Career in Beats: Dave Grohl

Dave grohl

Dave grohl

© Paul Hebert / Icon SMI ./Retna Ltd./Corbis

On Friday Dave Grohl will be back in the UK and behind the kit as Them Crooked Vultures swoop into Donington for a sub-headlining spot at Download Festival. As if we weren't already excited enough about this, we've taken a look back at the beats that define Dave's career at the drum stool. Take a look inside to check out our pick of Dave's finest moments.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Simply, the beat that set Mr Grohl on his way to worldwide superstardom. All about aggression and full-on attacking the kit, the track lurches from sedate cross sticks in the verse to the iconic chorus that sees all hell unleashed on poor old Dave's cymbals. A drumstick shredder if ever there was one.

I'll Stick Around

The end of Nirvana could have marked the end of Dave's time in the musical limelight, but he had other ideas. Armed with a blistering array of material, he recorded 12 of the dozens of tracks he had written over the years - the result was the Foo Fighters superb self-titled debut album. 'I'll Stick Around', one of the heavier, rawer tracks from the album, encapsulates the Grohl sound perfectly. Right from the scattergun fill that kicks the song off through to the pre-chorus rolls and crash-heavy outro, this is classic Grohl.


Not only is 'Everlong' widely regarded as one of the best Foo Fighters songs ever put to disc, it's also got a killer drum beat. Bags of fun to play, but step out of line for a second and you'll be lost forever. Taylor Hawkins may be the man at the kit in this video, but it was Dave who nailed the studio version.

Rock And Roll

Ok, this one's a bit of a cheat, given that it's not a Grohl song, in fact it's not even a track that he has recorded. But, try telling Dave that being joined by John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page for a run through of 'Rock And Roll' in front of a packed Wembley Stadium is anything other than career-defining. That Taylor Hawkins isn't too bad up at the front of the stage either. Sadly the calls for a Foo Zeppelin tour never really got off the ground.

No One Knows

As lead single from Songs For The Deaf, 'No One Knows' marked the drumming return of Grohl. And what a return. Kicking off as a simple head-banger, the beat grabs Josh Homme's crunching riff by the scruff of the neck and drags it through to the chorus, which is when the fun really begins. A succession of lightning-quick fills lead into some ferocious ride crashes, once again displaying Dave's penchant for combining the restrained with the ridiculously powerful. We reckon the power must be in those rather fetching black gloves he sports in this live video.


Any beat that starts like Phil Rudd on speed and settles into a Queens Of The Stone Age-on-acid groove is always going to be a career definer. From the second we heard the breakneck intro beat to this track we knew that Them Crooked Vultures were the business. When we got to the tom-heavy verse beat we just about wet ourselves. As did the thousands of lucky people crammed inside Reading Festival's Radio 1 tent in this video by the looks of it.

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).