After Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain died in 1994, Dave Grohl was at a crossroads. What do you do after your band, one of the most famous grunge bands of the 1990s, suddenly breaks up? Grohl knew he wanted to stay inside music. He just didn’t know how to pull this off. Then Tom Petty approached him with a proposal few could have refused.
However, Grohl did.
Dave Grohl starred with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on “SNL”
After Nirvana disbanded, Grohl received a call from Petty’s management asking him to join Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers during her performance Saturday night live. The Heartbreakers’ drummer Stan Lynch had left and they wanted to know if Grohl would jump on drums.
In the documentation Runnin’ Down A Dream, Grohl said he was shocked by the call. He couldn’t understand why they were calling him. “He couldn’t find a good drummer?” said Gröhl. Despite his shock, Grohl agreed.
“No question, I’ll do that. It was the first time since the end of Nirvana that I was really looking forward to playing the drums,” added Grohl. “I was really excited to play both songs, but mainly ‘Honey Bee’ because ‘Honey Bee’ is such a rocker. It’s like what a bunch of 16 year olds would play in the garage to get away; it’s a killer, a barn burner.”
Grohl said he turned down joining Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
After that performance on SNLGrohl got the shock of his life. It was one thing to be on one of the best comedy shows with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. However, being asked to join the band was another matter.
Grohl spoke about Petty asking him to join the band during a performance The Howard Stern Show.
“I played ‘SNL’ with Tom Petty and we had so much fun and we all got along so well,” Grohl said. “I thought, ‘Yeah, wait, why me?’ He could become like a world class drummer like any guy. But then I came down and jammed.
“He was very cool, very reserved, down to earth. He was really really cool. We played SNLand after that he was basically like, ‘Man, that was good, and it would be a shame if we did that the only time.’
“And then he called me at home and he was like, ‘If you want, we can do it like this. You get your own bus and we don’t tour too hard and blah blah blah.’ He explained if you’re into it, come out and let’s do it for a while.
“I had only just started doing this thing and I just felt weird going right back to drums because it would have just reminded me to be in Nirvana.
“For me personally, it would have been just sad. It would have been an emotional thing to be behind the drums every night and not have Kurt [Cobain] there, so I was like, ‘Nah, fuck it. I’ll try the other one.”
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Foo Fighters started out as a one-man band
Grohl couldn’t even hear music after Cobain’s death because it broke his heart. He was in mourning and felt lost. It was a dark time. Grohl received many job offers, but he did what nobody expected. Instead of being a drummer for the rest of his life, Grohl went into the recording studio and recorded an album all by himself.
He played all the instruments but wanted to remain anonymous. He didn’t want people to think a certain way after Cobain died.
In conversation with collisionGrohl explained: “Around the time I made the first FF tape (which became the first record) I was reading a lot of books about UFOs. Not only is it a fascinating subject, but there is a treasure trove of band names in these UFO books!
“Well, since I recorded the first record by myself, played all the instruments, but I wanted people to think it was a group, I figured Foo Fighters (WW2 term for UFOs) might lead people to believe it was more than just a guy. Stupid, isn’t it?
2021, said Grohl Howard Stern“I called it ‘Foo Fighters’ because I didn’t really want everyone to know it was me. I thought if I give someone a cassette they might think it’s a band, they’ll be surprised to find out it was just one person and it was me. When I came out of Nirvana, I didn’t want to say, “Hey, I have a solo project!” So I called it Foo Fighters.”
Shortly thereafter, the Foo Fighters formed and became Grohl’s second chance. He’s even returned to the drum kit here and there.
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/dave-grohl-turned-down-joining-tom-petty-heartbreakers-nirvana.html/ Why Dave Grohl turned down joining Tom Petty and Heartbreakers After Nirvana