SXSW 2013: Dave Grohl recalls his classic-rock roots

Photo by Brantley Gutierrez

Photo by Brantley Gutierrez

By Chris M. Junior

Before he discovered punk, and long before he helped the alternative-rock scene reach the masses, Dave Grohl got his rocks off from listening to many of the classic artists who had ruled the radio for decades.

Not long into his South by Southwest keynote address on March 14, Grohl thanked Edgar Winter for allowing “Frankenstein” to be included on a mid-1970s hits compilation that, as a youth, the future Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters leader purchased at a drugstore.

“It was this record [that] changed my life,” he said, subsequently doing a verbal simulation of the instrumental’s main riff.

Grohl also referenced his Kiss albums and Rush posters; once he began playing music, he covered material by David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. To much laughter from the huge keynote audience, Grohl recalled being a high schooler in Virginia and playing the early Rolling Stones hit “Time Is on My Side” at a nursing home.

More recently, another classic artist provided him with a nonmusical memory — Bruce Springsteen, who laughed when Grohl informed him of his 2013 keynote assignment. Springsteen gave the SXSW keynote in 2012.

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