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This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl

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This Is a Call , the first in-depth, definitive biography of Dave Grohl, tells the epic story of a singular career that includes Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and Them Crooked Vultures. Based on ten years of original, exclusive interviews with the man himself and conversations with a legion of musical associates like Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh This Is a Call , the first in-depth, definitive biography of Dave Grohl, tells the epic story of a singular career that includes Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and Them Crooked Vultures. Based on ten years of original, exclusive interviews with the man himself and conversations with a legion of musical associates like Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, DC punk legend Ian MacKaye, and Nevermind producer Butch Vig, this is Grohl's story. He speaks candidly and honestly about Kurt Cobain, the arguments that almost tore Nirvana apart, the feuds that threatened to derail the Foo Fighters's global success, and the dark days that almost caused him to quit music for good.Dave Grohl has emerged as one of the most recognizable and respected musicians in the world. He is the last true hero to emerge from the American underground. This Is a Call vividly recounts this incredible rock 'n' roll journey.

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This Is a Call , the first in-depth, definitive biography of Dave Grohl, tells the epic story of a singular career that includes Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and Them Crooked Vultures. Based on ten years of original, exclusive interviews with the man himself and conversations with a legion of musical associates like Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh This Is a Call , the first in-depth, definitive biography of Dave Grohl, tells the epic story of a singular career that includes Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and Them Crooked Vultures. Based on ten years of original, exclusive interviews with the man himself and conversations with a legion of musical associates like Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, DC punk legend Ian MacKaye, and Nevermind producer Butch Vig, this is Grohl's story. He speaks candidly and honestly about Kurt Cobain, the arguments that almost tore Nirvana apart, the feuds that threatened to derail the Foo Fighters's global success, and the dark days that almost caused him to quit music for good.Dave Grohl has emerged as one of the most recognizable and respected musicians in the world. He is the last true hero to emerge from the American underground. This Is a Call vividly recounts this incredible rock 'n' roll journey.

30 review for This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl

  1. 5 out of 5

    Phil Simon

    I agree with another reviewer's three-star rating of this book. While well written and researched, I really wish that the book contained more of an inside peek into Grohl's motivations. Also, as previously pointed out, the book starts out slowly and tends to gloss over the last five years of Foo Fighters' history. I agree that Nirvana is an important band and I enjoyed learning more about Grohl's role in it. Still, Grohl has spent more than five times as long in FF as he did in Nirvana. I feel a I agree with another reviewer's three-star rating of this book. While well written and researched, I really wish that the book contained more of an inside peek into Grohl's motivations. Also, as previously pointed out, the book starts out slowly and tends to gloss over the last five years of Foo Fighters' history. I agree that Nirvana is an important band and I enjoyed learning more about Grohl's role in it. Still, Grohl has spent more than five times as long in FF as he did in Nirvana. I feel as if the emphasis of the book should have been less about Grohl's environs and more about the man himself. This is an interesting read and I blew threw it in four days. It's just that a book with this title should primarily focus on the man, not on the DC punk scene and the inner workings of Nirvana, a band whose history has been well documented in other books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    VegasGal

    It's unfortunate when a book gets so bogged down with other unecessary information it gets to be a chore to read... and it clearly doesn't have enough stories about the original purpose to sustain an entire book so it needed to rely on other stories to attempt to dazzle the reader. I normally don't rate books I couldn't finish, but this particular book wasn't all that good in the 58% of it that I did manage to trudge through, so I thought it needed a rating. If you don't mind minimal facts/stori It's unfortunate when a book gets so bogged down with other unecessary information it gets to be a chore to read... and it clearly doesn't have enough stories about the original purpose to sustain an entire book so it needed to rely on other stories to attempt to dazzle the reader. I normally don't rate books I couldn't finish, but this particular book wasn't all that good in the 58% of it that I did manage to trudge through, so I thought it needed a rating. If you don't mind minimal facts/stories about Grohl himslf, and lots more about the punk scene, Cobain and various other stuff, then read this book, otherwise it's probably best to hold your ponies for another Grohl bio and skip this one.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Burgin

    Paul Brannigan was the renowned editor of Kerrang! magazine between 2005 and 2009. He then went on to write a short book on sayings from Lemmy of Motorhead. This is probably where Paul Brannigan should stay - writing short articles and books. Although only 353 pages long, this book seemed to drag on. It was more of a history to punk and music from the early 90's to today, than an autobiography of Dave Grohl. It was very interesting to read about the music industry, but it seems that Paul cannot ge Paul Brannigan was the renowned editor of Kerrang! magazine between 2005 and 2009. He then went on to write a short book on sayings from Lemmy of Motorhead. This is probably where Paul Brannigan should stay - writing short articles and books. Although only 353 pages long, this book seemed to drag on. It was more of a history to punk and music from the early 90's to today, than an autobiography of Dave Grohl. It was very interesting to read about the music industry, but it seems that Paul cannot get out of the editorial mode by listing every artist, in every group (name dropping as much as possible) and then giving the history behind lyrics in every song on every record. He had the habit of getting side tracked into some music trivia and then realising that he had to get back to the biography. By which time a couple of years may have passed and you end up jumping backwards and forwards in time. I thought that I had missed a couple of pages when Paul started talking about Dave going on stage with his wife and daughter on the sidelines. It wasn't until the next chapter that you were told about him getting married. This book can probably be recommended for hard core Nirvana or Foo Fighter fans, who will wallow in all of the trivia. If Paul had stuck to the biography and told Dave's story alone, I feel that it would have pulled together better and would not have felt like a chore to finish.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    I'm a big Dave Grohl fan (I have a picture of him hanging in my hallway and asked the wife if 'Grohl' could be our young son's middle name. She didn't think I was serious) and received this book as a present from the aforementioned missus. I read a bit, but initially found it a bit smug and kind of 'I know Dave', 'one time Dave said to me' and 'I think that Dave' blah, blah, blah. I put it down and consigned it to the doom of being tucked 'just under the bed'. Then, one day, I treated myself to a I'm a big Dave Grohl fan (I have a picture of him hanging in my hallway and asked the wife if 'Grohl' could be our young son's middle name. She didn't think I was serious) and received this book as a present from the aforementioned missus. I read a bit, but initially found it a bit smug and kind of 'I know Dave', 'one time Dave said to me' and 'I think that Dave' blah, blah, blah. I put it down and consigned it to the doom of being tucked 'just under the bed'. Then, one day, I treated myself to a soaky bath and wanted something to read while I shrivelled. So I grabbed this book and continued from where I left off. As I said, I'm a Dave Grohl fan. As well as following his career since Nirvana as closely as possible (including seeing the Foos some 7 or 8 times live), I've also read numerous books on Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, the Foos and Dave himself, as well as Wikipedia entries and so on. Where this book differs, for me, is that because it is written by a journalist, it answers the 5 Ws all journalists should answer (Who did What, Where, When and Why) and it adds in How too. And so rather than just say, Dave decided he liked punk and then he decided to play drums and then he got in a group and then got in Nirvana, this tells us more about why that happened. The music scene around where he grew up, the characters that went with it and the other people along the way. Yes it diverts off at some length about this band or that, or this person and them, and they have seemingly little relevance to the Dave Grohl of today, but the truth is they had an impact on him then and helped him on the course that fans of him today find him. Having made my way through what is a rather lengthy tale, I find that I have pretty much followed his entire life - surely the purpose of a biography - until present(ish) day. Yes, the actual contribution from Dave Grohl himself in terms of quotes is limited, but the research, additional quotes and contributions from others helps to tell the story. Those who have read this will remember that Dave is quoted therein stating that he doesn't want to put his whole self on display. "I want to save a bit of me for me," he is quoted as saying. Therefore, we're highly unlikely to ever see an autobiography or maybe even an 'authorised' biography of him. As substitutes go, This Is A Call: The Life And Times Of Dave Grohl is an exceptional alternative.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    I've been stalled for a month now. I seriously skipped a chunk of the history of punk rock. Don't get me wrong, I like punk rock and music in general, but I kinda wanted to read about Dave Grohl. I get that he likes music, but do I need to understand how some band in DC formed to understand that Dave liked them and went to see them in concert?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a nice present from my brother and his wife for Christmas, and I finally got around to reading it!! Though I loved what I was reading, it still took me a fair while to get it done, which seems strange. But anyway...this is not the kind of book you should read if you're not interested in music. Maybe you're interested in Dave Grohl, maybe you've got a little crush on the purported "nicest man in rock" (though the man himself disputes he's this ALL of the time)...but if you're wanting to This was a nice present from my brother and his wife for Christmas, and I finally got around to reading it!! Though I loved what I was reading, it still took me a fair while to get it done, which seems strange. But anyway...this is not the kind of book you should read if you're not interested in music. Maybe you're interested in Dave Grohl, maybe you've got a little crush on the purported "nicest man in rock" (though the man himself disputes he's this ALL of the time)...but if you're wanting to read 400 pages about Dave, this isn't the book for you. This is definitely a good read for anyone who loves rock music and is interested in the history of certain genres in America (and elsewhere, for that matter). The book has a great focus on the punk/hardcore scene of Washington D.C., since that's what Dave Grohl grew up on so to speak. It also touches on other areas like, naturally, grunge, and also the underground (or overground in the case of Metallica) metal scene. It does tell Dave's story, from humble beginnings to where he is today. And it was news to me that Foo Fighters had had such dramatic moments in their history. I guess I've lost the desire to stay totally on the pulse with my favourite musicians' personal lives - I was really into that as a teenager, but the phase has passed me by - so I didn't pay attention to any of this stuff while it was actually happening. One thing that Dave Grohl hasn't lost, it seems, is his utter enthusiasm for life, for music, etc. He's gotta be just a little bit ADD, surely? hehe I loved how the book ended, with that scene with Dave, Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic revisiting some "mouldy oldies". What I would have given to be in or near that room while that particular jam session was going on! Anyway, in conclusion this is a great read for anyone who's enthusiastic about music in general. Not just Dave Grohl. But it does help if you're interested in his story! And yes, Kurt is mentioned a lot. For other people apparently this was a problem, but for me, who hasn't read any Nirvana or Kurt biographies (or hardly any biographies at all, really), it wasn't a bother at all.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carla Coulston

    Hubby and I were slightly deflated to discover this was an 'unauthorised' biography; however, the disppointment was short-lived as it became evident the depth of personal insight Paul Brannigan has into the mind and heart of one of our favourite rock identities... not to mention his iron grasp of the nuances of rock history in general. More than just an insight into Dave Grohl, this book more than ANY other single rock biography I've read (and I've read MANY) gave a unique overview of the alterna Hubby and I were slightly deflated to discover this was an 'unauthorised' biography; however, the disppointment was short-lived as it became evident the depth of personal insight Paul Brannigan has into the mind and heart of one of our favourite rock identities... not to mention his iron grasp of the nuances of rock history in general. More than just an insight into Dave Grohl, this book more than ANY other single rock biography I've read (and I've read MANY) gave a unique overview of the alternative/ punk/rock music scene through the 80's-00's. It's like Brannigan stands on top of a stack of amps and gives you a bird's eye view of how all our favourite bands - from Metallica to Mudhoney, Pixies to Sonic Youth, Aerosmith to ACDC - all interconnect. Through this book I "got" the geneology of it all like never before: who influenced who; how hardcore birthed heavy metal, birthed rock, birthed punk, birthed grunge, and how the whole thing comes full circle again. A really, really engaging book which left me with a lot of respect both for Dave as an artist and Brannigan as a peerless rock writer.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Clint

    I really had nothing against this book, the first half was really great about growing up in the American early 80s punk scene, which is my favorite, more than the 70s in New York or the British scene. I never knew Dave Grohl was such a fucking rocker! However, not being a really huge fan of Nirvana or Foo Fighters, there was a lot of stuff in the last half of the book I didn't know enough about, like particular albums and songs, and the drama of the Foo Fighters in-fighting, etc. And the writer I really had nothing against this book, the first half was really great about growing up in the American early 80s punk scene, which is my favorite, more than the 70s in New York or the British scene. I never knew Dave Grohl was such a fucking rocker! However, not being a really huge fan of Nirvana or Foo Fighters, there was a lot of stuff in the last half of the book I didn't know enough about, like particular albums and songs, and the drama of the Foo Fighters in-fighting, etc. And the writer is a LITTLE too worshipful, like falling all over himself about some lyric that seems pretty normal to me. If I had written this book I would have gone apeshit over Probot and the energetic live shows (did anyone see that show in Austin recently where "Kiss Guy" got on stage and just ripped it apart on Dave's guitar? It's on youtube, watch it, it's pretty badass.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lani

    I made it to 10%... This read like a really long magazine article instead of the unauthorized biography it was meant to be. I learned more about the type of music and bands Dave Grohl liked than anything interesting about him. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that he writes his own book. For some reason Foo Fighters hate Tampa, well Florida in general, so I will never see them live! Am I bitter about that? Yeah, but they still remain my #1.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Librariasaurus

    Starts out really slow and is totally cluttered by all the DC punk scene history, this is one of the better unauthorized music bios I have read. Dave Grohl is a pleasure to read about simply because he rocks. He's not the typical rockstar but at the same time can still express modesty at being labelled the nicest guy in rock. There were moments in this book where I found myself laughing out loud at Dave's fan boy antics when meeting members of the bands he loved growing up and also moments where Starts out really slow and is totally cluttered by all the DC punk scene history, this is one of the better unauthorized music bios I have read. Dave Grohl is a pleasure to read about simply because he rocks. He's not the typical rockstar but at the same time can still express modesty at being labelled the nicest guy in rock. There were moments in this book where I found myself laughing out loud at Dave's fan boy antics when meeting members of the bands he loved growing up and also moments where I thought "wow, this guy is actually human, just a regular dude who happens to front one of musics biggest contemporary acts" I recommend this to Foo fans, nirvana fans, punk fans and music fans in general. This is a bio you simply cannot go past. I had anticipated a deluge of Nirvana, with this bring an unauthorized bio, but Brannigan has managed to pepper the right amount throughout. The closing lines of the book were fantastic, truly bringing the book home and showing the Dave really is still just a punk from Virginia.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Krista McCracken

    This is a Call was an interesting read, and did provide bits of inside into the life of Dave Grohl. However, it is clear that this is not an authorized biography, the book is packed with 'filler.' Brannigan describes at lengths the development of the US punk-rock scene, which though interesting doesn't directly focus on Grohl. Sometime it seems as though only a few lines in a single chapter actually relate to the person the biography is about (eg. The introduction of Nirvana in the book). Overal This is a Call was an interesting read, and did provide bits of inside into the life of Dave Grohl. However, it is clear that this is not an authorized biography, the book is packed with 'filler.' Brannigan describes at lengths the development of the US punk-rock scene, which though interesting doesn't directly focus on Grohl. Sometime it seems as though only a few lines in a single chapter actually relate to the person the biography is about (eg. The introduction of Nirvana in the book). Overall, the book wasn't a bad read -- but it felt more like bits of rock journalism stitched together, than an in-depth biography.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brad Sorensen

    I love the Foo Fighters, Nirvana, and Dave Grohl. I can't get enough. I was excited when I heard about this book. The first 100 pages were a disappointment as the authors just name drops every punk band that ever existed and there is next to nothing about Dave Grohl, even though it is allegedly a biography. But then it gets good. The Nirvana section is captivating. And the Foo Fighters section goes album by album with in-depth information and reviews. It was great for a junkie like me. My only q I love the Foo Fighters, Nirvana, and Dave Grohl. I can't get enough. I was excited when I heard about this book. The first 100 pages were a disappointment as the authors just name drops every punk band that ever existed and there is next to nothing about Dave Grohl, even though it is allegedly a biography. But then it gets good. The Nirvana section is captivating. And the Foo Fighters section goes album by album with in-depth information and reviews. It was great for a junkie like me. My only quibble is the author's assertion that One by One is the weakest Foo Fighters album. Hogwash! It's in the top three without question.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A book about Dave Grohl (even an unauthorized book about Dave Grohl) should not be this plodding and dull. Grohl is one of the feel-good rockers of this generation, and he deserves a lively biography. But Brannigan's insistence on filling pages with a peripheral history of punk rock stops this story dead in its tracks and takes the focus (far) off Grohl.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lise

    This book really needed some editing. It's a dogs breakfast, jumping backwards and forwards in time and reading like the author just put every single fact about Dave Grohl on the page as soon as it appeared in his head. Much better article in the Good Weekend a year or so ago. Disappointed. Just glad I waited and got it from the library and didn't buy it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Denny

    Paul Brannigan states early in the book that it is not an authorized biography of Dave Grohl, and he means it. If you're looking for an actual biography of Dave Grohl, look elsewhere or wait for the authorized bio. This Is a Call is the history of the rise of punk/hardcore/metal rock music as only a journalist who's spent a lifetime chronicling it can tell it. It just happens to have plenty of quotes from and biographical anecdotes about the gifted, hard-working, and highly talented Dave Grohl an Paul Brannigan states early in the book that it is not an authorized biography of Dave Grohl, and he means it. If you're looking for an actual biography of Dave Grohl, look elsewhere or wait for the authorized bio. This Is a Call is the history of the rise of punk/hardcore/metal rock music as only a journalist who's spent a lifetime chronicling it can tell it. It just happens to have plenty of quotes from and biographical anecdotes about the gifted, hard-working, and highly talented Dave Grohl and the parts that he and the various bands of which he's been a member have played in that history. I checked This Is a Call out because I thought it was a Dave Grohl biography; I have been a fan of his since the first Foo Fighters album came out and have only grown to like and respect him more as his career developed. I so like Dave & the Foo Fighters that I recently took my 12-year old daughter to see them in concert, her first, and it was a wonderful evening for us. Despite it not being a real biography, though, I was not at all disappointed in the book. It is well-written, interesting, entertaining, and compelling, at times even hard to put down. And I found very few typos & grammatical errors, which always makes me happy. If you're into punk/metal/hardcore music and are interested in its history, you'll definitely like This Is a Call. The Dave Grohl bits are simply a bonus.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Honorata

    It has 3 stars from me just because it's Dave. Sadly, getting through this book was more like a daunting task than a pleasure. Lots of unnecessary info, too many loose ends. Very detailed description of Nirvana era and punk scene but whole lot of stuff skipped about Foo Fighters and Dave's life. And from what I assumed before I picked this book up, it was supposed to be about him.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Craig Ryan

    A book that went into too much detail about non-Dave things at the start. Whilst I appreciate the history of that bands that inspired Dave, I wanted to know more about his motivations. I enjoyed reading about Nirvana, TCV and Foos - although felt the book glossed over the Foo Fighters in a sense given how long they have been in existence.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joel Bradshaw

    A sweeping history of the history of punk rock to alt rock as traced by the whirlwind path of Dave Grohl, this book certainly ventures out of the strict boundaries of a Dave Grohl biography, but I loved it wholeheartedly. To tell the story of a man who has been making music since age 12, released his first demo at 15, rose to prominence drumming in Nirvana, and then went on to lead his own phenomenally successful band, and jumps in on side projects with some of the biggest names in rock for the A sweeping history of the history of punk rock to alt rock as traced by the whirlwind path of Dave Grohl, this book certainly ventures out of the strict boundaries of a Dave Grohl biography, but I loved it wholeheartedly. To tell the story of a man who has been making music since age 12, released his first demo at 15, rose to prominence drumming in Nirvana, and then went on to lead his own phenomenally successful band, and jumps in on side projects with some of the biggest names in rock for the hell of it, you've got to cast a wide net. It helps that I skimmed reviews here first, and was therefore prepared for a heaping side of music history with my main serving of Dave Grohl anecdotes, but I rarely found myself disinterested in any of the "auxillary" notes. He spends plenty of time savoring the various albums and acts that Dave intersected with, and his day job as a music writer is fully apparent, but Brannigan does a good job of tying things back together before too long, and especially for someone like me who knows next to nothing about the environment that forged Grohl's musical sensibilities, they help tell the tale very well. I was a glad to find that the reviewers that complaints about Brannigan's dwelling on Nirvana at the expense of the Foo Fighters were a bit overblown, in my opinion. Numbers-wise, the book is pretty evenly chunked into three sections: pre-Nirvana, Nirvana, Foo Fighters. So by pages-per-year, Nirvana does get about twice the coverage of Foo Fighters, but I didn't feel like I missed anything. Nirvana and his pre-Nirvana years are pretty important chapters in Grohl's story, and those chapters are closed. Foo Fighters is a story that's still being told, and frankly, it's not as dense in significance and interesting stuff as the first couple phases. We'll get the Foo Fighters bio in a decade or two, but at this point, I think the balance was very well handled. So anyway, I came away from this book loving Dave Grohl even more than I did - it's a fantastic portrait of a fascinating man, and simultaneously same time a sweeping history of rock in all of its incarnations, with the two threads intertwining to tell each other's story. If you really don't like music criticism, or are going to get bored reading about things that aren't directly related to Grohl, you might want to skip it, but if you think you have space in your reading schedule for some punk rock history along the way, it will be well worth your while.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Valdis Reķis

    Deivs tiešām ir "the nicest guy in rock". Nevaru sagaidīt koncertu!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    This is not your typical biography in that Paul Brannigan chooses to spend as much time discussing the eras of music that are Dave's influences and his history as he does Dave's actual life. This actually is a good thing, in Dave's case, because of his wide variety of influences and is a reflection upon the various times in the life of Dave. Brannigan's background in the music industry gives him a bit of an inside track into understanding what makes Dave tick. I was amazed to find little tidbits This is not your typical biography in that Paul Brannigan chooses to spend as much time discussing the eras of music that are Dave's influences and his history as he does Dave's actual life. This actually is a good thing, in Dave's case, because of his wide variety of influences and is a reflection upon the various times in the life of Dave. Brannigan's background in the music industry gives him a bit of an inside track into understanding what makes Dave tick. I was amazed to find little tidbits of music history in the D.C. punk scene that I never knew, to understand the real origins of Nirvana and to get even deeper into the Foo Fighter's story that their recent documentary only touched upon. If you're a fan of Dave and the Foos, devour this. If you liked the Seattle scene of the the early 90's, check it out. If you are a fan of American punk music, do yourself a favor and read this. This was so good, I will need to buy my own hard copy. My hat's off to Brannigan for giving me an even better appreciation of Dave and all the music I love.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    Well written, full of information, though it's somewhat the wrong kind of information. Punk rock history, the beginning and end of Nirvana. Details about the various things that happened to the Foo Fighters over the years... this book is supposed to be about Dave Grohl! For much of the book it felt like it was about everything BUT him. It gets better as we get closer to present day, but it still doesn't delve into the life of the man like I'd hoped. But, I guess having read it I now know why - h Well written, full of information, though it's somewhat the wrong kind of information. Punk rock history, the beginning and end of Nirvana. Details about the various things that happened to the Foo Fighters over the years... this book is supposed to be about Dave Grohl! For much of the book it felt like it was about everything BUT him. It gets better as we get closer to present day, but it still doesn't delve into the life of the man like I'd hoped. But, I guess having read it I now know why - he's just not that kind of guy. He likes to keep his personal life very personal. Once I adjusted to the fact that the book wasn't quite what I'd hoped, I got into it and did enjoy it. I don't consider reading it to have been a waste of time, but if you're looking to find out more about Dave Grohl the man, I don't think this book is for you.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Constadina

    I really liked this book and I liked the fact that it's not only about Dave Grohl's life but it also describes the music scene that took part when a certain song/album was created which gives it a better and deeper understanding. I honestly don't know how I survived the part where Kurt died :'( I swear when it was coming towards the end of Nirvana I almost didn't want to continue reading cause I knew what was coming and I caught my self tearing up a few times...Anyway this book is a really good r I really liked this book and I liked the fact that it's not only about Dave Grohl's life but it also describes the music scene that took part when a certain song/album was created which gives it a better and deeper understanding. I honestly don't know how I survived the part where Kurt died :'( I swear when it was coming towards the end of Nirvana I almost didn't want to continue reading cause I knew what was coming and I caught my self tearing up a few times...Anyway this book is a really good read for those who want to know more things about Dave Grohl,Nirvana, Foo Fighters and punk rock in general!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bwgauci

    Was a decent read but found it to be a little bloated in the sense that Brannigan would basically review each record Grohl has been involved in. You could tell Brannigan is a big Grohl fan himself so it was difficult to read without constantly knowing that this is just a love letter to Grohl. Was expecting something gritty and behind the scenes but got a pretty generic book. Decent but I won't be recommending it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I'm a huge fan of Dave Grohl but I was a little let down by the book or had too high of expectations. Since this was an "unauthorized" biography, most of the interviews and quotes had been previously published in various media outlets. There is a great line in the beginning that says only a handful of people know the real Dave Grohl. Unfortunately this book does not get anywhere close to letting us into the select few.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jody

    Brannigan follows Grohl from Teenage punk through Nirvana to the surprising highs and lows if the Foo Fighters and beyond. A great read that reveals a passionate man where it counts his music and his family. Best read whilst listening to the Foo Fighters and Nirvana back catalogue! A great love story about music and Dave Grohl!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Straka

    It took me eight months to read, but I just wanted to nurse it and didn't want it to end. It was amazing. I'm a huge fan of Dave Grohl's, and I loved reading about him. I'm really glad I own a copy of this so I read it again and again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Macpherson

    The author seemed to be trying to show how much he knew about grunge with occasional references to Dave Grohl. Hard going but I just kept skipping pages until I saw Dave Grohl's name again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dean Woolf

    Originally published in 2011, at the end of this fascinating piece of musical journalism I found myself asking the obvious question: “Why did it take me over six years to pick this book up?” As a Foo Fighters fan - and someone vaguely familiar with Grohl’s other work such as Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures - I was naturally excited to get to the latter part of this book and the songs I knew well. But I was pleasantly surprised at how accessible (and captivating) the fir Originally published in 2011, at the end of this fascinating piece of musical journalism I found myself asking the obvious question: “Why did it take me over six years to pick this book up?” As a Foo Fighters fan - and someone vaguely familiar with Grohl’s other work such as Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures - I was naturally excited to get to the latter part of this book and the songs I knew well. But I was pleasantly surprised at how accessible (and captivating) the first two thirds of this book were to someone who knew nothing more about Grohl’s early days than a few tracks from Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’. Initially heavy-going (what with the music industry lingo and obscure punk rock references), ‘This is a Call’ develops quickly into one of the best biographies I’ve ever read. Kicking off with a whistle-stop tour of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s underground punk scene in DC and Virginia (gold dust for the uninitiated!) this book manages to cram so much into 350 pages. While its primary concern is “the life and times of Dave Grohl”, Brannigan manages to acquaint readers with a host of key influences, major players and lifelong friends of Foo Fighters’ frontman. What’s more, his critiques and analyses of Grohl’s back catalogue, coupled with those of other industry experts, serve to shed new light on all the songs you thought you knew. It has everything you’d expect - Grohl’s early years, first bands and rise to fame with Nirvana; then on to the trials of success and the hunt for musical direction in the wake of tragedy. But though Grohl’s work has been well documented over the years - even to the most casual of fans - there are still surprises and nuggets of detail that help to build readers’ understanding of ‘the nicest guy in rock’. Not many biographies have you racing from page to page; but this one will. Just let it warm up first! It’ll take a good 75 pages to get used to the journalistic approach and the punk rock references (if you don’t have prior experience) but it’s worth it! Here’s hoping that Brannigan publishes a follow up to cover Grohl’s work after Foo Fighters’ sensational 2011 album ‘Wasting Light’.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Connor O.

    The book This is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl, by Paul Brannigan, is an interesting autobiography about the Nirvana drummer and frontman of the Foo Fighters. This book talks about the life of Dave Grohl from before and after he was famous. There was an important lesson about life decisions and sacrifices that you make if you want to achieve your goals. It was shown when he chose to go into music after being heavily inspired by the hard rock and punk rock of the 1970’s. This made him The book This is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl, by Paul Brannigan, is an interesting autobiography about the Nirvana drummer and frontman of the Foo Fighters. This book talks about the life of Dave Grohl from before and after he was famous. There was an important lesson about life decisions and sacrifices that you make if you want to achieve your goals. It was shown when he chose to go into music after being heavily inspired by the hard rock and punk rock of the 1970’s. This made him want to start playing guitar, so he started on an old acoustic that his father never used and taught himself how to play. Then as he got better, he started a punk band with some of the neighborhood kids called “Freak Baby”. As he played with them, Dave started to take up an interest in playing the drums. While at first he wasn’t amazing and his bandmates suggested he should go back to guitar, he still played it anyway. The more he played the drums the better he got. He ended up becoming an amazing drummer and had the chance to tour with a new band that recruited him called Scream. Dave however had to make a choice. Should he finish high school or go on tour with the band? In the end, he chose to drop out and tour with the band. Later on, he was soon recognized by Kurt Cobain and ended up joining the band Nirvana, launching his career into mega stardom. This showed that he had to make a huge sacrifice and in the end chose what he wanted to do with his life. That demonstrated that sometimes people in life need to make sacrifices in order to achieve the goals that they have in life. This book not only inspires me as a reader but also as a musician. It made me want to research more bands from the Seattle grunge era. I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves music or has a specific dream that they want to achieve.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    Well, you can't say that this account of Dave Grohl's life and musical career through its publishing in 2011 is not exhaustive - other than the fact that Grohl himself is only included from past interviews with the author, rather than from direct current contact. That wrinkle aside, Brannigan - a journalist who counts himself as a friend of Grohl's over the years - does an admirable job of recounting in significant detail almost everything of significance in Grohl's life and music from his child Well, you can't say that this account of Dave Grohl's life and musical career through its publishing in 2011 is not exhaustive - other than the fact that Grohl himself is only included from past interviews with the author, rather than from direct current contact. That wrinkle aside, Brannigan - a journalist who counts himself as a friend of Grohl's over the years - does an admirable job of recounting in significant detail almost everything of significance in Grohl's life and music from his childhood on. Most of the information here has been covered at some point through various documentaries and articles, but the thoroughness of Brannigan's account is unparalleled as far as I can tell. He includes Grohl's early punk years and a lot of context from the DC punk scene; the years leading to Nirvana; the Nirvana years; early Foo Fighters; and all of his side projects. There are times I really appreciated this detail, although there were times that I wished that there were a few more narrative shortcuts available, so to speak. It just got to be a lot after a while, interesting though it was. And I'm not entirely sure that Brannigan made any conclusions about how and why the events in Grohl's life made a difference to him (or at least any large conclusions; he did make a few comments along the way); then again, it seemed as though he felt that it was his place to give the details, not to make those conclusions for us. All in all, this book is a great read, whether you're a fan of Grohl's or of music of the 80s and 90s in general. I think there are more stories to tell, however, and I hope that Grohl himself writes some of his stories into a future book.

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