Foo Fighters’ frontman, Dave Grohl, had an interview with Entertainment Weekly where he talked about how he was asked to be better than Metallica’s James Hetfield and how he reacted to that request.
Dave Grohl talked about how he started playing with Led Zeppelin’s guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist Paul Jones. When they were invited to a festival, they thought they would be at the bottom of the line up:
“It all started at the Live Earth benefit that we played in, I think, 2006 or 2007. It was in multiple cities around the world, but we were invited to play at the London gig, which was at Wembley Stadium, and the list of performers was bananas.
It was Madonna and The Beastie Boys and Genesis and Metallica and the Pussycat Dolls; there were so many artists. And we just assumed that we would be at the bottom of the bill because I imagined like at most festivals that the lineup was based on popularity.”
The line up didn’t turn out to be based on popularity:
“But when we arrived and saw the schedule it had us going on after everyone and just before Madonna.
It turned out that a lot of those bands had other festivals they had to get to that night – the summer festival season in Europe is crazy, so every weekend is a different country and every country has a different festival.”
He talked about how he was terrified of the show and how his manager asked him to be better than Metallica’s frontman James Hetfield:
“But anyway, I was terrified. And I remember before going on, my manager John Silva pulled me aside and said, ‘I just need for you to do one thing for me. I just need for you to be better than Metallica.’
[Laughs] I said, ‘That’s not going to happen.‘”
They made a plan to play their hit songs:
“But we decided since we only had 20 minutes on stage that we would do what Queen did at Live Aid, which was to basically play five of our most recognizable songs that everyone could sing along to.
And in the middle of the set, I jokingly announced to the audience that we would be back to play Wembley multiple nights. I was kidding! Because at that point, we had never even headlined a stadium.”
They ended up actually going back:
“And then someone asked us if we wanted to have some special guests. So being a Led Zeppelin freak – you know, I’ve got Led Zeppelin tattoos – I thought ‘Well, we’ve gotta call John Paul Jones.’
Grohl’s dream finally came true:
“And when they showed up I couldn’t believe that finally the moment I had been waiting for – to sit on a drum stool, look to my left and see Jimmy Page, look to my right and see John Paul Jones – was actually happening.”
He talked about the importance of Jimmy Page and Paul Jones to him:
“Their importance to me is hard to explain because I didn’t take lessons, I don’t understand conventional theory, I can’t read music.
But listening to those albums taught me so much. It kind of taught me how to learn, so in a way, I almost saw them as more than human – which of course they’re not.”
You can click here for the source of the interview.