Foo Fighter: A World War II term used to refer to mysterious aerial phenomena.
Following Kurt Cobain’s death and the demise of Nirvana, the band’s drummer David Grohl, a multi-talented musician, locked himself away as he recorded the entire Foo Fighters’ debut except for one guitar track.
But Grohl wanted a band, especially for touring. Bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith joined. Guitarist Pat Smear who toured with Nirvana also got the call. This edition hit the road as “This Is A Call” blasted across the airwaves along with the retro-sounding “Big Me.”
A group effort, “The Colour & The Shape” followed with wall of sound guitars, blistering drums and “just about to break” vocals.
Tracks were tossed and re-recorded. Goldsmith decided to move on. Rumors claimed he was ousted or not happy that his work was scrapped or not up for the coming tour. Grohl ended up playing drums on the album with Taylor Hawkins joining for the tour and beyond.
’99 saw the release of “There’s Nothing Left To Lose,” which was recorded in the basement studio of Grohl’s Virginia home.
The “One By One” album earned three Grammy nominations with “All My Life” winning for Best Hard Rock Performance. Three years later, ’05, the group released the double set “In Your Honor.” One disc was Rock and the other acoustic.
Then came “Skin & Bones” the group’s first live record. Recorded at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, it featured “A” material, “My Hero” and “Big Me,” as well as lesser-known tracks, such as the Nirvana B-side “Marigold.”
Back in the studio the band produced “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.” “The album… sounds like a Foo Fighters album, but it’s definitely moving in a few different directions,” stated Grohl “It’s cool man, I love it.”
“Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace” also resonated with Grammy voters. The album won the Rock Album award at the ’08 ceremony while “The Pretender” earned the Hard Rock Performance award.
As work began on the Foo Fighter’s seventh studio album, “Wasting Light,” Smear, who left in ’97, was reinstalled as an official member – after being part of the touring line-up since ‘06. Of course, no one bothered to notify the band’s current guitarist, Chris Shifflett. He initially found the situation “difficult.” But it got resolved quickly.
The return of Smear was not the only resurrection from the past. Vig was recruited to produce the Foo Fighter’s seventh album.
“I want the record to sound rawer and somewhat imperfect,” Grohl told Vig. “As good as we play, that’s how good the record will sound.”
A month before “Wasting Light” came out the Foo Fighters played two shows that raised over $1 million for victims of the Australian floods and New Zealand earthquakes. “The Foo Fighters were determined to help New Zealand and Australia in the aftermath of these terrible disasters,” commented charity show organizer Michael Gudinski.
“Wasting Light” went to #1 on the U.K.’s Album Chart. The album ended Adele’s eleven week hold on the top spot. It was the Foo Fighters third U.K. chart topper. The other two were ‘02’s “One By One” and ‘07’s “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.”
“Sonic Highways” was recorded in eight cities (Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.) which led to the title.
“Sonic Highways,” album (a film was also produced) made its debut in November and featured guest performances by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, The Eagles’ Joe Walsh, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen.
Foo Fighters probably became Gothenburg, Sweden’s favorite band after Grohl fractured his leg when he miscalculated a jump and fell into the security pit. Most everybody thought that was the end of the show. But no. Hawkins led the group through a bunch of covers while Grohl was taken to a hospital. Patched up, Grohl returned and finished the show. However, subsequent concerts were canceled.
However, they did celebrated their 20th anniversary with an Independence Day concert in the nation’s capital. Grohl performed seated on a ‘throne’ supporting his injured leg. It was the group’s first show since the accident.
Prior to the “Concrete And Gold” the Foo Fighters released the single “Run” which topped Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. Following the set’s arrival a second single, “The Sky Is A Neighborhood,” also went to #1 on Mainstream Rock.
Though “Medicine At Midnight” was completed in ’20 it didn’t drop until a year later due to the pandemic. That same year, the band was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Just when everything seemed to be going smoothly, tragedy hit. Hawkins passed away while the Foo Fighters were touring South America. Various substances were found during the autopsy.
Months later, the Foo Fighters held two star-studded Hawkins tribute concerts – in London and L.A.
The Foo Fighters 11th studio album, containing “Rescued,” and Under You,” both #1s on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart and “The Teacher” was co-produced by the band and Greg Kurstin. It was the Foo Fighters first since Hawkins passing.
Grohl called Hawkins “my brother from another mother.” The former Nirvana drummer, played drums on “But Here We Are.”
In a press release, the band wrote the set was “a brutally honest and emotionally raw response to everything the Foo Fighters have endured over the last year… the emotional gamut from rage and sorrow to serenity and acceptance, and myriad points in between.”