This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl (2011) by Paul Brannigan is an indepth and very interesting look at the life so far of the former Nirvana drummer and the frontman of Foo Fighters.
What I almost always love about the biographies or autobiographies of rock singers is that you tend to get a real, warts ‘n’ all account that you can relate to in parts. It isn’t often done in a very stylish, showbizzy way and I appreciate that as a reader. In short it feels more honest and with this biography on Grohl I felt no exception was made to that rule.
The book first and foremost is based on ten years of interviews that Brannigan, former editor of Kerrang!, did with Grohl and from talking to other people who know him well like Josh Homme, Butch Vig and Ian MacKaye. I find the style of writing very conversational like you were listening to a mate of yours talking about music over a cup of tea and I really liked that tone to the book. There is one flaw though to this book. I didn’t mind it so much because I found what Brannigan was discussing about the punk scene and Grohl’s influences very interesting but there might be a little too much about that in a book that is supposed to be about Grohl himself. So I think if someone was looking for Grohl’s story without any massive overviews this may not be the book they are looking for. But myself, I quite enjoyed it.
There is very interesting pieces in the book about Grohl’s life growing up in a suburb of Washington D.C. I love how down-to-earth these passages sound and they are parts which are so easy to relate to. Brannigan wrote very well how these early days were a great indication of his life to come in music. It was very interesting to read.
There is some very emotive moments in this book. Grohl’s pain over his former bandmate Kurt Cobain’s death at the age of 27 is hard to read. This book shows both the ups and downs in Grohl’s life and music career. There maybe isn’t enough about Foo Fighters in the book though which was a bit of a shame. Grohl comes across as a very nice person, very likable and down-to-earth with a huge passion for music and the creative process.
There isn’t maybe much new facts in this book but it is a wonderful coming together of Grohl’s career up to 2011 and I found it a very interesting and engaging read. This book is filled with musical history and has been researched incredibly well so kudos to the author for that. I really enjoyed reading it.
A very absorbing and detailed book.
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And for more about Dave Grohl and his work with Foo Fighters go to: