Dave Grohl Pens Remarkably Affable Memoir with ‘The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music’ (BOOK REVIEW)

Dave Grohl, despite having played in some blisteringly punk/hardcore bands over the years, has the reputation of being the Tom Hanks of the music world – the nicest guy around. And Storyteller, his remarkably affable memoir is not doing anything to change that reputation.

Focusing a great deal on Grohl’s upbringing with his mom and sister in suburban Virginia, in the shadow of D.C., he details a fateful trip to Chicago to visit his cousin who was a real-life punk (the kind you only saw as background characters on shows like Quincy and CHIPs at the time) who took him to see his first live punk show, Naked Raygun. From that moment on he became obsessed with the genre – an obsession he still clings to today as a massive music fan, who, you know, also happens to be one of the biggest rock stars in modern rock history. The rest of his story, dropping out of high school to tour with a band of older musicians in Scream, leaving to join Nirvana and eventually starting over on his own after the death of Kurt Cobain, has been told countless times before. But Grohl adds some needed color to those black and white tellings of these oft repeated stories. 

What’s also telling about his memoir, aside from his deep love of music and constant admiration of the rock stars that have become friends (legends like Paul McCartney and John Paul Jones), is his clear love for his daughters. The role of dad is one Grohl admits he was not sure would come easy, especially as he didn’t have the greatest relationship with his own father, but he writes almost gushingly about his three kids. There is a sweet story he tells about shopping in London on tour with his daughters and buying a Joan Jett Barbie. Years later, Grohl invites Jett to his house when the two are working on music together and his daughters are stunned into silence as this toy they’ve been playing with is standing in their living room. 

Grohl proves chapter after chapter in The Storyteller exactly why he so many consider him so likable. He’s certainly earned the right to brag a little thanks to his role in Nirvana and as the founder and linchpin behind Foo Fighters, but he simply comes off as humbled and appreciative for every experience he’s had, the places music has taken him, and the people he has met along the way. 

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