Nirvana was preparing to jump onto the rock scene in the fall of 1990, but they were missing a drummer. Then they came across a band called Scream in San Francisco, and that’s when they found the missing piece: Dave Grohl.
During his jam sessions with the band, young Dave’s skills and dynamic way of playing the drums instantly proved that he was the missing link in the band’s sound, and his recruitment to the band came naturally. Dave Grohl had a very short time with Nirvana, but his memories from that period will stay with him for the rest of his life.
Nirvana not only gave him a strong position on the music scene but also gifted him one of the most incredible friendships he had ever experienced. Grohl and Cobain’s friendship has often been likened to a familial bond since they went through thick and thin together. They would only get to spend three and a half years, but even that short time was enough to give Grohl a lifetime memory of a bittersweet friendship.
Together, they would radically change the music scene and redefine the culture of a new generation fueled by the existential crisis and anger they channeled in rock music. Their fairy tale would turn into a nightmare due to substance addiction, conflicted personal relationships, and struggle to adjust to fame. The duo’s story unfortunately came to a bitter end when Grohl received the heartbreaking news in early April 1994.
The great pain Grohl felt the day he got the news about Kurt Cobain’s suicide is crystal clear in the passage he devoted to Cobain in his book ‘The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music.’ This was no ordinary process of shock and mourning; Grohl couldn’t even find the words to describe his pain. “It was stuck somewhere deep within me,” he wrote. That beautiful man, his roommate with whom he had lived for years, was gone, and he could not accept it.
Grohl couldn’t even mourn properly because about a month ago, he had received another phone call saying that Kurt Cobain had died of an overdose in a hotel room in Rome. His world had collapsed, and he didn’t know what to do. However, he would later find out that the news was fake and would experience the greatest relief possible.
However, that didn’t last long. Only a month later, he received a call again saying his dear friend had died, and this time, there was no second phone call to say the news was false. Kurt Cobain was really gone this time. Grohl had not been able to live through his grief as both news followed one another, and he struggled to deal with his overwhelming and complex emotions.
When people cannot process their emotions as they should during such a heavy mourning period, that feeling haunts them throughout their lives. This was the case for Dave Grohl as well. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why he gets upset and uncomfortable whenever he gets a question about Cobain. However, a rare moment occurred during a conversation with Rolling Stone last year, and Grohl revealed his feelings following the death of his dear friend.
“Waking up that morning and realizing, ‘Oh, sh*t, he’s not here anymore. I am,’” he said, revealing the unmanageable feeling of realizing that someone is dead. “Like, I get to wake up, and he doesn’t. I’m making a cup of coffee. And he can’t. I’m going to turn on the radio. And he won’t.’ That was a big revelation to me.”
He continued, “I think also in life, you get trapped in crisis, where you imagine there’s no way out. When really, if you dare to consider that crisis a blip on the radar, it’s easier to push through. And, yeah, I was just like, ‘I don’t want anyone to have that feeling that I had that morning.’”
Grohl didn’t know how to deal with his pain; he never had time to experience it properly. But still, there was one thing he could do to channel those emotions: his music was always there for him. Kurt had always encouraged him to do so, and Dave did not disappoint his friend as he later formed the Foo Fighters, which would become one of the greatest bands ever.