Greetings and welcome to a special Edition of The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood. This blog is dedicated to Dave Grohl, who turns 46 today. Most of us my age first got to know Dave as a drummer in the iconic band Nirvana. When I first heard Dave, was not only not going to play the drums in his new band, but sing, I was skeptical. However after hearing the Foo Fighters debut CD and the second one The Colour and the Shape, I was hooked. I was a child of 80’s heavy metal and to be perfectly honest, I got more into the Foo’s than I did with Nirvana. It was in your face kick ass rock and roll. As much as I dug the band, I didn’t get to see them play live till moving from New York to California. in fact my first Foo Fighter show was actually an acoustic one.
Foo Fighters at Neil Young Bridge School Benefit 2000
One of the best things about living in the Bay area is that ever October we have the Bridge School Benefit to look forward to. The all day concert is an annual, all acoustic, non-profit charity event held every October at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. All proceeds directly benefit the operations of The Bridge School. non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that individuals with severe speech and physical impairments achieve full participation in their communities through the use of augmentative & alternative means of communication (AAC) and assistive technology (AT) applications and through the development, implementation and dissemination of innovative life-long educational strategies. The show was going to be one of the bands first time playing an all acoustic set in front of 18,000 people. The show was held at an outdoor amphitheater. Unfortunately it rained and poured on the crowd myself including. When the band hit the stage Dave, joked with us saying they were use to this since they were from Seattle. The bands 7 song set included See You, Learn to Fly, Next Year, Ain’t It the Life, Monkey Wrench, Everlong and This Is a Call. The band sounded amazing like they had been doing it for years.
Foo Fighters 2005-2009
That acoustic performances turned out to be a preview of what was soon to come. After seeing the band at KROQ’s weenie Roast in 2005 and a surprise solo acoustic performance by Dave solo the next year, I attended the final night of the bands acoustic performance Foo Fighters at the Pantages Theater on 8-31-06. The show was recorded and the album Skin and Bones was later released. After a few more KROQ and Bridge school shows, I followed that up with the bands 3 hour performance in the pit from Oracle Arena in Oakland, in 2009. I was sure that would be my all time favorite Foo Fighter shows. Boy was I wrong.
Dave Grohl’s Birthday Bash at The Forum 1/10/2015
Last Saturday night, once again in a down pour of rain, I headed to The Forum, in Inglewood, CA for what was billed as a Secret Show. Tickets for the concert went on sale 48 hours before the event. I remember thinking what is so secret about a show that was posted on Facebook and Ticketmaster in advanced. When I got to the newly refurnished arena, there was tons of buzz going on. The merchandise was selling a Dave’s Birthday Club T-shirt. The people in back of me were saying that black Sabbath was opening the show. The band sent out a message saying to get there early because there was no opener, so I knew that was just a rumor. I entered the arena to my VIP area seat and heard from one of the Chase representatives (now own the Forum)that this was going to be a great show because it was Dave’s Birthday show. What made the stage set up so cool was that it was in the round with a moving stage. The bands instruments were stacked close together making it feel like an intimate club not an arena. The stage kept circling alike a carnival ride making sure everyone had a chance to see the band play from all angles.
The show started with the band taking the stage but not starting with music. Instead Dave told everyone it was going to be a long night and it was his birthday (his actual Birthday is 1/13). We were then informed that he had a ton of friends who would be playing together with the band. The first special guest star was Paul Stanley from Kiss. The band launched into “Detroit Rock City” followed by “Do You Love Me”. After Paul left the stage Dave asked the fans if they wanted to hear Foo Fighters music. As the opening chords to “All My Life” started the crowd went into a frenzy. Next up was “Rope”, “The Pretender” and “My Hero” where the crowd sang along with the band to the chorus.
The next three guests were an odd pair. Jack Black and lead guitarist and vocalist Kyle Gass of Tenacious D were joined onstage by Slash. After Jack sang Happy Birthday, to Dave balloons fell from the top of the Forum. Dave then said there were suppose to be more balloons. Seconds later the stage was covered in them. Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins sang Queens “Tie Your Mother Down ” Led Zeppelin “Immigrant Song” was next.
My personal highlight guest of the night was Alice Cooper dressed in a High School Lettermen’s sweater sang “Schools Out” and “I’m Eighteen”. http://tinyurl.com/oe3x9so More of Dave’s friends included Zakk Wylde who did perform Black sabbath’s N.I.B.Fairies Wear Boots. Zack was a madman on guitar and sound like a 1970’s Ozzy. LA legend Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction played “Mountain Song” and covered The Rolling Stones “Miss You”. The guest stars and band looked like they were having the time of their lives. you could see why the foo Fighters have become one of the best live rock bands in the country. After that the Foo’s played “Something From Nothing” “This Is a Call” “Best of You”
The other major surprise was what Dave called a Bucket List Jam with David Lee Roth who sported a new shaved bald head look as he danced around performing Van Halen 1984’s classic “Panama” http://tinyurl.com/pfqxseq followed by “Ain’t Talking About Love”. The bands classic “Everlong” could have closed the show, but Dave had one more friend to welcome to the stage. It was one of Dave’s close friend and influences Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister. For the final song “Let It Rock” (Chuck Berry cover) Slash and Zakk Wyld came back for the final jam and song of the night.
Bands always say this is going to be one of the greatest rock and roll night’s. that was an understatement. This was not a concert it was an event that could have been held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Thank you to Dave and everyone that made this One of the greatest rock and roll shows I’ve ever seen. Thanks for letting your fans share this historic night with you. If this was how Dave was going to spend his 46th Birthday, one can only dream of what his 50th will be like.
Thank you for letting me share my experience with you. I can only hope I made you feel like you were there. Don’t forget to support local bands and films in your city.