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fond memories 'All the women looked like my mother' - Dave Grohl on first visit to Ireland with Nirvana

Grohl, who is now front man of Foo Fighters, recalled memories of when he arrived in Cork in the early 1990s.

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Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl

Rock legend Dave Grohl has revealed how when he first came to Ireland as drummer with Nirvana he thought all the women looked like his mam.

Grohl, who is now front man of Foo Fighters, recalled arriving in Cork in the early 1990s.

"I remember the first time I came to Ireland was actually with Nirvana, I guess it was 1991, and we were on tour opening up for a band called Sonic Youth,” he told Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy.

"I have a little bit of Irish heritage in my family on my mother's side, my mother's maiden name is Hanlon. The first time we came to Ireland, I remember arriving at night, going to sleep, I think we were in Cork and I woke up and decided to walk around town before the show.

“As I was walking around, I realised that all the women looked like my mother. I immediately got on the phone and called her and said 'Mom you have got to come here, everybody looks like you, you have to see this’.

“She had never been to Ireland, so the next year, Nirvana were headlining the Reading Festival, and I brought my mother and my sister over for a good week of driving around the country before we went over for the Reading Festival. We just did this nice little loop down south and over to Dingle and we were staying in Bed and Breakfasts.

“We capped it off staying at Adare Manor, and we had never stayed in a castle before, so this was really a huge moment. Of course, for years with Foo Fighters coming over we have dear friends there, we have had amazing shows there, it's one of my favourite places in the world, it's beautiful."

He added: “The thing about Ireland, when you play a show there, there is a sense of joy...it's a really rowdy bunch, it is this collective feeling of joy. When I'm on stage, I like to really connect with the audience."

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Nirvana.

Nirvana.

Nirvana.

Grohl has huge respect for his mother Virginia, a teacher, and he explained how, being inspired by her, he ended up performing for the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

"It really did start with an article I wrote for a magazine, The Atlantic, called 'In Defence of our Teachers'. Throughout the pandemic, I have been talking to my mother about the reopening of schools.

“Teachers are generally these altruistic people that put you before themselves...what they do all day long is they make plans. Unfortunately, at the time, nobody was giving our teachers a plan.

“I wrote that article and Dr Jill Biden, our First Lady, read it and contacted us and said, 'I really love the article, we would like to connect' and so we did. The first thing we did was that Jill Biden, my mother, and I had a Zoom call. When you see two teachers get together and talk, it's like two drummers getting together and talking. Dr Biden turned to me and said 'so Dave, I heard you were a terrible student', which I was...

“Then, when the inauguration came around, we were asked to perform our song ‘Times Like These’. I am an American kid, I grew up in a tiny house in a suburb of Washington DC, with my mother trying to raise two kids on a teacher's salary. When I'm called upon by the new President to perform at the inauguration... it's an honour for me to perform. I voted for the guy, I'm really thankful he's President now."

The guitarist was told how grateful he was to Irish physio, Freddie Murray, got him back on his feet again when he suffered a serious injury falling off stage.

“It's funny, well it's not funny, I fell off stage and broke my leg and couldn't work for eight months,” he explained. “After the surgery that I had, I was assigned this world-class physical therapist. They said 'He's a great guy, Freddie Murray, he's Irish'.

“He came out on tour, loves rock music, sweetest person you have ever met in your life... and we became best friends. First of all, he was the most handsome man you have ever seen in your life, so all of the women on tour, the wives and the crew would say 'Freeeeeedie'. I spent every day with him.

“I'm not kidding, if it weren't for Freddie, I would not be able to walk right now. He really took me from being completely broken to running. I wouldn't be there if it weren't for him."


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