Classic Rock

“That’s a hero. That’s not just another person”: Dave Grohl recalls friendship with David Bowie

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Dave Grohl and David Bowie in 1997; Ke.Mazur/WireImage

Dave Grohl has gotten to meet and work with most of his heroes over the years, but his interactions with the late David Bowie were among the most memorable.

Speaking to the Australian TV show 7.30, Grohl recalled the first time he ever saw Bowie in person: He was standing in the photo pit at a British festival where they were both performing, with Grohl, of course, lower down the bill.

“I stood in the photo pit and looked at him and it was like seeing an alien,” Grohl says. “You know, it was like seeing a UFO for the first time, like, ‘Oh, my God, it’s real’. That’s something I’ve never seen before.”

After Grohl ended up meeting Bowie and, later, recording a song with him, his admiration for the icon increased.

“Getting to meet him, all of that feeling coming down to Earth, realizing, ‘Oh, my God, what a gentleman!” says the Foo Fighters front man. “‘What a brilliant, sweet, kind, outrageously funny person.'”

“Watching him step in front of a microphone and begin to sing and you realize, ‘Wow, that voice – that’s real, that just comes out of his mouth, that iconic voice,’” Grohl notes. “The great thing about it is that it really humanizes everything. We’re like, ‘Wow, that’s a real person.’ It’s reassuring, but at the same time, you’re like, ‘That’s a hero. That’s not just another person. That’s David Bowie.’”

In the same interview, Grohl also recalls meeting Elton John and Paul McCartney, how he learned to play drums, and more.

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