Kurt Cobain & Dave Grohl’s Dark Similarity Revealed: ‘It Angered Me’


In a new GQ interview, Dave Grohl opened up about his parents’ divorce and tension he had with his father. Grohl’s parents divorced when he was very young, much like his Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain. Grohl’s parents divorced when he was 6, while Cobain’s split when he was 7.

During the course of GQ’s week with Grohl, when the writer asked those who have known him for years, such as Josh Homme, what it is that makes the frontman so full of energy, so full of that optimistic zeal – what translates as “nice” for so many observers – they conspiratorially whispered, “Well, you know, there is a darkness there in Dave.” A difficult relationship with his father, for example, has come up on more than one occasion as a potential reason for Dave being so, well, Dave.

“My parents divorced when I was young,” Grohl tells GQ the next day, sitting in his hotel suite. “He bailed when I was six. I guess things weren’t working out so well at home. He went to do his thing in DC and I lived with my mother in Virginia.”

Jim Grohl died in August 2014. He was a journalist, starting out as a reporter in Michigan for the Niles Daily Timesand going on to work at the Painesville Telegraph, before serving in the army in the Sixties. He ended up working as a Republican speechwriter on Capitol Hill and was also a keen flautist.

“You can imagine we had our differences,” laughs Grohl. “He was on Capitol Hill while his son was sitting in his bedroom, using a pillow as a snare drum and listening to satanic death metal. At one point he took me out of our community school and sent me to a Catholic school to try to iron out the kinks. We weren’t religious. It bewildered me, angered me at the time.”

Jim Grohl’s lectures were memorable. “They were epic. I mean a Republican speechwriter, can you imagine the dressing downs? He used to get the whole family to do articulation drills. We were given a subject and then you had to talk about a specific thing – a chair, the capital of Spain, whatever – for four minutes without any broken speech. No ‘ums’ or ‘buts’, without hesitation. It was a valuable lesson. It made me think in measured tones. If you hadn’t noticed, I have no problem getting up in front of 150,000 people and talking to them. I am never at a loss for words.”