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As drummer for Nirvana and founding member of the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl gave alternative rock its driving beat.
Kurt Cobain - In Utero (2:18)
On April 5, 1994, in the guest house behind his Seattle home, Kurt Cobain committed suicide.
The release of Nirvana's song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" became a humongous success in a very short period of time.
An inside look into the release and reception of Nirvana's third album, "In Utero."
After running away from home at an early age, Kurt Cobain found a friend in Krist Novoselic and the pair would go on to form the famed band, Nirvana.
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David Eric Grohl (born January 14, 1969) formed his first band at age 10. He dropped out of high school to play with the hardcore group Scream before auditioning for Nirvana. Nirvana went on to be an international hit. After singer Kurt Cobain's death, Grohl formed a commercially successful alternative band called the Foo Fighters.
Musician, singer, songwriter. Born David Eric Grohl on January 14, 1969, in Warren, Ohio. First as a drummer in Nirvana and then as the frontman for the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl has become one of the leading figures in rock today. He moved from Ohio to Virginia when he was three years old. The son of a journalist and an English teacher, he lived with his mother and older sister Lisa after his parents divorced when he was six.
Grohl’s interest in music emerged early. He started out playing guitar. By the age of ten, Grohl formed the H. G. Hancock Band with a friend. Not long after he was introduced to punk rock by one of his cousins. In high school, he played in a string of punk bands and started smoking pot. After dropping out in his junior year, he joined the Washington, D.C.-based hardcore band, Scream. Grohl appeared on three of the group’s albums and toured with them several times.
During one tour, Grohl met up with members of the Melvins, a punk band. It was backstage at a Melvins gig that he saw Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic from Nirvana for the first time in 1990. Grohl did not talk to his future bandmates that night. But thanks to Buzz Osbourne of the Melvins, he did get to audition for Nirvana later that year. Grohl traveled to Seattle, hoping to become Nirvana’s new drummer. As soon as he played for them, both Cobain and Novoselic thought he would be perfect for their band. “He was a hard hitter. . . . so bright, so hot, so vital,” Novoselic said, according to the book Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana by Michael Azerrad.
After joining the group, Grohl lived with Cobain for a time. He also dated Jennifer Finch from the all-female alternative band L7 around this time. Soon the major labels became interested in Nirvana, offering contracts with large advances. They ended up signing with Geffen Records. Their first release with them, 1991’s Nevermind, became a huge hit, driven in part by the single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” While Kurt handled most of the songwriting duties, all three band members had worked on this track, which combined elements of punk, metal, and pop.
The video for “Smells like Teen Spirit”—offering a subversive take on a pep rally—got heavy play on MTV. In nearly a year’s time, Nevermind sold more than 4 million copies. Nirvana, with raw, emotional sound, helped launch what was called the grunge movement, which often captured feelings of alienation and frustration. They paved the way for other bands, such as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, to become well-known national acts.
The pressures that came with all of that success weighed heavily on the group, especially Cobain who sank deeper into drug abuse.
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