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Table of Contents

The Storyteller
EditionInternational Edition
ISBN0063076098, 978-0063076099
Posted onOctober 5, 2021
Formatpdf
Page Count384 pages
AuthorGary Chapman

The Storyteller Summary

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music: The #1 New York Times Bestseller

Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities (“It's a piece of cake! Just do 4 hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!”) I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand.

The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I've recorded and can't wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child.

This certainly doesn't mean that I'm quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it's like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician.

From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters…the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.

About the Author

DAVE GROHL is a 16-time Grammy-winning musician and 2-time Emmy-winning director.

Grohl has been one of the most beloved and respected figures on the international music scene since his recorded debut with Nirvana on 1991's generation-defining Nevermind. Grohl took center stage with Foo Fighters' 1995 self-titled debut, the first album in the massive 12-Grammy-winning catalog that now includes The Colour & The Shape (1997), There Is Nothing Left To Lose (1999), One By One (2002), In Your Honor (2005), Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007), Wasting Light (2011), Sonic Highways (2014), Concrete and Gold (2017) and, most recently, Medicine at Midnight (2021).

Grohl has a well-earned reputation as a prolific collaborator: His various endeavors have included “Cut Me Some Slack,” written and recorded with Paul McCartney and Grohl's Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear; Them Crooked Vultures, formed with Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones and Queens of the Stone Age's Joshua Homme, late legends David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, as well as Mick Jagger, Neil Young, Elton John, Nine Inch Nails, Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen, to name a few.

In 2013, Grohl made his debut as a feature director/producer with the acclaimed documentary Sound City. Named for the Van Nuys CA studio where Nirvana recorded Nevermind in 1991, which would sell more than 30 million copies and transform the modern musical landscape. Premiering to unanimous raves at Sundance and achieving a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, Sound City focused both on the history of the legendary studio and on the ongoing fight to preserve the human element of music. 

Hailed by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone as an “exhilarating documentary about what makes life worth living,” by The New York Times as “candy to several generations' worth of rock fans” and NPR as “a celebration of just how unbelievably awesome it is to make rock music for a living,” Sound City has since been certified as a Gold Longform Video by the RIAA, while the Sound City—Real To Reel companion album took the 2013 Grammys for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media and Best Rock Song (“Cut Me Some Slack”). 

Grohl also directed the eight-part HBO docuseries Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, which premiered in October 2014 and went on to win two of the four Emmys for which it was nominated (outstanding sound mixing for nonfiction programming and outstanding sound editing for nonfiction programming). Described by Grohl as a love letter to the history of American music, Sonic Highways was comprised of eight one-hour episodes, each chronicling the creation of one song on Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways album, each written and recorded in a different American musical landmark — Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. 

The Storyteller Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Sometimes I forget that I’ve aged. My head and my heart seem to play this cruel trick on me,
deceiving me with the false illusion of youth by greeting the world every day through the idealistic, mischievous eyes of a rebellious child finding happiness and appreciation in the most basic, simple things.


Though it only takes one quick look in the mirror to remind me that I am no longer that little boy with a cheap guitar and a stack of records, practicing alone for hours on end in hopes of someday breaking out of the confines and expectations of my suburban Virginia, Wonder Bread existence. No. Now my reflection bears the chipped teeth of a weathered smile, cracked and shortened from years of microphones grinding their delicate enamel away. I see the heavy bags beneath my hooded eyes from decades of jet lag, of sacrificing sleep for another precious hour of life. I see the patches of white within my beard. And I am thankful for all of it.


Years ago, I was asked to perform at the 12-12-12 HurricaneSandy relief concert in New York City. Held at Madison SquareGarden, it featured the Mount Rushmore of rock and roll lineups: McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Roger Waters, and countless other household names. At one point, I was approached by a promoter who asked if I would join some of these most iconic artists in the green room to take photos with some fans who had donated large sums of money to the cause. Honored to be involved, I happily obliged and made my way through the maze of backstage

corridors, imagining a room full of rock and roll history, all standing in an elementary school photo formation, nothing but leather jackets and British accents. As I entered, I was surprised to find only two of the performers, standing at opposite ends of the space. One had the shiny appearance of a brand-new luxury car. Perfectly dyed hair, spray tan, and a recently refurbished smile that had the look of an afresh box of Chiclets (an obvious attempt at fending off the aging process, which ultimately had the adverse effect, giving the appearance of an old wall with too many layers of paint).

The other had the appearance of a vintage, burned-out hot rod. Wiry gray hair, deep lines carved into a scowl, teeth that could have belonged to George Washington, and a black T-shirt that hugged a barrel-chested frame so tightly, you immediately knew that this was someone who did not give one flying fuck.
Epiphany may seem cliché, but in a flash, I saw my future. I decided right then and there that I would become the latter. That I would celebrate the ensuing years by embracing the toll they’d take on me.

That I would aspire to become the rusted-out hot rod, no matter how many jump-starts I might require along the way. Not everything needs a shine, after all. If you leave a Pelham Blue Gibson Trini Lopez guitar in the case for fifty years, it will look like it was just delivered from the factory. But if you take it in your hands, show it to the sun, let it breathe, sweat on it, and fucking PLAY it, over time the finish will turn a unique shade. And each instrument entirely differently. To me, that is beauty. Not the gleam of prefabricated perfection, but the road-worn beauty of individuality, time, and wisdom.


Miraculously, my memory has remained relatively intact. Since I was a child, I have always measured my life in musical increments rather than months or years. My mind faithfully relies on songs, albums, and bands to remember a particular time and place. From seventies AM radio to every microphone I’ve stood before, I could tell you who, what, where, and when from the first few notes of any song that has crept from a speaker to my soul. Or from my soul to your speakers. Some people’s reminiscence is triggered by taste, some people’s by sight or smell. Mine is triggered by sound, playing like an unfinished mixtape waiting to be sent.

The Storyteller Table of contents :

  • Endpapers
  • Title Page
  • Dedication
  • Contents
  • Introduction: Turn It Up
  • Part One: Setting the Scene
  • DNA Doesn’t Lie
  • The Heartbreak of Sandi
  • The Scars Are on the Inside
  • Tracey Is a Punk Rocker
  • John Bonham Séance
  • Part Two: The Buildup
  • You’d Better Be Good
  • Sure, I Wanna Be Your Dog!
  • Every Day Is a Blank Page
  • It’s a Forever Thing
  • We Were Surrounded and There Was No Way Out
  • The Divide
  • Part Three: The Moment
  • He’s Gone
  • The Heartbreaker
  • Sweet Virginia
  • This Is What I Wanted
  • Part Four: Cruising
  • Crossing the Bridge to Washington
  • Down Under DUI
  • Life Was Picking Up Speed
  • Swing Dancing with AC/DC
  • Inspired, Yet Again
  • Part Five: Living
  • Bedtime Stories with Joan Jett
  • The Daddy-Daughter Dance
  • The Wisdom of Violet
  • Conclusion: Another Step in the Crosswalk
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author
  • Copyright
  • About the Publisher

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For More Biography Books

The Storyteller

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

The Storyteller

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The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music: The #1 New York Times Bestseller

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Author: DAVE GROHL

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