Published Apr 29, 2020Dave Grohl's series of Instagram true stories have seen him nearly blow up friends and family and jam with Prince, and he's now returned to recall a number of encounters with David Bowie — including a time the late icon told the Foo Fighters frontman to "fuck off."
"David Bowie provided an indelible addition to the soundtrack of my life from an early age," Grohl wrote. "His first live album, David Live was on regular rotation in my living room when I was a kid, and his classic track 'Suffragette City' was quite a hit at the backyard parties I played with my nerdy high school band in the early '80s (I sang the 'Hey Man!' background vocals with the best pre-pubescent shriek I could possibly squeeze out of my skinny little neck)."
When it came to the Thin White Duke's aforementioned request, Grohl recalled being asked to write a song for a "big budget, major motion picture" around the time Bowie returned with 2013 album The Next Day.
"I was hesitant to do a 'solo' track," Grohl recalled, "but I had a ripping instrumental that I'd been sitting on for ages, just waiting to complete. Maybe I could record the instrumental, and have another artist sing, I thought....You see where this is going, right?"
Grohl then got in touch with Bowie collaborator and producer Tony Visconti, who told him that he would pass along the demo. After "what seemed like an eternity," Bowie returned Grohl's inquiry via email, ultimately turning down the request.
Grohl reflected: "As disappointed as I was...I immediately responded with a brief note saying, 'Hey man, thank you for listening to the song…I hope that you're well, and let me know if you'd ever like to make music together sometime. Love, Dave' Short, sweet, to the point. Not wanting to take up any more of his time, I hit send with a smile."
The Foos frontman only had to wait a minute for a Bowie response to hit the inbox. Grohl opened it to find Bowie had written, "Well, that's settled. Now fuck off."
"My smile immediately went from that of a cat having an afternoon nap on a warm afternoon, to the shock and horror of your first prostate exam," Grohl wrote, adding that he didn't know if Bowie "was seriously telling me to eat shit and die" or whether his wishes were "just another wicked example of his acerbic wit."
Upon some continued joking over email, Grohl recalled how "the relief washed over me like a glorious baptism... knowing that David Bowie did not actually wish for me to 'fuck off' (or maybe he did, but in the nicest way possible, and even that was an honor)."
You can read more recollections of Grohl's "Life with David Bowie" below.
When he hasn't been writing these true stories, Grohl has been rescheduling Foo Fighters tour dates and performing musical tributes to frontline workers.