Classic Rock

Famous People That Got Beef With Dave Grohl

todayMarch 21, 2024 1

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Dave Grohl. The name practically screams “nicest guy in rock”. From his infectious enthusiasm to his down-to-earth demeanor, Grohl has spent over three decades cultivating an image of friendliness. He’s jammed with a ten-year-old on drums, brought rescued miners to a concert, and championed important causes. A true rock and roll regular, right?

Well, maybe not entirely. While Grohl strives for camaraderie, not everyone feels the sunshine. Throughout his career, he’s feuded with fellow musicians, some more well-known than others. 

From a long-standing tension with Courtney Love to brief clashes with Ian Astbury and Gavin Rossdale, Grohl’s path hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing. Even Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Grohl’s bandmate before Foo Fighters, reportedly considered kicking him out. 

And believe it or not, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It seems there are more than a few famous folks who might not be Grohl’s biggest fans.

William Goldsmith

Grohl, following Nirvana’s tragic end, launched his solo project, the Foo Fighters, in 1995. Initially playing all instruments himself, he later recruited a band, including Sunny Day Real Estate’s bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith.

However, Goldsmith’s experience recording The Colour and the Shape was far from ideal. He described grueling sessions with Grohl demanding numerous takes, leaving Goldsmith feeling his work wasn’t good enough.

Suspecting pressure from the label and producer, Goldsmith believed Grohl ultimately replaced his drum parts entirely without informing him. This act of creative dismissal, coupled with Grohl’s demanding behavior, led Goldsmith to leave the band, feeling deeply disrespected.

John Joseph

In 2021, with COVID-19 restrictions easing, rock bands cautiously returned to touring. Foo Fighters, prioritizing fan safety, implemented a vaccine requirement for their Madison Square Garden concert. This policy did not sit well with John Joseph, frontman of the punk rock band Cro-Mags.

Joseph, known for his anti-establishment views, took to The Void with Christina podcast to lash out at Grohl. He mockingly called the Foo Fighters “Flu Pfizers”, comparing the virus to the flu and referencing a vaccine maker. Joseph’s rant questioned Grohl’s logic and expressed outrage at the band’s decision to require vaccination for entry.

Brent Hinds

Grohl’s career path is a stark contrast to his earlier projects. From the hardcore intensity of Washington D.C.’s Scream to the grunge and punk of Nirvana, Grohl has shifted gears significantly.

This evolution, particularly Grohl’s foray into producing documentaries and collaborating with classic rock icons like Rick Springfield and Paul McCartney, rubs Brent Hinds the wrong way.

Hinds, lead singer and guitarist of the heavy metal band Mastodon, took a jab at Grohl in 2014 via Instagram. Sharing a photo of Grohl grinning with a “ta-da” pose, Hinds captioned it with a sarcastic remark about Grohl “making rock n roll safer” with his mainstream ventures. Though the post was swiftly deleted, media outlets like Stereogum picked up on the comment, turning it into a minor rock feud.

Noel Gallagher

Grohl, a self-proclaimed Oasis fan, took a playful jab at the estranged Gallagher brothers during a 2019 Foo Fighters performance at Reading Festival. His drummer, Taylor Hawkins, donned a drum kit emblazoned with the brothers’ faces, and Grohl, ever the optimist, proposed a petition to reunite Oasis. He even suggested most fans preferred Liam, the lead singer, over his brother Noel.

This lighthearted attempt to nudge the Gallaghers back together didn’t go over well with Noel.  Performing with his High Flying Birds just days later in California, Noel mocked the petition idea and insulted Grohl with a few choice words.

Clearly, the relationship between Noel and Dave isn’t quite as harmonious as Grohl envisioned for the Gallagher brothers.

Oderus Urungus

Oderus Urungus, the stage persona of the late Dave Brockie, founder of the outrageous heavy metal band GWAR, was never one to mince words. In a 2013 interview, Brockie, still in full GWAR costume, launched into a tirade against the music industry.

Taking aim at the Grammys, Brockie recalled his past criticism of the award show, then pivoted toward Dave Grohl. He mocked the Foo Fighters frontman, implying through gestures that Grohl had become an industry pawn, completely beholden to the corporate music machine.

Buzz Osborne

The Melvins and Nirvana were intertwined for years. Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, a devoted Melvins fan, even produced their 1993 album Houdini before being let go due to drug issues. Both bands frequently played shows together, and when it came to the Melvins’ 2016 album Basses Loaded, both Grohl and Krist Novoselic expressed interest in collaborating. Novoselic participated, but Grohl ultimately flaked.

Osborne told Rolling Stone that Grohl originally proposed Nirvana covers with the Melvins and even mentioned wanting to work on other projects together. However, Grohl ended up prioritizing high-profile gigs with Paul McCartney and the Academy Awards. 

“He just never showed up,” said Osborne, clearly frustrated. “He blew it off…and it was his idea! I didn’t appreciate that.” Osborne concluded by stating he wouldn’t chase Grohl for collaborations, especially after being left hanging.

Jennifer Finch

L7, a prominent heavy rock band from the late 80s and early 90s, crossed paths with Nirvana frequently. Bassist Jennifer Finch was once romantically involved with Grohl, but it wasn’t a relationship she cherished.

This connection, coupled with Finch’s former bandmate Courtney Love marrying Nirvana’s Cobain, meant Grohl’s face was inescapable for Finch during Nirvana’s meteoric rise. Finch’s frustration is evident in the documentary L7: Pretend We’re Dead, where she vents about seeing Grohl everywhere.

She actively avoids reliving those times, choosing not to watch the Grohl-centric Nirvana documentary Montage of Heck. Finch prefers to let those memories fade and focus on her own experiences from that era.

Tina Basich

Snowboarder Tina Basich, a dominant force in the late 90s with X Games and U.S. Open titles under her belt, found her focus disrupted when she fell for Dave Grohl. Basich, by her own admission, prioritized their relationship, putting her snowboarding career on hold.

A devastating leg injury sidelined her further, and during this vulnerable time, Basich learned of Grohl’s infidelity. Calls went unanswered, and the relationship ended with a cold, five-minute phone call after weeks of unanswered attempts to reach Grohl.

The deep pain of the breakup was so immense that Basich initially couldn’t even write about it in her memoir. It took five rewrites before she could confront that chapter of her life.

Spencer Elden

The iconic naked baby on Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover? That’s Spencer Elden. As a young child, he became an unintentional rockstar thanks to the photo, but his feelings about it have evolved. Initially embracing his unique role in music history, Elden recreated the cover photo as an adult, got a “Nevermind” tattoo, and even appeared on talk shows.

However, by 2021, the picture took on a darker meaning for Elden. He sued the surviving members of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain’s estate, the photographer, and record labels, claiming the image constituted child exploitation and pornography.

He argued that Grohl and others profited off his naked image. While the lawsuit was initially dismissed, an appeals court revived it in 2023, keeping the legal battle ongoing.

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

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