“The Storyteller” Reminds us That Our Heroes are Human Too (And a Note on an Untimely Death)


William Polk, Staff Writer

 It’s not everyday that you can find an autobiography about your rock and roll hero. Many are dead, or have someone else write it for them, but “The Storyteller” by Dave Grohl is authored by himself and tells the story of his life in a way that keeps you on your toes, and, even when reading it rather than listening to the audiobook, it feels like he is reading it to you. The ability to write like you are sitting down and having a conversation is a unique voice that I hope to reciprocate in my own writing when appropriate, and this book is a peak example of that. 

The story itself starts back in Dave’s hometown, where he did his first bands and learned to play drums on pillows in his living room. Listening to records with drums that moved his soul, he eventually started his own bands, eventually auditioning for a band that he had looked up to for years. Then he eventually lands his space in Nirvana with Kurt after his other band broke up, and tells the story of living with Kurt, his fish, and dollar corn dogs, to the fame of Nirvana that blew up. Then, of course, to his stellar career in the Foo Fighters. The book also touches on his personal life such as his close relationship to his mother, and the family he built and made on his own. This book motivated me to remember that even through rough times, there is a more pleasant ending if you work through it.  

This book also was a good read on a personal level. For years I have looked up to Dave Grohl like an icon, a man above the rest, “My Hero,” if you’ll excuse the pun. This book showed me that our heroes are people too who all go through hard times, and good times too. It showed me that even our heroes are human. And that is a reminder that I think many people need to remember. They don’t have superpowers. They need time. They need grace. If Dave Grohl can survive on one dollar corn dogs, then I can do something small like get out of bed in the morning, or take care of myself.

I want to end this review with a passage on the passing of one of Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters bandmates. Recently, He was found dead in his apartment, seemingly from an overdose on the 10 different substances in his system. Taylor Hawkins was a man I looked up too as well in my learning of drums and it’s heartbreaking to hear of his passing. Hawkins had an impact on drumming that many did not, as he made drum beats that, while slightly complicated, many could learn without reaching the likes of TOOL. Yet, more importantly, Taylor played drums that were fun, and it showed. Many drummers can struggle to have a presence on stage, but Hawkins was in the music. When I saw them live, I saw that he cared about the music. And his years of living and unfortunate passing inspires me and countless others to move forward and enjoy our music.   

“The Storyteller” by Dave Grohl gets 5/5 Guitar Picks from me. Pick it up at your local bookstore or online. Have fun reading!