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Published on October 3rd, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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Should we be worried about Dave Grohl? This reader thinks so.

Last week this site featured a post on Dave Grohl’s pre-show ritual drinking habits. It was based on this interview.

This prompted Mike Schwartz, a Foos fan and musical wellness authority, to write this in response.

If it was you, you’d likely be fired. But for Dave Grohl, it’s just part of the gig. The music business is a strange environment. As a CHEK Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Nutrition Coach and Certified Personal Trainer, my role as the Trusted Authority of Musician Wellness means I work very hard to clean up the stigma of what it actually looks like to be a successful artist in this industry. It’s been my mission for nearly four years to educate, inspire and help other artists achieve a level of personal and professional development they thought only existed in a magical place like Narnia. I’m an artist myself: professionally touring, writing and recording as a drummer for the past decade, so I’m cut from the same cloth. I get it.

However, Dave Grohl, one of my now former heroes and someone who I would consider a role model for young, developing artists has gone and thrown a grenade in the wardrobe. I thought something sounded fishy when a friend of mine posted on Facebook his disappointment about the Foos having to reschedule their show back home in Calgary last month because Dave was on vocal rest…hmm… makes sense now.

Last week we were graced with Mr. Foo Fighter’s insight on how to succeed in the music industry. Ironically enough, I was speaking on the topic of Mental Health and Wellness in the Music Industry at the Folk Music Ontario Conferences in Mississauga, Ontario. I opened up my email and found an article in Alan’s Cross’ Newsletter that left me feeling sick to my stomach. On a recent radio interview for 95.5 KLOS Dave gave us the dirt on his pre-show ritual with the Foos, but if you’re paying attention and reading between the lines, what we really got was a cry for help. My professional opinion is that Dave is dealing with a lot of pain. If you haven’t seen the video yet, the three minutes will blow you away. I read the transcript last week and I couldn’t believe it. I had to dive in deeper to see the interview for myself. What I watched was …well… really disappointing.

Keep reading.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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6 Responses to Should we be worried about Dave Grohl? This reader thinks so.

  1. Ashling says:

    Completely disagree with Schwartz.

    A little recap: Dave Grohl has performed thousands of shows. He is one of the most consistent and hard working ‘rock stars’ in the world. His talent is boundless and, based on what I’ve observed, he is just a good and nice person. Because he has a few drinks to loosen up before a show, Schwartz feels that’s enough to condescend and berate him, suggesting he is a ‘pained’ man? Those are some deep and personal insights to develop from a 3 minute clip. No jumping to conclusion there.

    Get off your high horse, Schwartz.

  2. jsoms says:

    As soon as I saw “Holistic Lifestyle Coach’ I said “This guys a dick and knows nothing”

  3. As a fan, not a musician, I was watching Foo Fighters a few months ago , and I was thinking pretty much the same thing. As an avid fan I look at their newer photos and videos every week and you can see massive decline in Dave’s skin color, energy level during interviews, and general demeanor.

    I mention those because my dad died when he was 63 and his decline looked exactly like Dave Grohl’s.

    Also, he’s mentioned sweating so much and it having a “cat piss” smell, and off-handedly saying it must have been the Jager with a side glance and a far away look for a quick second.

    Yeah, so there’s no doubt in my mind that Dave Grohl is drinking too much to be healthy, but I wouldn’t want to venture that he’s an alcoholic. I think some people can just party that hard and get away with it, even at the age of what, nearly 50?

    I also thought about his fitness level. It’s obviously fantastic as anyone can see in any show he’s done anywhere recently….and yet…he’s a wee bit slower in the personality than previously. Something I especially noticed in some recent video where he stepped in as a drummer for some kids doing a live remake of some song. (It wasn’t worth remembering details, which is odd for me as a fan.)

    Bringing me to my final thought…in that I have a severe issue with the people closest to him for not dealing with this. What kind of family and friends ya got there, Grohl? Surely they recognize the visual symptoms alone?

    Sadly, millions of fans adoring him around the world, crossing everything they’ve got hoping he’s not our next Chris Cornell. I mean, we as fans desperately don’t want that to happen, but I think the people IMMEDIATELY SURROUNDING HIM might be too afraid to tell him that – even his kids.

    And is he being pressured by someone to push this hard? Nobody would have blinked twice if the Concrete & Gold concert had been shorter from the getgo rather than losing 2 performances after Seattle went down. Hell, I would have rather had more music videos out of the deal than suuuuuper long sets and a one-foot-in-the-grave frontman after Cal Jam.

    I sure wouldn’t have said anything to my dad when he was drinking too alcohol and smoking too much, but as an adult, I sure as hell wish I WOULD have asked him to stop. Or at least asked him why he was sad when everyone wasn’t looking.

    So yeah, it’s not just you.

  4. Lisa Stafford says:

    As a fan, not a musician, I was watching Foo Fighters a few months ago , and I was thinking pretty much the same thing. As an avid fan I look at their newer photos and videos every week and you can see massive decline in Dave’s skin color, energy level during interviews, and general demeanor.

    I mention those because my dad died when he was 63 and his decline looked exactly like Dave Grohl’s.

    Also, he’s mentioned sweating so much and it having a “cat piss” smell, and off-handedly saying it must have been the Jager with a side glance and a far away look for a quick second.

    Yeah, so there’s no doubt in my mind that Dave Grohl is drinking too much to be healthy, but I wouldn’t want to venture that he’s an alcoholic. I think some people can just party that hard and get away with it, even at the age of what, nearly 50?

    I also thought about his fitness level. It’s obviously fantastic as anyone can see in any show he’s done anywhere recently….and yet…he’s a wee bit slower in the personality than previously. Something I especially noticed in some recent video where he stepped in as a drummer for some kids doing a live remake of some song. (It wasn’t worth remembering details, which is odd for me as a fan.)

    Bringing me to my final thought…in that I have a severe issue with the people closest to him for not dealing with this. What kind of family and friends ya got there, Grohl? Surely they recognize the visual symptoms alone?

    Sadly, millions of fans adoring him around the world, crossing everything they’ve got hoping he’s not our next Chris Cornell. I mean, we as fans desperately don’t want that to happen, but I think the people IMMEDIATELY SURROUNDING HIM might be too afraid to tell him that – even his kids.

    And is he being pressured by someone to push this hard? Nobody would have blinked twice if the Concrete & Gold concert had been shorter from the getgo rather than losing 2 performances after Seattle went down. Hell, I would have rather had more music videos out of the deal than suuuuuper long sets and a one-foot-in-the-grave frontman after Cal Jam (if he makes it to that.)

    I surely wouldn’t have said anything to my dad when he was drinking too much alcohol and living with his candle burning at both ends, but as an adult, I sure as hell wish I WOULD have asked him to stop. Or at least asked him why he was sad when everyone wasn’t looking, or what was missing that the booze fixed for him.

    So yeah, it’s not just you.

  5. UncleAuzzie says:

    A music industry health & safety officer? *rolls eyes*. I saw them last month in Vancouver & it was a great show. I’d like to see the author tell Lemmy (god bless him) to put down his jack & coke. lol.

    • Duck says:

      Not that I disagree with the eye-roll, I actually think that this “holistic whatever-he-wants-to-be-called” sounds like a total idiot… but I gotta be THAT guy… Lemmy (yes, god bless ‘im) switched to Vodka-OJ in 2015 for health reasons

      \m/- -\m/

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