photo by: Chris Bradshaw

Featuring: Bad Brains, Royal Blood, The Kills, Mike Watt, Matt Pinfield, Dan Catullo, The Struts, Danny Clinch, The Joy Formidable & Rockin’ 1000.

July 1995: With sand still stuck between my toes and salt water pouring down my face I open the door to a green Volvo station wagon and sit down in the back seat. I find my cousin stationed up front radiating with what appears to be an invaluable gem that he just unearthed. “It’s Foo Fighters” he said, “Dave Grohl from Nirvana’s new band. “While you all were taking one more wave, I ran down the boardwalk to check out the local record store. I got the last copy of this CD.”

He continues to unwrap the jewel case that to this day I marvel at. A tan-ish backdrop displaying an antique raygun with ‘Foo Fighters’ subtly draped across the top. He pops the CD in and wait a second – a static laced, plug a chord into an old amp that you hope works sound is the first thing you are met with. Then, about six seconds in, if you listen closely, you hear one of my favorite parts of the entire record. Dave Grohl, now at the mic, takes a quick breath before breaking into a non-distorted E chord with the lyrics, “Visiting is pretty” in tow. It’s now only 10 seconds deep into this curious adventure of something Fighters, I am 14-years-old and totally intrigued.

Prior to the band’s release of their seventh record, Wasting Light, they put out a riveting rockumentary called Back and Forth. Shortly into the history of the band, Grohl explains how after performing with Tom Petty on SNL he was asked to join Petty as the band’s drummer. He declined. Instead – opting to pursue this project, which at the time was a solo venture of Grohl PLAYing all the instruments on songs he had written over the years, and then recorded in Seattle at Robert Lang Studios. He mentions after hanging up the phone telling Petty & co he respectively passes, he says to himself, “OK, let’s see what happens.” You know that quick breath I just mentioned before the launch into “This Is A Call”? I feel that’s the “OK, let’s see what happens” Grohl is referring to in Back and Forth.

And away we go. There are then lyrics referencing finger nails, and this could be a secret, and then this is a call to – ALL.

All – a very important word in the history and fabric of the Foo Fighters. Yes, the lead word in what would eventually become one of the band’s biggest hits and thunderous show openers with “All My Life”, but also a method they would apply subconsciously to much of what they do. Their songwriting is applicable to the masses. Regardless of genre, geographical location, male/female, race, ethnicity, you can relate to what the Foo Fighters are saying through their authenticity. Whether it’s “If everything could ever feel this real forever” or “Gotta get to sleep somehow, banging on the ceiling.” You just simply feel it.

And then you see the band live hoping to celebrate these songs you love to listen to and sing at the top of your lungs. Whether you’ve seen Foo Fighters in a small dark club, opening for Mike Watt in 1995 on one of their first official tours, rockin’ Roseland ballroom, PNC Arts Center, the TD Garden, Wembley Stadium or Wrigley Field, the same thing has always happened. You dance and celebrate that feeling Foo Fighters give you. It would have been impossible to project with that short breath on “This Is A Call” would come a fire launching into such a Colour and Shape that not only navigates each Sonic Highway with grace, but also carves paths of their own for all to join in on.

Then there’s the undeniable charisma. From drummer, Taylor Hawkins’ wide array of board shorts to the hilarious catalog of music videos, Foo Fighters write the book on engaging personalities collectively. How do you blend not taking yourself too seriously with music that moves mountains?

“It’s your voice. Cherish it, respect it, nourish it, challenge it, stretch it, scream it until it’s fucking gone. Because everyone is blessed with at least that,” said Grohl during his 2013 SXSW keynote. And therein lies your answer.

To me, one of the most powerful moments of any show is when the lights go down and the band first takes the stage. But how about… when the lights go down and you start to hear growls and screams from behind the curtain of “Are you readdddddddyyyyyy” before Foo Fighters literally sprint on stage slamming power chords in stride? Oh, hell yes, only Foo’s can pull that off and inject that spirit into each and every person’s veins in attendance.

From the first gig in a friends small place in Seattle, to the aisles opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers, to the Cheese and Grain, to people’s garage (literally), to a field in Cesena, Italy, to a throne, to a van tour… Foo Fighters continue to push their creative boundaries to new limits. Their efforts tireless and their reasoning always sincere.

Over 12 million Foo Fighters records have been sold and 12 Grammy Awards rock the mantles of 606 (11 for music, 1 for the Back and Forth doc). Still, you feel the stage walkway the band is arm-in-arm on atop this article is simply a pathway to another stage still to be uncovered. Where the upcoming 10th record that we eagerly await will lead the way to new and uncharted Foo adventures.

“But, Honestly”, it’s a band with a collection of music that we so deeply need and connect to during this challenging time. Foo Fighters were supposed to have just wrapped up the first leg of their Van Tour to kick off the celebratory 25th year. Pray for tomorrow but for today all I want is to be home. Plans may have postponed but the music has not, and we know…that it’s times like these we learn to live again, it’s times like these we give and give again, it’s times like these we learn to love again.

With this in mind, I have had the great pleasure to collaborate with 10 Foo friends who, here, share some of their favorite moments and illuminate the boundless inspiration of the one and only Foo Fighters. To Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffe – thanks for all you.

photo by Tim Bugbee

Forward by: H.R. – BAD BRAINS

I first saw Foo Fighters around 2000/2001 at the Long Beach Arena. It was an exciting concert because they had a huge amount of fans and confetti fell from the ceiling at the end of the show. Dave Grohl is so positive. I think it’s great that he can be such a profound influence in the present time.


Being a band of bass and drums, we grew up watching Dave Grohl play everything with such personality and muscle that infected us so deeply. We’ve always taken inspiration from Foo Fighters as it’s great songwriting comprised of brutal and primal components.

Going on tour with a band who we’ve grown up idolising, who sell out multiple stadiums in every city around the world, was a daunting prospect. We were very early into our career and every member went above and beyond to make us not only feel welcome, but a part of that excitement.

We will never forget being so shocked at how much they ‘jam’ back stage. Taylor would rock up in swim shorts having been mountain biking all morning and sit straight behind his kit and play as hard as he could until dinner. Then the rest of the band would join and rip through endless covers and songs for the show before performing for three relentless hours on stage. It was passion to an athletic level.

Favorite Foo Fighters song:

“Low” because of the video.

Favorite Foo Fighters record:

There Is Nothing Left To Lose

Most memorable live experience:

During the last night of the tour we played a stadium in Edinburgh. Toward the end of the set I got stoned beyond belief, smoked my brain into scrambled eggs, stood from the side of the stage and realised Ben was on stage doing shots with the band!

Dave clocked me and invited me on too. I was tripping out already. Next thing I knew I was attempting to down a bottle of Verve Cliquot to the roar of 80,000 people and Grohl chanting “down it, down it!”. Then he dedicated “Best Of You” to us.


The Foo Fighters are the only friends I’ve got who can get me to drink Jägermeister. Performing with them was unbelievably fun. They are one the kindest, most hilarious, most heartfelt gang I know. I love them to pieces and they absolutely slay. I feel very lucky to have shared as many stages as I have with them in The Kills, and to have come out and sung songs with those guys in front of truly wild and humungous crowds. It is always exciting and always smiles and always hair fucking everywhere.

Favorite Foo Fighters song:

“White Limo”

Favorite Foo Fighters record:

The one I sang on of course! 🙂 Concrete and Gold.

Most memorable live experience:

Every single fucking time. I met them during the Wasting Light tour and so I have such fond memories of those gigs. They were insane. And included motorcycle rides!

photo courtesy of Alison Mosshart


I first heard Foo Fighters when Dave Grohl played me what he had recorded all himself, stuff like “Wattershed” and the Samoan’s cover “Gas Chamber”.  if I remember right, it was on a cassette and sounded great. Dave did a way happening job I thought, big respect. Then I got to hear him play with Pat Smear on guitar along with him, crimony!

Favorite Foo Fighters song:


Favorite Foo Fighters record:

Foo Fighters

Most memorable live experience:

In 1995, Foo Fighters toured with us. Hovercraft with Ed Vedder played first, then Foo Fighters would play and after that Ed and Dave played with me along with Pat. When Dave did guitar,
William Goldsmith would do drums. I remember being so scared it was like shitting a pecan log for me, but Ed and Dave really did well, Pat too, and helped me big time to try and keep it together. Only a couple days of practice, too! Damn I can’t believe these guys were so kind to me, they payed their fucking hearts out. Every moment I got to share with them on stage was a good one! In fact,
that tour I think was a big sea-change in my life, kind of why I’m doing what I am now. They really helped me with my confidence.

photo by Danny Clinch


I first heard the Foos when I was in the music department at MTV and my friend Amy Finnerty was always tight with the Nirvana guys. She got the advance recording and the first thing she played me was “This Is a Call” which blew me away

Favorite Foo Fighters song:

“Let It Die”

Favorite Foo Fighters record:

Wasting Light

Most memorable live experience:

In their studio when Dave Grohl asked me if I wanted to hear the entire new unreleased album Wasting Light in the small isolated recording room. So, the five members were surrounding me in this room and they played the album start to a finish at full volume. It was magical.


Working with Foo Fighters on Landmarks Live at the Acropolis was seriously one of the most amazing and surreal experiences for me. In my entire 30 year career, I can honestly say that I have never done something so crazy and iconic in my life. I mean –  we did a rock concert at the Acropolis. It doesn’t get any better than that!

I have a big shot of the Acropolis and the band performing hanging on my wall. It’s very dramatic and in black and white. It still gives me chills to look at it, knowing everything we went through to make that happen and how close we came to the show actually getting canceled. Seeing them on that stage still to this day makes my jaw drop.

Favorite Foo Fighers song:

“My Hero” – there is something really powerful about that song, yet melodic. It is beyond unique.

Favorite Foo Fighters record:

The Colour and Shape

Most memorable live experience:

Obviously my favorite was my show  🙂  but outside of the Acropolis, I would say the Wembley show in 2008 – the one they filmed for dvd.  That was simply amazing.

photo by: Michael Kravetsky


The Foo Fighter work ethic is incredible. The amount of work they put into their live shows is very inspiring. It’s great to watch and they are such great people to look up to.

It was amazing to open for Foo Fighters. It was very refreshing to play 110% for 40 minutes flat and try and win over an arena every night. Also getting up onstage with them to sing “Under Pressure” was such a brilliant experience. It was all very surreal and a collection of memories that I will never forget.

Favorite Foo Fighters song:

“All My Life”

Favorite Foo Fighters record:

One By One

Most memorable live experience:

Watching my main man Taylor Hawkins live out his childhood Queen Rodger Taylor fantasies during his drum solo.


I first saw foo fighters at a Virgin Mega Store in-store show. It was amazing energy. We were excited to see what Dave Grohl was up to after Nirvana. I then did the album packaging for There’s Nothing Left To Lose and we spent a long weekend together while they were recording –  documenting the session, and shooting the cover with grill master Grohl on the BBQ.

I recall they were still looking for a guitar player and I was trying to get the gig even though I don’t play guitar.

Favorite Foo Fighters song:

“Stacked Actors”

Favorite Foo Fighters record:

I played harmonica on “Another Round’ on In Your Honor, so I’ll go with that one!

Most memorable live experience:

I played harmonica with the band at Lollapalooza San Paolo in front of about 80,000 people on “Stacked Actors.”

photo by: Danny Clinch


Having had the pleasure of touring with them twice we’ve seen first hand the drive and passion that goes into not just the music but everything. They and their team treat everybody with respect and they support guitar music from all eras which I think is crucial because there is so much good out there that needs highlighting. That spirit is infectious.

Touring with Foo Fighters was very uncomplicated and like being with friends. There was plenty of banter with everybody treated equally, fun… as it should be.

Favorite Foo Fighters song:


Favorite Foo Fighers record:

There Is Nothing Left To Lose

Most memorable live experience:

We were lucky enough to be on tour with Foo Fighters when Krist Novoselic joined them onstage at Safeco Field in Seattle. That was a special night and the band and crowd had great energy.

photo by: Danny Clinch


Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters are a big source of inspiration for me because of their attitude. They have found a way to embody the spirit of Rock’n Roll in a way that I’ve never seen before. They’re not into drugs or excesses, they’re not unreachable stars or toffee-nosed bad boys; they show us that we can be cool, tough, respected, without being damn posers.

The Rockin’ 1,000/”Learn To Fly” experience changed my entire life. I was a marine geologist doing research, now me and my friends manage a community formed by thousands of musicians from all over the world – we play in big stadiums, 1,000 at a time. The “Foos in Cesena” has been a surreal experience, but it also gave me big confidence and a big awareness: if we have ideas and work our ass off, miracles can happen.

I first met Dave Grohl backstage at a concert in Walla Walla. I will never forget it. I wasn’t worried about things like, “What am I gonna tell him”, my main concern was something else. You know, you see Dave Grohl on TV, he seems funny, down to earth and blah blah blah, but often reality happens to be different. So, I was scared that once in the tent, he could have offered me some heavy drugs, and then after how should I react? Accept, being totally unexperienced and risking to freak out? Or refuse, risking to piss him off?

When I got there I just found some junk food, whiskey, and tequila, and it felt like being home…and I also felt so stupid.

Favorite Foo Fighters song:

“All My Life”

Favorite Foo Fighters record:

Wasting Light, when I heard it for the first time I was shocked, their 7th album and still so much to give, it is an album that oozes urgency.

Most memorable live experience?

Obviously the concert that they gave in Cesena, in front of just 3,000 people, our musicians, our volunteers, my team, my friends. I remember I did not know whether to look at the stage, where Foo Fighters where giving us all they had, or at the stands, where everyone was exploding with joy and incredulity.

photo by: Chris Bradshaw

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