Springfield’s Past Resident Part of Rock Music History

Springfield’s Past Resident Part of Rock Music History

Legendary Dave Grohl got his start here, and is now author, filmmaker and Foo Fighter.

Dave Grohl grew up in Springfield, honed his rock sound at local venues, and hit it big. Now he's an author too.

Dave Grohl grew up in Springfield, honed his rock sound at local venues, and hit it big. Now he's an author too.

Former Springfield resident Dave Grohl stepped into the limelight as a rocker with the Foo Fighters in the 1990's and now, 31 years later, he's still topping lists. Grohl's most recent best seller "The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music," joins his list of accomplishments alongside grunge rock, and several documentary films.

His book is currently a finalist for Audiobook of the Year.

“I’ve never really been one to collect stuff, I collect moments,” said Grohl, in a video interview that’s on his book site. He had plenty of time to think about those moments when the pandemic hit a couple of years ago, so he jotted these down and now has a best seller. “I suddenly had nothing to do,” he said, but noted how satisfied he was to pull all those memories together for the book.

The long list of book reviews are positive. "Candid, humble and full of stories about big-time stars," said CNN. “Grohl, of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame, demonstrates the good-naturedness he's known for in this heartfelt standout that explores everything from the loss of Kurt Cobain to the road to fatherhood,” said Audible. "Paired with his sparkling wit, this humility is what makes Grohl’s soulful story a cut above typical rock memoirs. There isn’t a dull moment here," added Publishers Weekly.

The creativity spark may have hit him in Springfield though. As a child, Grohl lived in the part of Springfield inside the beltway near North Springfield Elementary School where he started school. When he got into high school, he attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Annandale High School, and Bishop Ireton. He played in  local bands like Freak Baby, Mission Impossible, Dain Bramage and Scream, at the Lake Braddock Community Center where some say he met Kurt Cobain. Grohl dropped out of high school some time in the mid 1980s and went out to strike it big after that.

In the book, he does talk a lot about experiences while living in North Springfield. In 1982, he was going into eighth grade at Holmes Intermediate School when broke his ankle playing soccer at a field near Lake Accotink. There is also a chapter on a séance he held to bring back the spirit of John Bonham, the original drummer of Led Zeppelin who died in 1980 right before they had a show at the now-defunct Capital Centre in Maryland. They had it all set up with candles and such, in the carport of their house.

At a concert in the Capital One Arena a few years ago, Grohl mentioned playing video games at Timeout 1 and Timeout 2, arcades in Springfield Mall that were hangout spots when he was growing up.

While the 1990s was all about his sounds with Nirvana and Foo Fighters, it evolved into his work with film as well. In 2013, Grohl was the director/producer of the documentary "Sound City." This was about the Van Nuys CA studio where Nirvana recorded Nevermind in 1991, which sold millions "and transformed the modern musical landscape," the critics said.

Grohl also directed an eight-part HBO docuseries called "Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways," which premiered in October 2014 and went on to win two Emmys awards. The eight one-hour episodes were each recorded in a different American musical landmark -- Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. One of his songs mentions “Arlandria,” which is a real place where Alexandria hits Arlington, just north of Del Ray.