I read a lot of memoirs and biographies and my favorites are those that leave me feeling as if a friend just told me a story about their lives. Reading The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Foo Fighters founder and frontman Dave Grohl was much this way, despite the fact that I’m not really friends with any famous touring musicians. Grohl is funny and the book is even more endearing by the fact that he wrote it himself without the help of a ghostwriter.
Grohl documents his humble beginnings learning to play the drums and guitar in humble suburban Virginia. He finds himself “in the right place at the right time” throughout his journey from Washington, D.C.-area band Scream to drumming for Nirvana to eventually founding and fronting Foo Fighters. The Storyteller does not fixate on Nirvana or the death of Kurt Cobain, but Grohl does describe his relationship with Cobain and the fear he felt when he realized his bandmate and roommate was suffering from addiction. The only thing Grohl was addicted to was coffee.
(Image from amazon.com)
As a parent of young daughters myself I perhaps most related to Grohl’s stories about raising his three girls. Having grown up with a mostly absent father, Grohl prioritizes being there for his daughters. One story documents his experience with food poisoning while flying home from Australia while on tour to attend the Daddy/Daughter Dance.
Despite his own success and fame, Grohl still is awe-struck by his idols and continues to be amazed and inspired by any opportunity to meet or jam with them. He also describes his love and appreciation for his mother. The Storyteller is a humble ode to music and its impact on all of us, and, overall, is just a really entertaining tale as told by someone who seems like an old friend.