We review the new unofficial biography of a musical genius considered to be the ‘nicest guy in rock’.
Following his meteoric rise as Nirvana’s drummer and before sealing his own rock credentials with the Foo Fighters, somehow Grohl has maintained a reputation for being a really nice guy. We also know he is a private man, which makes this biography appealing to so many fans of rock music and the Nirvana story.
On the book's front cover Kurt Cobain's death is highlighted in big black letters "Someone called and said Kurt died. I just lost it". However don't be misled, if you're hoping to dive right in to this part of Grohl's musical journey you can skip the first 100 pages or so. Nirvana undeniably still fascinates and sells, however Grohl's rise from the tragedy of Nirvana is not only worth reading but is inspirational in its own right. It was only when he formed the Foo Fighters that he found the freedom to take what he loved about making music.
Grohl’s tenure in Nirvana is the book’s highlight, with a avalanche of revealing insights that go far beyond simply telling the band’s story. He recounts in 1992 that Cobain wanted to renegiotate the publishing royalties, which up to that point had been split 3 ways. The new arrangement would see Cobain get 90% of monies due and he wanted it to be applied retrospectively to include Nevermind. In effect the agreement meant that both Grohl and Novoselic would owe Cobain money from monies already received. Clearly arguements ensued over this arrangement and Brannigan claims it nearly split the band up.
There are interviews with musicians and producers such as Dischord's Ian MacKaye, Scream's Pete Stahl and the infamous producer of the Nevermind album Butch Vig. This makes for a compelling and detailed description of the singer's influences and prolific career to date.
With an account of Grohl's life that is more personal than anything written before, Brannigan reveals Grohl for the first time and this is certainly the story of a man who has changed the music landscape forever. Overall it's a well written but sometimes pacey, insightful and facinating read.
by Liam Carey @Bandpages