If you are funny astir Dave Grohl, drummer from “tragic grunge poster boys” Nirvana, whose Nevermind medium has conscionable turned 30, The Storyteller mightiness not beryllium the memoir for you. The band’s bequest remains overshadowed by the 1994 termination of vocalist and guitarist Kurt Cobain. Were they truthful inclined, Nirvana’s surviving members – Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic – could rehash the astir achy clip of their philharmonic lives successful perpetuity, specified is the insatiable appetite for Cobain-themed rock’n’roll rubbernecking.
There’s comparatively small present astir each that. Cobain’s decease was preceded by disenchantment, heroin addiction and a tempestuous matrimony to Courtney Love. Grohl deals with the addiction factually and sadly, and steers circular the second entirely. In 2014 Grohl, Novoselic and Love ended years of suits and counter-suits implicit the rights to Nirvana’s euphony with a precise nationalist show of solidarity. It seems evident that Grohl would not privation to teardrop unfastened cauterised wounds. He besides has 3 daughters who volition successful each likelihood work this; the publication feels similar an intentionally PG instrumentality connected what could beryllium a overmuch rowdier, much hair-raising tale. “Some time I’ll person to archer you the rest,” helium writes successful the acknowledgments. But it sounds similar that mightiness beryllium implicit java – Grohl loves coffee, to the constituent of astir having a bosom attack – with his steadfast alternatively than wrong a particulate jacket.
For anyone funny successful however a hyperactive misfit from suburban Virginia became a 3rd of Nirvana and went connected to go a stadium-filling prima with his ain Foo Fighters, The Storyteller lives up to its billing. This is simply a compendium of vignettes from a rock’n’roll beingness lived with brio.
It starts arsenic an relationship of however the young Grohl goes from grinding his jaws rhythmically, to fashioning a drum kit from pillows, to summoning the tone of the Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham connected a rudimentary altar and petitioning him for philharmonic success. The seance worked a treat. He is present pals with Paul McCartney, eulogiser to the precocious Lemmy from Motörhead.
Rage and disaffection are cardinal to punk, grunge and rock. Equally, these genres tally connected bonhomie and positivity, coexisting alongside the nihilism. Grohl himself is, infamously, a Tiggerish character, genial and enthusiastic. An irrepressible yang to Cobain’s much anguished yin, helium has ever chosen life.
Raised successful a household abbreviated connected currency but large connected maternal love, Grohl believes helium astir apt had ADHD, specified was his restlessness and inability to crook his earthy curiosity into bully grades. While his mother, whom helium adores, encouraged him to prehend the day, Grohl’s divorced begetter disowned him erstwhile helium dropped retired of schoolhouse to articulation punk set Scream, playing venues Grohl wasn’t legally allowed to participate due to the fact that of his property (he had lied to get the gig).
As with galore memoirs, artists’ root stories tin resonate acold much sonorously than their triumph laps; truthful it is with Grohl’s. Those years spent crammed into vans, surviving disconnected fumes and the kindness of pistillate mud wrestlers are immoderate of the astir vivid here. The camaraderie and abrupt unit of the planetary punk ecosystem is beautifully evoked arsenic helium lurches from precocious jinks with Italian tattooists to Dutch squat riots.
With Scream abruptly defunct, Grohl hears connected the grapevine that Nirvana – past simply well-regarded – were funny successful him. His 2nd secondment finds him (not) sleeping connected Cobain’s couch, kept awake by the butting of a hopeless terrarium tortoise. Until helium gets his archetypal wage cheque, an emaciated Grohl eats thing but inexpensive corndogs from a petrol station.
The band’s ascent is breathtaking and bewildering – until it isn’t. When Nirvana ends, helium turns down a cushy fig playing drums for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to grounds Foo Fighters’ terrific debut medium successful a makeshift location studio, playing each instrumentality himself.
The “fame” fractional of the publication doesn’t dip precisely – Grohl is truthful rock’n’roll that helium falls disconnected a signifier and breaks his leg astatine a Foo Fighters festival gig successful Sweden successful 2015, goes to infirmary and returns to decorativeness the show. But somehow, the A-list amusive is little exhilarating than the clip a precise pre-fame Grohl is roped successful to play drums for Iggy Pop.
He is perpetually grateful for his bully fortune, gathering his idols and not being disappointed, delirious astatine playing successful a supergroup, Them Crooked Vultures, with Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. And portion Grohl is simply a lively and thoughtful writer, deeper than his large bloke reputation, what rankles are the weird editorial decisions: the repetitions, and the changes to a weird font erstwhile helium wants to emphasise a point. That hand-holding jars with the representation of a bespectacled stone elder statesman connected the cover, gazing maturely backwards.