The Foo Fighters made headlines in mid-February by doing a run of secret club shows in some of Los Angeles’ most intimate rock venues. Word on the street is that Dave Grohl and the boys were doing the shows not only to make fans lucky enough to be there go absolutely crazy with excitement, but also to amass footage for their documentary Back and Forth, which debuts this week at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival. In honor of the movie, the band and their 17 (holy crap we’re old!) years of rocking without stopping, we give you five things you must know about the Foo Fighters.
1. Foo guitarist/singer/de facto leader Dave Grohl began writing songs on his guitar while he was drumming for Nirvana. Grohl has said that he was simultaneously awed and intimidated by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and thus kept his songs to himself. After Cobain’s 1994 suicide, Grohl was offered a full time gig drumming for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He declined, and instead went into the studio to record the material he had amassed.
2. Original Foo drummer William Goldsmith left the band in 1996 as a response to Grohl re-recording many of his drum tracks for The Colour and the Shape. Grohl hired drummer Taylor Hawkins, who had just come off a gig as touring drummer for Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill tour, as a replacement.
3. After recording 2002’s One by One, Grohl decided to re-work much of the album before its release. The band ended up re-recording One by One in its entirety, and although the album included the hit “Times Like These” the Foos expressed overall dissatisfaction with the release. Grohl told Rolling Stone that, “four of the songs were good, and the other seven I never played again in my life. We rushed into it, and we rushed out of it.” The original album recordings are highly sought after by Foo fans.
4. The Foo Fighters teamed with fellow VSQ favorite Weezer for a co-headlining “Foozer” tour in the fall of 2005. FF are also tight with the surviving members of Queen, whom they’ve played with on a number of occasions, including a headlining show in London’s Hyde Park. The super group performed “We Will Rock You.”
5. In honor of Record Store Day on April 16, the Foo Fighters will release a limited edition vinyl album of covers. The album, called Medium Rare, features the Foo’s take on hits by Cream, Pink Floyd and The Ramones.