October 11, 1990: Dave Grohl Plays First Nirvana Gig

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Dave-GrohlOne thing you can sometimes say for the modern world: significant events, even if they may not seem so at the time, are often fully documented. Hence we not only know that Dave Grohl’s first show as the drummer for Nirvana was at the North Shore Surf Club in Olympia, WA, but there’s also a video of it (see below).

Growing up in Springfield, VA outside of Washington, DC, Grohl started playing guitar at age 12. The next year he spent the summer with relatives in Evanston, IL, where his cousin Tracy turned him onto punk rock, taking the young teen to his first live show: Naked Raygun at The Cubby Bear club in Chicago.

Grohl played guitar in a few local bands during his high school years and taught himself drums, an admirer of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. At 17 he auditioned for the drum slot in the DC-based band Scream and was hired. He spent the next four years touring with Scream, recording two studio albums and a few live releases. Along the way he became friends with the members of the Seattle band The Melvins.

Melvins guitarist Buzz Osborne took Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana to a Scream show in San Francisco. On hearing Grohl play, Cobian said, “That’s the kind of drummer we need.” When Scream broke up, Grohl called Osborne about what to do next. The Melvins singer told him that Nirvana were looking for a new drummer.

Nirvana flew Grohl to the Pacific Northwest in late September 1990 and auditioned him. As Novoselic later recalled, “We knew within two minutes that he was the right drummer. He was a hard hitter. He was really dynamic. He was so bright, so vital, so hot. He rocked.”

Today, of course, Grohl is singer, guitarist and songwriter with his band Foo Fighters. He was born January 14, 1969, putting him ever so closer to 50.

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