In her new book From Cradle to Stage, Dave Grohl’s mother Virginia shares a a story that took place shortly after the 9/11 attacks that she watched from her home just minutes from Washington, DC. Grohl’s children, including her famous son, wanted her to come to California following the attack, but it was a challenge to find a ride (via Relix).
“I tried to enlist a friend to accompany me, but her responsibilities would keep her in Virginia,” she writes. After bailing on the idea of leaving, Dave called her up with an idea.
“A short time later David called back. ‘Mom, can you be ready in two hours? I’ve found a tour bus.'” That tour bus pulled up holding just one passenger–former Gov’t Mule tour manager Matt Busch (who reported on this meeting for Jambands.com in 2001). “We got on the highway and headed east. We were driving to the outskirts of New York City where the final passenger, Warren Haynes, would board.”
The bus headed west with its first stop in Denver where Gov’t Mule was attempting to kick off their tour on September 14th. “Four disparate souls, confused by the chaotic events of the day, driving out of harm’s way to further uncertainty.”
The bus ride seemed to prove therapeutic, as Grohl recounts the four strangers swapping stories and consoling each other in troubling, emotional times. When the bus pulled up to Denver, Grohl and the bus driver Barney decided to hang around for Mule’s show, where Virginia got a crash course in the world of jambands. “I later realized that some of their remarkable hospitality was chemically induced,” she jokes when discussing the overwhelming friendliness of the crowd at the show. “I was in the midst of swaying, gyrating fans, not the jumping-bean Foo Fighters fans I was used to. It felt like what I imagined a Grateful Dead reunion would be.”
While Virginia, Haynes, Busch and Barney parted ways in Denver, they would meet again a few days later as Gov’t Mule stopped in Hollywood, CA for a show at the House of Blues. Virginia attended and this time brought her rock star son, who sat in on the final song of the night with Warren and Mule–“Rockin’ in the Free World.”
Grohl closes the chapter with a fitting summation of the fateful meeting: “Unforgettable.”