It’s insanely rare for anyone to find success in a multi-platinum band. It’s even more impossible to do that twice with two different bands. But most people aren’t Dave Grohl.
The guy has obviously been in two of the biggest bands of the past thirty years, so he’s clearly pretty well-off in the ‘ol piggy bank department.
That said, Grohl came from humble beginnings and didn’t get a taste for the “high life” until Nirvana struck gold. Before then, he spent years sleeping on floors and playing in squats and VFW halls with punk bands.
He got his first taste for punk & drumming as a teen, starting off in bands like Brain Damage and Mission Impossible in the mid-80’s, with Grohl being just a young 16-year-old still in high school.
At the time, he took influence from many now-legendary punk/hardcore bands from the era, including Bad Brains, VOID, D.R.I., Minor Threat, and Naked Raygun.
Directly before Nirvana, he lived the vagabond van life in the seminal act Scream, trading in pretty much all of life’s comforts for a sleeping bag and a hard floor.
So when Grohl actually got paid for playing music a few years later in Nirvana, it was a pretty big deal at the time to him. In a conversation with Howard Stern, Dave explained what he did with that first meaningful check:
“I’m such a fucking idiot, Howard. You have no idea. When I was a kid… you know what, I think a lot of fucking rock musicians do the same thing.
My mother was a public school teacher. We never have any fucking money. I didn’t have money for a BB gun, or a Nintendo, or any of that shit.
So when I finally got $400 bucks, to me, that was like winning the fucking lottery. What I did was I went and I bought all the shit that I didn’t have when I was a fucking kid.
And then one week later, I’m back to the fucking corn dogs for 99 cents, like what the fuck was I thinking?” Clearly, Grohl’s paychecks would get a bit bigger as Nevermind ushered in their short and bittersweet reign as global kings of music for a few years there before Kurt’s tragic passing.
Fortune and fame clearly (and thankfully) haven’t made Dave forget his humble beginnings, though, as he’s been in the news just as much recently for giving his time and money to food banks as he has to his music. All hail good guy Dave Grohl.