It wasn’t until Foo Fighters were a going concern that it became clear how prolific a collaborator Dave (The Nicest Man In Rock™) Grohl really was. Of course he’d been involved in stuff before joining Nirvana. I’m not going to pretend to be cool enough to have known who Scream were before DG got famous (I knew who The Scream were before John Corabi joined Mötley Crüe but that’s for another day).
While he was with Kurt (or certainly before he transitioned from ‘The Drummer In Nirvana’ to ‘Dave from Foo Fighters’) he popped up on a fair few other releases. One of them that seems to have slipped between the cracks a little these days is the alternative all star soundtrack album to a little movie about the early days of a rock and roll band who don’t get a lot of love here on Steve For The Deaf. The ones who didn’t grow up to be The Rolling Stones.
The Backbeat Band reads like a Fantasy Football Team draw for coolest band in the world. Dave from Soul Asylum as Paul, Greg from The Afghan Whigs as John, Thurston from Sonic Youth and Don Flemming from Gumball (no me either) on guitar, R.E.M’s Mike Mills on Bass (I mean this is ridiculous now) and Dave from Nirvana on Drums. If that’s not enough for you Henry bloody Rollins turns up to do the Elvis number. Yes. Henry Rollins doing Elvis. How’s that for a band?
All the songs they play are the rock and roll standards The Fab Four would have covered in their Hamburgeyburg (see the movie) days.
It’s a great film about friendship, growing up and knowing when to leave the gang and get with the girl of your dreams.
It’s a sensitive portrayal of The Fifth Beatle and it’s also the movie I saw on repeat in a Spanish cinema in 1994 when I was a little worse for wear and couldn’t find my way home. I payed for one ticket at the All Night Cinestar Madrid and watched Backbeat 4 times in a row until the metro started running again.
Money was the lead single from that movie (“the best things in life are free”) but the best song in a scene has to be the brilliant take on Please Mr. Postman (“deliver the letter the sooner the better”)
Dave Grohl, the best drummer The Beatles never had.
Only read on if you’ve seen the movie…
Here’s the link to that Henry Rollins bit I mentioned. It’s also the end of the movie so, you know Spoilers