective in the model of Crass, and retained those values throughout their career; in fact, there’s evidence they conceptualized and created “Tubthumping” as a calculated means to increase their ability to spread their political and social advocacy. At the 1998 BRIT Awards (the equivalent of the Grammys), they dumped a jug of water of the deputy Prime Minister while singing “Tubthumping” with lyrics altered to reflect the government’s treatment of striking dockworkers. IMAGINE, FOR ONE SECOND, DAVE GROHL DOING THAT TO A MAJOR POLITICIAN WHEN HE APPEARS ON ANY OF THE 48 AWARDS SHOWS HE ATTENDS EVERY YEAR.

Imaginos is a 1988 concept album by Blue Öyster Cult. Originally intended to be a “solo” release by BÖC drummer Albert Bouchard and BÖC manager/lyricist Sandy Pearlman, it was shoe-horned into being a “proper” BÖC release by the band’s label. It is a beautifully ridiculous record, and the wiki entry devoted to it is so over-detailed and so close to self-parody that it is one of the more entertaining wiki entries out there.

Paul Krassner was a founding member of the yippies, but also an author, commentator, comedian, and general agent provocateur of incredible wit, wisdom, insight, absurdity, and intelligence.

Last but most certainly not least, Victor Jara was a Chilean poet, playwright, activist, and singer/songwriter who is roughly the equivalent of Chile’s Bob Dylan. When U.S. backed forces overthrew the left-leaning government of Salvador Allende in September of 1973, Jara was tortured and killed. He is a martyr for every singer who was willing to die for their message and their music, and likewise he personifies the hundreds of thousands of people in Latin and Central America who died because U.S. financial interests overthrew peaceful governments.

Do something, Dave Grohl. Mean something, Dave Grohl. Or if someone out there is tomorrow’s Dave Grohl, remember that we Americans have been lucky enough to have the kind of lives where we confuse the freedom to legally smoke weed with the kind of freedoms Victor Jara died for, or that Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Paul Robeson were blacklisted for. Use the power of free music to fight for the economic and political security of your future.

Godfather of Slocore out.

From the Web