Book Review: This is a Call

IMG_0167Title: This is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl

Author: Paul Brannigan

Publisher, Release Date: Da Capo Press, February 5, 2013

Pages: 416

Rating: 9.2/10

This was an easy one to decide on because not only is it a music biography, it’s a music biography about an artist whose music I thoroughly enjoy: Dave Grohl.

You see, I’m not a music nerd by any means. I enjoy it a and that’s pretty much it. I don’t know the history of it nor do I sit around theorizing over what would’ve happened if so-and-so left this band for that or what present-day punk rock would sound like had a band like Nirvana (or songs like “Louie, Louie” by The Kingsmen or even “Rock Lobster” by the B-52s) never existed.

Author Paul Brannigan’s biography about Grohl, aptly titled This is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl, is a well-written history of the influences and experiences that shaped Grohl’s musical journey as well as his influence on music itself, which is a pretty large one. Brannigan is the former editor at Kerrang!, which is the world’s biggest weekly music magazine.

This book educated me on the beginnings of punk rock, turned me on to bands I had no idea and/or forgot Grohl was a part of (Them Crooked Vultures, Queens of the Stone Age), and understanding who influenced a lot of the bands I enjoy listening to today, new and old.

Grohl’s self-taught talent and indescribable passion for music knows no bounds, and this book does a damn good job of describing this in detail. It starts with his days growing up in Springfield, Virginia and ends 400+ pages later still wanting to know more about the impact music had on Grohl and the impact he’s had on music. It’s a quick read, depending of course on how fast you read and retain the info on who the hell influenced who.

Nirvana influenced much of this book, and rightfully so. Their place in music lore is already well-documented, so I’m not gonna go into it any further.

DID YOU KNOW? Foo Fighters’ first album, “Foo Fighters,” was recorded in one week in October 1994, with Grohl on vocals AND all instruments. I guess you could say he was the only Foo Fighter back then. Pretty amazing.

For the record, in my humble opinion, Foo Fighters’ seventh album, 2011’s “Wasting Light,” is their best.

And if you are looking as to how this ties in to the whole dad-blog thing, not that that dictates what I read, Grohl is a dad to two daughters.

Next Book: The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy

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