Foo Fighters are definitely one of my favorite bands of all time. I was absolutely blown away when they played a show at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2014.
There’s probably a few things that you didn’t know about Foo Fighters and today I’m pointing a few out to you.
Here are 17 facts you might not have known about Foo Fighters
1. Foo Fighters had humble beginnings…
The band was formed in 1994 in Seattle, Washington as a one-man project by ex Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. He played all the instruments (except for one guitar part) on the band’s self-titled debut album.
2. Over the years, Foo Fighters grew from a 4 piece band to a 6 piece band
The current members of the band are Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee. The band has only three former members: William Goldsmith (the former drummer of Sunny Day Real Estate), Franz Stahl (who was in the band Scream with Dave Grohl) and Taylor Hawkins (who passed away in 2022).
3. They’ve released quite a few albums since 1995
To date Foo Fighters have released 10 studio albums: Foo Fighters (in 1995), The Colour and the Shape (in 1997), There Is Nothing Left to Lose (in 1999), One by One (in 2002), In Your Honor (in 2005), Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (in 2007), Wasting Light (in 2011), Sonic Highways (in 2014), Concrete and Gold (in 2017) and Medicine at Midnight (in 2021) and But Here We Are (in 2023).
4. One of Dave Grohl’s tattoos was used on an album cover
The tattoo features the letters “FF” and was used for the cover of the album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose.
5. The band and its record company are named after UFOs
A “foo fighter” was a World War II-era term pilots used for UFOs. Likewise, the group’s record company, Roswell, refers to a New Mexico town where a flying saucer supposedly crashed in 1947.
6. The band played three secret shows under a different name in 1999
To ease Chris Shifflett into the group, the Foo Fighters played three secret shows in Los Angeles under the name Stacked Actors.
7. Dave Grohl has played drums for other bands / artists in his off time
Everyone knows that Dave Grohl was the 5th drummer for Nirvana. Besides this he’s also played drums for Tom Petty, Queens Of The Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures and Tenacious D.
8. Foo Fighters have won multiple awards
Their list of accolades includes 1 AltRock Award, 1 American Music Award, 1 BBC Music Award, 5 BRIT Awards, 15 Grammy Awards, 6 Kerrang! Awards, 3 MTV Video Music Awards, 6 NME Awards and 1 UK Music Video Award. Rumor has it that Dave Grohl used a Grammy Award as a door stop in his bedroom and that he had replaced it with the MTV Video Music Award.
9. Foo Fighters trolled Westboro Baptist Church by dressing up as cowboys and performing gay love song
The band fought back against anti-gay protesters in Kansas City by singing in celebration of “man muffins,” and mocking representatives from the extremist Westboro Baptist Church. Together with the band, Dave Grohl performed a gay love song called “Keep it Clean (Hot Buns)” in front of protesters.
10. “Let it Die” is about Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love
The track off 2007’s Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace refers to an “intravenous, intertwined” couple. Dave Grohl confirmed that the line refers to his late bandmate Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love.
Dave Grohl told Rolling Stone that “It’s a song that’s written about feeling helpless to someone else’s demise. I’ve seen people lose it all to drugs and heartbreak and death. It’s happened more than once in my life, but the one that’s most noted is Kurt. And there are a lot of people that I’ve been angry with in my life, but the one that’s most noted is Courtney. So it’s pretty obvious to me that those correlations are gonna pop up every now and again. I still remain a little secretive about it all.”
11. The Foo Fighters impose a $100 fine for “any mispelling or other stupid typos” on advertising materials
This was revealed in their 2000 concert rider. The rider also notes that the guys would rather have the promoter buy their underwear. Much funnier is the band’s US/Canada 2008 rider, where cereals are wanted unopened and “not recycled from last night Dio’s show,” dressing or ketchup is to be fresh, not with “the last 4 millimeters” in the bottle, lunch should include “soup of the day” but only vegetarian because “meaty soups make roadies fart,” and many other food demands “since rock bands and their crews need to eat every 90 minutes or so.”
12. Dave Grohl often chews gum before and during their sets
This keeps his mouth from getting dry. He prefers Dentyne Ice, and says, “Onstage, I need a minty-fresh microphone.”
13. While on tour in Auckland, New Zealand, Foo Fighters inspired an audience of 50,000 to dance so hard that it was registered as seismic activity
This was recorded by volcanic watchdog site GeoNet. Two separate monitoring stations picked up the ground shaking three times per second, which registered as a steady rhythmic motion – about the same level as a volcanic tremor.
14. Foo Fighters played on David Letterman’s very last show
Letterman has said that they are his favorite band, and “Everlong” is his favorite song.
15. The band covered Prince’s “Darling Nikki” in 2003
Prince was not very happy about it. Four years later, Prince covered their hit “Best of You” during his Super Bowl halftime performance.
16. As of May 2023 Josh Freese is the new live drummer for the band
The news was revealed during Foo Fighters: Preparing Music For Concerts, a streaming event broadcast. The new man was introduced as the band were filmed chatting, their conversation interrupted by a trio of well-known drummers – Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Chad Smith, Motley Crue‘s Tommy Lee, and Tool‘s Danny Carey – before the camera cut to Freese, one of the sticksmen who performed with the band during last year’s Taylor Hawkins’ tribute shows in London and Los Angeles.
17. But Here We Are is the first Foo Fighters album to be released after Taylor Hawkins’ death
The album was released on the 2nd of June 2023. “Rescued” was released as the first single in April 2023. The band called it “the first of 10 songs that run the emotional gamut from rage and sorrow to serenity and acceptance, and myriad points in between.”
There you have it, 17 facts that you may not have known about Foo Fighters. If you have anything you wanna add to this list of facts, please comment on this post. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here. If you’ve found this post interesting, feel free to share it with you friends.
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