Not even a broken leg can stop Dave Grohl from rocking out—which is exactly what happened during the Foo Fighters’ 2015 tour of Europe. After a nasty tumble from a stage in Gothenburg, Sweden, sent him to the hospital mid-show, the dude then returned, and, chair-bound and coursing with meds, played for another two and a half hours. (Note: the Foos wound up cancelling the rest of the tour, so yeah, Grohl can be stopped, but like the Red Sox, who in fact had another game to win the 1986 World Series after this, the myth is far sexier than the truth.) I know Dan Auerbach and Jack White are super busy and productive, but they’re lightweights when compared to Grohl, a quintuple-threat singer, guitarist, drummer, producer, and filmmaker whose list of bands, collaborations, cameos, and cheeky Rock Hall induction appearances has grown exponentially since he joined the D.C. post-hardcore band Scream in 1988, two years before making history with Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic.
Of course, all of us are familiar with the hard-rock portion of his CV: When Grohl isn’t banging out chart-topping records with Taylor Hawkins and the Foos, he has jammed with Queens of the Stone Age, Ghost B.C., Nine Inch Nails, Slash, and Sir Paul McCartney. (Their Sound City: Real to Reel collab, the “Helter Skelter”-like “Cut Me Some Slack,” most certainly qualifies as hard rock.) He also joined forces with Zep bassist John Paul Jones and QOTSA main man Josh Homme to form Them Crooked Vultures (who seem to be on hiatus nowadays—oh well). But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Grohl pops up all along the genre spectrum. In addition to serving as a one-man rhythm section for indie singer-songwriter Cat Power, he’s gotten his (new) rave on with The Prodigy and produced jammy, heartland twangster Zac Brown Band. He’s even laid down beats for some rapper called Diddy.
Grohl’s omnipresence in rock music (mixed with his perpetually smiling, nice-guy persona) has annoyed more than a few critics, bloggers, and even fellow musicians in recent years. Google “Dave Grohl” and “annoying” and some awfully viper-like (and really quite clever) diss pieces pop up calling him both a punk-rock sellout and a phony. Outside of his teenage years, Grohl never was a punk; he’s been a rocker through and through. But that’s besides the point. The fact remains that Grohl will outlive us all and survive global warming. A century from now, he’ll be like Kevin Costner in Waterworld: sporting gills, sailing the all-consuming seas in a tattered catamaran, and jamming with any and every musician he encounters.