Dave Grohl Reveals How He Started Writing, Announces ‘The Storyteller’ Book
There is no exact roadmap on how to become a songwriter, but Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl provides a pretty detailed description of how it happened for him in a teaser for his brand new book, "The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music," that is en route for an Oct. 5 release.
In the trailer below, Grohl goes in depth on the evolution of how his own therapeutic experiences with a tape recorder eventually led him down the road to becoming one of rock's most successful musicians.
"Check 1-2. I turned out the lights, pressed record on the Realistic CTR cassette recorder sitting on a window sill sitting beside my bed and as my head hit the pillow I began to speak. What was one a device used only for homemade mixtapes for my favorite punk rock bands, it now served as my own personal therapist, an electronic ear to fill with my deepest secrets and childhood anxieties," says Grohl.
He reflects, "Whispering in the dark, I could share anything with my new mechanical confidant knowing that if I wanted to I could erase everything. But rather than hit the eject button after my quiet confessions, I would rewind back, hit play and drift off to sleep listening to my voice say the things I'd never have the courage to say to an actual person. Except now, I was saying them to myself."
The singer says this bit of therapy helped him through girl troubles and differences with his father, while he also revealed it started to change his own perspective on himself, "I could step outside of myself and look back with a different lens perhaps seeing what others saw," says Grohl. "This new perspective developed into a whole new outlook on life - never erase always record."
Over time, his voracious appetite for documenting his thoughts proved a little costly in batteries, so he turned to journaling.
"I picked up a pen and paper. Journals and diaries followed. Though I was born into writing - both of my parents were writers - I certainly didn't inherit the knack. In clumsy ramblings, it was like the rantings of the town drunk. I began to spill out my simple thoughts onto the page, praying that I'd be the only person to read them. Terribly awkward thoughts at introspection, like a personal self-help program one page at a time," says the singer.
Journaling eventually gave way to music. "Before long the music took over and I was thrown into a world of expression that required only instruments to convey my deepest secrets and adolescent anxieties," says the Foo Fighters leader. "From my heart to my hands, every note I played was a new journal entry and music became my avenue to say the things I used to try to say with mere words. Soon the old cassette player on my window was replaced with drums and guitars and my journals were left to gather dust on the shelf."
Though music took over his life, he continued to document his thoughts and feelings upon hitting the road with his first band Scream and that practice continued over the years, leading to some of the vivid storytelling accounts we've seen over the past year in his Dave's True Stories Instagram postings.
Now, with the time to do so, Grohl is turning around some of his stories for the new book, "The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music." He says in a statement that the response from his Dave's True Stories had a hand in pushing forward his desire to do a book.
"I started an Instagram account (@davestruestories) and decided to focus all of my creative energy on writing some of my stories down, something I love doing but I’ve never really had the time for. I soon found that the reward I felt every time I posted a story was the same as the feeling I get when playing a song to an audience, so I kept on writing," says Grohl. "The response from readers was a soul-filling as any applause in an arena. So, I took stock of all the experiences I’ve had in my life-incredible, difficult, funny and emotional-and decided it was time to finally put them into words."
"I've decided to write these stories just as I've always done - in my own hand. The joy that I've felt chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I've recorded and can't wait to share with the world or even a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook or even hearing my voice bounce between the KISS posters on my wall as a child."
Grohl teases stories from his days with Scream, Nirvana and Foo Fighters while also dropping instances of "jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards, dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming with Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters."
The book arrives on Oct. 5 and pre-orders are available at this location.