Think outside the boom box: A Love Letter to Dave Grohl

Columnist Patrick McKenna thanks the virtuoso rock legend for brilliance.

By Patrick McKenna | Nov. 25, 2014

Tags: Chicago Music Reviews Television TV

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Dear Dave,

First off, I would like to thank you for looking equally majestic with long hair as you do with short hair. It’s just uncanny the level of intensity and warmth that you supply, whether sporting the simple soul patch of the full goatee. Similar to your musical endeavors, it’s nearly impossible to provide anything mediocre. Also Nirvana was decent, I guess.

Now that I got the more embarrassing side of the laundry list of praising I have out of the way, I’d like to move onto recognizing your latest project, the album/documentary series “Sonic Highways.”

Here’s the thing, David. Can I call you David? Great, I feel like we’re on that level, too. Anyways, to put it bluntly, I think the documentary series is the greatest thing created since heated bathroom floors. Actually, fuck it –– It’s better.

For anyone reading this love letter unaware of what “Sonic Highways” is, I’ll say this: looking to feed our society with a presentation of history unlike ever done before, Mr. Grohl decided to create and direct this series to show the spectacular people and places that have blessed the U.S. with their music. Stopping by Chicago, Los Angeles and six other cities that helped shape music to what it is today, Grohl and his fellow hard-rock heroes, Foo Fighters, interviewed the likes of Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood and Steve Albini, offering personal anecdotes on how a certain city influenced their life with music.

In addition to showing the mind-blowing tales of music’s greats, each episode includes a stop at a famous studio, where Grohl and his squad write and record one of the eight songs off their recently-released LP, also entitled “Sonic Highways,” with lyrics based on the wise words of Buddy Guy and Ian MacKaye, among others.

NOW DAVID, I knew you were no chump in the film industry after watching the documentary you produced and created, “Sound City” and being dazzled by the in-depth interviewing and fact gathering that led to such an entertaining and informative film. But “Sonic Highways” honestly may be the highlight of your career.

Yes, I’m aware you have drummed for one of rock’s most influential groups, recorded a song with members of that group and some Liverpool yuppie named Paul McCartney, and gave a waterworks-worthy keynote address at 2013’s South by Southwest Festival. Yes, I’m aware youth filled my heart, among millions of others, with some unbelievable Foo Fighters songs. But I really think you’ve gone overboard this time.

What I feel like you have done better than any idol of mine with this series is show that if you want to do something with your passion, you just have to go for it. You said it yourself on the Colbert Report in 2013: “I think if you’re passionate and driven by something you love, then you could pretty much do anything in life.” To me, those words apply to “Sonic Highways.” It seems you were so driven by the love for the music that shaped your life that you wanted to share those very songs and the history behind them through this series.

Here I am, salivating at the thought of your shows best moments, and I wouldn’t have seen those moments without your desire to just make the show. You are the ultimate DIY punk, believing from the days of teaching yourself guitar and drums to now with “Sonic Highways” that anyone can do what they want with a little hard work and passion.

Thank you for being you Dave.

xoxo, Patrick

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