Dave Grohl Reveals Surprising Song He Wrote With Nirvana In 1994


When Krist Novoselic came on stage at Foo Fighters’ show this week in Eugene, Oregon, Dave Grohl discussed Nirvana’s final recording session in January 1994. While it’s been known for years that Grohl and Novoselic recorded several demos and song ideas before Kurt Cobain showed up to record “You Know You’re Right,” Grohl revealed on stage that had the ‘idea’ for the Foo Fighters classic “Big Me” during the session.

“Back in the day, I had this song that I thought might be kind of cool. We were in our friend Barrett’s studio – no we weren’t, we were at Robert Lang’s studio. It was Bob’s Bunker, that’s right, and we had nothing to do all day long. I was like, ‘I got an idea.’ And we recorded this song together, it wound up on the first Foo Fighters record. It’s called ‘Big Me.’”

Gillian Gaar’s definitive May 2004 MOJO article lifts the lid on exactly what was recorded by Grohl and Novoselic (via Live Nirvana):

Dave w/Echoplex: This song features Grohl and Bailey. (2) The song resulted from an idea sparked when Bailey plugged a Theremin into an Echoplex tape machine to show the
spluttering sounds it produced. (2) Bailey recalls: Dave really liked it and jumped behind the drums to play along. Part of playing the Echoplex involved abruptly changing the
timing of the echo which was difficult to jam to. We didn’t spend time to work out a concept and the best stuff may have happened before Adam hit the record button!

New Wave Groove: Three takes were recorded of this song, which features guitar, bass and drums. The first two takes run for about seven minutes and a shorter version was also
recorded. Lang recalls: We took a direct line off Krist’s bass and probably miked a cabinet to get that funky bass sound. (1) The melody to New Wave Groove can be heard in Bill Hill Theme and Final Miracle on the Touch Soundtrack. (5)

New Beat/In Cars: This song has a similar new wave feel to it as New Wave Groove. It uses the same riff throughout. Two versions were recorded: one with the bass playing the
melody, the other the guitar. (1)

Chris w/Acoustic: This song features Novoselic on guitar and has been described by Bailey as having somewhat of a Bo Diddley signature riff. Grohl accompanies on the drums.
Lang recalls: I remember thinking, What kind of vocals are they going to put to this? (1)

February Stars: This early version of February Stars appears under the working title Dave/Acoustic + Voc. It features alternate lyrics and the sounds of a kitten
mewing at the very start (the cat was a stray that had wandered into the studio whilst recording!). Novoselic features on a harmonium. According to Bailey Novoselic’s harmonium
playing really made the song… and was my favorites of the entire session. (1)

Exhausted: The song is complete and virtually identical to the version that appears on the first Foo Fighters album. (1)

Big Me: The song is complete and virtually identical to the version that appears on the first Foo Fighters album. (1)

Butterflies: Gaar gives no details about the song. Cross refers to it as Butterfly and asserts that it is a Cobain composition. He adds it was laid down without
vocals and not completely formed. (4) However, according to Gaar this is not the case; Cobain had left the studio by the time this was recorded. (1)

French Abortion: This was one of Novoselic’s songs. Two takes were recorded, neither of which features vocals. One take is almost nine minutes long whilst the shorter
one features a harmonium and mandolin. (1)

Skid Mark: According to Gaar this one-and-a-half minute song is just a pop joke. It features Grohl shouting skid mark for its short duration. (1) According to Charles Cross, who refers to the song as Skid Marks, and Jim DeRogatis, this is a Cobain composition. (4) (6) According to Gaar this is not the case, as Cobain had
left the studio by this point. (1) DeRogatis has described the song as oddly funereal, mostly instrumental lounge-music tribute to stained underwear. (6)

Thrash Tune: According to Gaar this is just a brief burst of noise. (1)