40+ Best The Storyteller Quotes by Dave Grohl

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We have compiled a list of quotes from The Storyteller by Dave Grohl for you to read.


Part One: Setting the Scene

“I knew this was coming. “

“I was an animal from the Muppets, without the chops. Lenny was obviously somewhat trained, and I was in awe of his feel and control. “

“I felt like I was signing my own death warrant. Please don’t let me be next, I thought. Please, god. . “

“I tentatively stood to a smattering of applause, which quickly dissipated once the people saw that I was clearly not a seasoned jazz legend, but rather a skinny suburban punk with funny hair, dirty Converse Chucks, and a T-shirt that read KILLING JOKE. “

“I handed him the money, thanked him for his time, and that was that. My only drum lesson. “

“DNA is a miraculous thing. We all carry traits of people we have never met somewhere deep within our chemistry. I’m no scientist, but I believe that my musical abilities are proof of this. There is no divine intervention here. This is flesh and blood. “

“Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, ‘Hit Me with Your Best Shot’ by Pat Benatar, and ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses were my personal faves, but during the performance, I had to stop and take in the moment. “

“But, beyond any biological information, there is love. Something that defies all science and reason. And that I am most fortunate to have been given. It’s maybe the most defining factor in anyone’s life. Surely an artist’s greatest muse. “

“I had never been in love, but I knew she was out there, somewhere. “

“I was a fucking horrible student, and I was already in the early stages of my punk rock chrysalis, having discovered the B-52s and Devo on Saturday Night Live, somehow connecting to the subversive, radical aesthetic of their music, so I was taking baby steps in the shadows. “

“I had finally found my suburban soul mate, the love of my life, the person I would grow old with someday, surrounded by litters of loving grandchildren. I had found my other half. And she had found hers. I felt like a king. A nerd god. “

“What could be more inspiring than the exposed nerves of a wounded heart. In a way, I cherish my numerous heartbreaks almost more than the actual love that preceded them, because the heartbreak has always proven to me that I can feel. “

“What if she declined the invitation. What if she didn’t want to see me. I didn’t think my heart could handle another heartbreak from Sandi. “

“I looked up as she stepped into the dressing room and shot up from my chair. It was like seeing a ghost. I gasped. I couldn’t believe it—she looked exactly the fucking same (without the Jordache jeans and feathered hair, of course). “

“Don’t you have a headache, David. Ummm. . I guess so. “

“My turn! Tae said, and he took the club from my hands, teeing up the ball for another strike. I knocked the shit out of that thing. . , I thought. “

“I always looked on the bright side and saw an injury as a day home from school. “

“I always put on my best game face, so as not to inconvenience my mother any more than life had inconvenienced her already, and I always tried to reassure her that whatever gaping wound I had suffered, it was just a scratch, no matter how many stitches were required. “

“It is an otherworldly experience, one that can be described in just two words: fucking awesome. “

“This song, which we usually reserve for the closing number, was the perfect selection to begin what would turn out to be our most unforgettable show, and we barreled through it with the excited force of a band on fire. “

“I instructed Gus to get me a tall Solo cup of Crown Royal and leaned over to my wife, taking the sleeve of her leather jacket and putting it between my teeth. “

“It was sheer joy. It was triumph. It was survival. “

“I knew what I had to do. “

“I was living a classic 1980s John Hughes coming-of-age film without realizing it, aesthetically and emotionally. “

“She proceeded to show me the massive record collection next to her turntable stereo. “

“This underground network somehow existed entirely outside of the conventional, corporate structure and defied the ordinary manner of manufacturing and distributing music. This was uncharted terrain, seriously foreign territory, and my stomach was in knots with nervous anticipation. “

“I had never been to a live concert before. After all my years of watching MTV and staring at the KISS and Led Zeppelin posters on my bedroom walls, I foolishly thought that bands performed only on giant stages with smoke machines and massive displays of lasers and pyrotechnics. “

“Turns out, Tracey herself was the singer in a punk rock band named Verboten, and they had already recorded some original songs and played live gigs around Chicago. This inspired me even more, seeing a kid even younger than myself stepping out and following his dreams. “

“I sat quietly and meditated, trying to open myself to the universe and receive some sort of divine intervention, imagining that every cell in my body would be transformed and empowered, providing me with the supernatural abilities that my heroes must have had in order to transcend time and space with their music. “

“It’s hard to explain this feeling to someone who doesn’t share the same affliction. It’s similar to being possessed, I would imagine, though I can’t verify this by personal experience as of yet. “

“To me, this made perfect sense, as every musician creates his own individual feel. There is an internal rhythm that each musician follows, and no two are the same. “

“At this point in my life I was exploring mysticism and the notion that a person could become one with god or the Absolute, so I was open to investigating how that might happen (I was also exploring hallucinogens at the time), but I followed no particular creed in my selfish quest. “

“It was that unconditional faith that I meditated upon as I sat before the flickering candles of my punk rock tabernacle. I just know that today, the success I prayed for in my carport that night has found me. “

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Part Two: The Buildup

“I know them all. . , I said, in my best Clint Eastwood–catchphrase tone. “

“I couldn’t imagine that he would let a seventeen-year-old high school junior without a car who still lived with his mother try out for his band, so I did what any ambitious young rocker would do: I fucking lied and told him that I was twenty-one. “

“After another triumphant rehearsal, I started to see that my intention of jamming with Scream for bragging rights was turning into something more serious. “

“I was at a crossroads. “

“After much consideration and soul searching, I just didn’t have the courage. I politely declined, thanking them, and my life went on as I barreled ever faster down my dead-end road. “

“I’m proud of you, son. You’re a smart kid, and you’re going to do great things. I know you’ll make me proud. I’m sorry, mom. I’m sorry I’m not going to be able to graduate with you. “

“I was finally off the hook, and so was he (I seem to remember his driving a new, forest-green Plymouth Volare soon after I left school and can only conclude that the meager college fund he had set aside for me was immediately withdrawn and blown on this most pimp-ass ride). “

“Sights were set on a fall tour of America, which was to begin in October. Scream had made this six-thousand-mile lap around the country multiple times before, but this was to be my first, something I had dreamed about ever since I picked up my first instrument. “

“Historically, vans have always been the preferred and most economical mode of travel for young, independent bands that need to get from point A to point B with little to no money. From the Beatles to Bad Brains, all bands start here, or at least they should. “

“We would lie across that squeaking, quaking platform in our musty sleeping bags, reading, listening to music, laughing, farting, and passing the time any way we could on those long drives. “

“If it weren’t for Harley Flanagan, not only would there have been no show, but I probably wouldn’t have a nose or lips right now. “

“I was no stranger to Chicago of course, but I considered Detroit somewhat exotic, uncharted territory. I was living out my punk rock dream, not only meeting the faces of my record collection but now sleeping on their fucking floors. “

“The education I was getting out here on the road proved to be far more valuable to me than any algebra or biology test I had ever failed, because I was discovering life firsthand, learning social and survival skills I still rely on to this day (e. g. “

“This posed perhaps life’s greatest challenge on the road. Not only did you have to budget it into your $7. “

“The next day, Sherri was leaving town but instructed us that the leftovers were in the fridge and the weed was in the cupboard. “

“Of all the venues in Toronto, the Rivoli on Queen Street West was perhaps the coolest club in town. “

“But you guys have to clear out after soundcheck. It’s record company only. In an instant, my dreams of meeting this musical enigma were dashed. I begged. I pleaded. “

“My world was now a little bit brighter. And that was that. “

“If I’ve learned one thing in my thirty-three years of being a professional touring musician, it’s that nothing good ever comes from this question. More often than not, it’s followed by either handcuffs, a subpoena, or a swift punch in the teeth. “

“He made us feel entirely welcome, and soon our nerves turned to excited anticipation. “

“I had finally made it, even if only for one night, and it was just like I’d always dreamed it would be. Too good to be true. So, without the least bit of disappointment, I appreciated it for the beautiful experience that it was. “

“But the border crossings were always interesting. . imagine the delight of a customs official when a gang of young punks would pull up in a van bearing Netherlands license plates (big red flag) and filled with guitars and amplifiers (bigger red flag). “

“But perhaps it was this life of instability that made Skeeter abandon us the first time. “

“Los Angeles was always the highlight of every tour, not just because of the obvious bells and whistles that came along with a few days in hairspray heaven, but because we had family there: Pete and Franz’s sister, Sabrina. “

“Slumming is not a word that comes to mind. “

“I raced upstairs and inquired about who owned this glamorized minibike. “

“Night after night I followed this routine, waking up every morning in my sleeping bag on the living room floor with my eyes practically swollen shut from the dust and dirt of the canyon roads, back to the reality of being a mud wrestler’s stray pet. “

“I had always been in this together, all for one and one for all, and we had overcome so much shit. “

“I still drive past that old house, that sinking ship in Laurel Canyon, almost every day, and as the years have passed it has slowly collapsed under its own weight, disappearing under the surface in time. I felt a loss that I had never experienced before. “

“Believe me, these are not the words you want to hear from a man drilling a needle full of black ink a thousand times per second into your skin as you desperately try to endure the burning pain of being permanently branded without screaming like a newborn. “

“Unclean doesn’t even begin to describe the carnage within. “

“I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger. “

“I now understand the importance of hard work, thanks to her. “

“I curated quite a collection of these little blurred memoirs all over my body. “

“Lesson learned. The season turned dark, and homesickness began to set in. “

“Kurt was remarkably prolific, seeming to have a new song idea almost every week, so there was always a feeling of forward motion, never being stuck or stagnant creatively. “

“The decision to sign with the David Geffen Company was a no-brainer. “

“I knew deep down that I wouldn’t be coming back. “

“There’s a bunch of dudes outside that want to fucking kill you guys. “

“The ethical crossroads is this: do you want to be a part of the problem or the solution. Do you want to be a part of the problem of the music industry, or do you want to be a part of the solution. “

“I felt a certain tug-of-war within. “

“It was the world outside of our little bubble that was changing fast: autographs and radio interviews, venues bursting at the seams, and multiple near-riots. Just days before our show at Trees, we had to abandon the stage at our Mississippi Nights show in St. “

“The countdown began. . Four songs later, after a noisy, technical-difficulty-riddled version of our otherwise gentle acoustic song Polly, Kurt snapped. All bets were now off. “

“We kicked into another cover, Shocking Blue’s Love Buzz (the first Nirvana single), and the chaos continued. “

“Little did we know, the bloodied security guard and a gang of his misfit friends were outside waiting to kill us, swift retribution for the carnage we had unknowingly brought to town. They wanted blood in return. “

“We had left our mark and made it back with the scars to prove it. In just forty days, we had gone from three disheveled young men with nothing to lose to three disheveled young men with a gold record. “

“Guess where we’re swimming today, my good friend Bryan Brown excitedly said. The house where Sharon Tate was killed by the Manson family. Let’s go. “

“Ladies and gentlemen. . Nirvana. “

“I was in Los Angeles staying with a friend in January 1991 when I first learned that Kurt was using heroin. I had never known anyone who used heroin before and knew very little about it, so I was shocked. “

“I started to have hope that we were going to make it. That Kurt was going to make it. “

“Every single aspect of life was a huge culture shock. I felt like I was truly a million miles from home. And I loved it. We had never seen anything like Japan before, and they had never seen anything like us. “

“A letter from my mother. A congratulatory note from my manager. A summons for petty crimes committed along the way. No. Even better. My first credit card. “

“The unimaginable had finally happened. I had money. I remained relatively frugal, as my father (who had gotten over the disowning) soon warned me, You know this isn’t going to last, right. “

“As we all settled into our new lives, the divide appeared again. No longer crushed together in crowded vans or shared hotel rooms for months on end, we were now free to experience the lives we had always dreamed of, for better or worse. “

“I knew basically nothing about the tangled web of busy highways that crisscrossed the massive city, so I blindly started racing through the Valley at a dangerous speed, hoping that I was moving in the general direction of at least one entrance ramp. “

“I called a cab and slithered back to Pete’s house with a black eye and my tail between my legs for another week’s stay, having completely destroyed a perfectly good Cabriolet convertible that cost only $12 a day. “

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Part Three: The Moment

“He’s gone, Dave. My knees gave out and I dropped the phone as I fell to my bedroom floor, covering my face with my hands as I began to cry. He was gone. “

“Empathy! Kurt wrote in his suicide note, and there were times where I would beg my heart to feel the pain he must have felt. Ask for it to break. “

“I learned of Jimmy’s death from the bedside phone in my Oklahoma City hotel room on the morning of July 18, 2008. “

“In a way, losing Kurt prepared me for losing Jimmy fourteen years later. “

“And the walls are finally gone. “

“Dave, there’s a phone call for you. Wait, what. Why me. The man could have any drummer in the world, and he’s calling me. It made absolutely no sense. “

“I was just twenty-five years old with a whole life ahead of me, but in many ways I felt like my life had ended too. “

“I was slowly banking what would eventually become the Foo Fighters’ repertoire. “

“This was more than just a recording session to me–it was deeply therapeutic. Beyond just picking up an instrument and feeling productive or prolific, once again I could see through the windshield rather than look in the rearview mirror. “

“I had kept my songs secret for most of my life, but now I was ready to share them with the world because I was proud of them, more so than anything I had ever recorded before. I had finally come to the surface with the exaggerated gasp of someone held underwater too long. “

“I could hardly contain my excitement, so I think I was probably giving it a little more muscle than I normally would, because the band were practically wincing from the cannon-level volume of my drums. I felt like we were a band. “

“I was proud to be his drummer in that moment–not the guy from Nirvana, but Tom Petty’s drummer. “

“The show was great. “

“I still had the restless energy of a teenager, driven to thrive in the unknown even if it was frightening at times. “

“I’m going to need some privacy, so. . nothing under four hundred acres, I said confidently. Wow! my real estate agent, Connie, replied in shock. “

“I felt liberated in a way that made me want to indulge in all the things I had been holding back from all those years. I set my sights on another, more wholesome horizon: the paradise of rural Virginia. “

“After walking through the main residence (which was a bit too similar to the White House, somewhere I know I’ll never live), we headed over to the guesthouse, where it suddenly dawned on me that this was all wrong. “

“The beauty of this was that we weren’t obligated to be a band anymore. We didn’t have to do it, we wanted to do it, proving our intention to be pure. “

“We were the rock and roll equivalent of Revenge of the Nerds compared to the bludgeoning metal of all the other acts. “

“I hid in our dressing room, for fear that I would get eaten alive. Plus, I couldn’t bear to walk to the stage and take a frightened glimpse of the certain fate that awaited us in that undulating mosh pit of leather and spikes. “

“Some people meditate, some people go to church, some people lick little frogs in the desert to find this feeling. All I needed that day was Pantera. “

“I slapped my back pocket as I would always do before pulling out my favorite green Velcro-and-vinyl wallet (Fort Knox, as it was jokingly referred to). I checked the cup holders. The center console. Under the seats. The glove compartment. Nothing. Zilch. “

“And yes, even my old driver’s license was inside. “

“One of them was Adam Kasper, a killer producer and friend from Seattle with whom I had worked before, most notably on Nirvana’s final session in January 1994. “

“What I once imagined as a state-of-the-art recording facility turned out to be a very bare-bones, no-frills arrangement, with packing foam, pillows, and sleeping bags haphazardly nailed to the walls for sound treatment. “

“Our daily routine was simple. “

“I felt a huge sense of pride that we had created this all on our own, away from the glitter and shiny lights of Hollywood. “

“Mom. . we’re having a girl. Oh, David. ,, she whispered. Oh my goodness. , she said. “

“The relationship between a father and daughter can be one of the most special relationships in any girl’s life. “

“As the months flew by, Jordyn and I began to prepare for the new baby, readying her room, shopping for all the necessary gear, and eventually settling on the name Violet (after my mother’s mother, Violet Hanlon). “

“I am happy to say that, still to this day, when we lock eyes it’s the same feeling. “

“I was soon well versed in the art of a smudgeless pedicure, how to tie the perfect ponytail, and how to identify every Disney princess just by the color of her dress. “

“Mom. . we’re having another girl. “

“What on earth would I do with a boy. “

“I love you too, David. I love you too, Dad. “

“I’ll see you down there, dude!Paralyzed, with my back against the wall of a long hallway downstairs in the White House, I couldn’t believe my ears. The president of the United States of America, George W. “

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Part Four: Cruising

“Rehearsals for the performances are held in one of the many rooms off to the side of the main stage, which undoubtedly have seen their share of history over the years. “

“I must say, I was no Bob Schieffer that night, but I did manage to pull it off without any rotten tomatoes being thrown my way, and without a single dude. I may have even gotten a smile from Madeleine Albright. “

“I thought of my father. What would he do. As a staunch Republican, he had spent decades establishing lifelong relationships with people on both sides of the aisle and could share a generous cocktail with almost anyone. “

“I was somewhat prepared, I thought, but figured that Paul and his band would most likely do all the heavy lifting anyway, so in the event that I forgot a lyric or chord, I probably wouldn’t even be in the PA. “

“I decided not to waste this moment. I decided to stop asking ‘How did I get here. ’ I was there. I told myself that I was not going to spend a second being scared or wishing I were somewhere else. “

“I had good reason to feel ambivalent about this unexpected meeting. I had never been to a psychic before. I had never seen a true psychic, for no other reason than I had no interest whatsoever. “

“I was overjoyed, and dare I say flattered, by this psychic declaration. I never had much, so I never needed much, and this living arrangement felt perfectly natural. I felt perfectly comfortable with the way things were. “

“I had goose bumps up and down my body from fear as I tiptoed quietly from one room to the next, expecting some evidence of a break-in, but I found absolutely nothing. “

“The feeling grew stronger and stronger over time, so much that I started to avoid the downstairs at any cost. And before too long the feeling crept upstairs, too. “

“I woke up knowing this was more than just another dream but continued on with my life, not letting it sink in enough to send me down the unfortunate and common rabbit hole that some UFO conspiracists never recover from, spending the rest of their days waiting for full disclosure. “

“Whether she had postcognition (the ability to supernaturally perceive past events) or an advanced form of intuition, I was totally convinced that this woman was the real deal. I was now a believer. “

“We arrived at the entrance, and the local security guards looked at us suspiciously, like we were two sunburned American tourists who had somehow stolen backstage passes from the actual Foo Fighters. “

“Blow in this, mate, the policeman said as I pulled up to the checkpoint. “

“I explained that we were on the Big Day Out tour and that we had been here for a few days, enjoying his marvelous city, hence the ridiculous scooter. Ah. . , he said. When’s the next show. “

“What’s your mother’s work address. What’s your mother’s work address. “

“I fixed my cheap tie and we headed over to the gallows for judgment day. “

“I sometimes look down to find the powerful blue aura that apparently radiates from my callused hands and wonder if it will ever help me out. “

“How old are you. the doctor asked, seeming somewhat puzzled. I’m forty, I nervously replied. And why are you here. he inquired. “

“I was overjoyed to now have two beautiful daughters and would run to any opportunity to be with them, day or night, regardless of how exhausted I was from my demented schedule of speeding from one studio to the next all day long, drinking coffee like it was an Olympic competition. “

“As if this all weren’t enough to send me to an early grave (HERE LIES DAVID ERIC GROHL. “

“Et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam, on repeat. “

“I remember the first pain. It was the day before we were to leave for the White House and I was in my hallway at home, stressing about the deafening renovation that shook the house like falling bombs, and it hit me like a knife in my rib cage. “

“I was no poli-sci major by any means, but I did join along and lend my voice to fighting for the freedom to express myself however I pleased. “

“If you guys need to use the restrooms, there’s one over there and one over there. Whatever you do, don’t go pee in the bushes. There are people in the bushes. “

“Play drums only three times a week, have a glass of wine before bed, and lay off the coffee. “

“Do you mind if AC/DC comes to dinner. “

“I felt so overwhelmed and empowered by the sheer intensity of the music, I could hardly contain myself. “

“A few days before the show, I received another text, from my good friend Ben Jaffe of New Orleans’s legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band, notifying me that he was also in town for the Grammys and looking for a party. “

“Dude. . we’re having dinner with Paul McCartney AND AC/DC! I exclaimed to Ben. You wanna come along. I knew Ben would most definitely appreciate the enormity of such an incredible chance encounter. Can I bring all the guys with me. he asked. “

“That night, I finally got to see the AC/DC that I fell in love with as a nerdy, rock-and-roll-worshipping eleven-year-old boy. “

“The night continued with more music, more drinks, more joy. It was also a reunion of sorts, with Paul and Ben reminiscing about Paul’s time in New Orleans years ago and his friendship with Ben’s late father, something that undoubtedly meant so much to Ben. “

“I cannot overstate the importance of these moments to me. I am a firm believer in the shared humanity of music, something that I find more rewarding than any other aspect of what I do. “

“He said my name. He said MY name. I nervously said hello, and he asked, Want a coffee. “

“It’s one thing to see your idols in a musical setting or context; it’s another to see them far away from the spotlight, in their natural habitat, like an animal in the wild. “

“One night in Osaka, we were informed by our tour manager, Gus, that Huey Lewis was coming to the gig. HUEY LEWIS!!! Pat exclaimed. I had never seen him so excited in all the years I had known him. “

“You never know who may appear on the side of the stage, but in those moments, you strike while the iron is hot. “

“And the next day, Mary Jane flew home to Virginia with that red silk shirt with diamonds embroidered on the collar carefully packed away in her suitcase. Yes, Neil Diamond had literally given her the shirt off his back. “

“Because I still walk through this life like a little boy in a museum, surrounded by the exhibits I’ve spent a lifetime studying, and when I finally come face-to-face with something or someone that has inspired me along the way, I am thankful. I am grateful. “

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Part Five: Living

“Hey, Harper. . hey, Violet. what’s goin’ on. “

“I was borderline obsessed in my youth, so much so that part of my seeing music is seeing individual parts of songs as blocks of LEGOs, a playful form of synesthesia that still to this day helps me memorize arrangements and compositions. “

“Pat knew Joan from his days playing in the legendary band the Germs. Pat was a punk rock kid in the midseventies and a huge fan of Joan’s first band, the Runaways, an all-girl group reared on the sounds of Bowie and T-Rex. “

“I did my best to prepare them for Joan’s arrival, hoping that it wouldn’t send them into an existential tailspin. “

“It was a show day, all right. . in Perth, Australia. “

“I immediately called my manager of thirty years, John Silva, and said, John, we have a problem. Like, a serious problem. I do have priorities. “

“You do what you have to do to get to the gig. Always. “

“The anticipation and adrenaline made the next flight a never-ending affair, but my heart was full of fatherly pride as I imagined walking into the Sportsmen’s Lodge with my two amazing daughters, one on each arm. I was never one for school dances. “

“I was on once again filled with pride knowing that, no matter what, they could depend on me. “

“I broke out in a cold sweat, staring at the seat belt light, praying for it to go off so that I could run to the bathroom and rid myself of these toxins, but the turbulence continued for what seemed like an eternity. “

“Food poisoning is a touring musician’s worst nightmare. If you have a cold, you drink hot tea. If you have a flu, you take medicine. If you have food poisoning, you are absolutely 100 percent fucked. “

“The next morning, I woke, ate a meal, and turned right back around toward the airport for the twenty-two-hour trip home. Mission fucking accomplished. “

“I firmly believe that your understanding or version of love is learned by example from day one, and it becomes your divining rod in life, for better or worse. “

“Are you sitting down. John Silva’s voice, terminally hoarse from decades of screaming orders from his cluttered Hollywood office, couldn’t have been more crystal clear in this moment. “

“I knew that she could do it. But. . could I. “

“I called John Silva, accepted the offer, and began preparations for the biggest performance of my life. “

“Of all award ceremonies, the Academy Awards is some next-level shit. Standing before the racks of clothes, I had no idea where to begin. “

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