If there was a president of rock and roll, Dave Grohl would definitely be in the running for the slot. The Foo Fighters frontman is everywhere – on the charts with Sonic Highways, on HBO with the series of the same name, in eight cities recording the album, and currently on the cover of Rolling Stone. And while he’s arguably a bit overexposed right now, he still remains one of the most relateable rock stars there is. And while the article in Rolling Stone is a long one, there’s a companion article online that features 10 things they learned while interviewing their cover subject for almost 10 hours. One of them is about how he became the “nicest guy in rock,” and he owes it all to Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell. Grohl explains:
“There was an Ozzfest in England in 1998, and Korn canceled. So we got the call. It was Slayer, Pantera and Black Sabbath. We had to go on after Pantera. I was so terrified: ‘There’s gonna be a riot. I’m gonna get drawn and quartered. No one’s going to like our band.’
“But we played, and I looked to the side. The guys from Pantera are watching us and singing the lyrics to our songs. Afterwards we made friends with Pantera. I was nervous and scared; I didn’t think I fit in. But they were so open to us. That backstage hospitality we try to have – it all came from Pantera. [Guitarist] Dimebag Darrell was the nicest fucking guy in the world. He could walk in and do a shot of Crown Royal with Justin Bieber, with Rick Nielsen, with James Brown – he was everybody’s best friend. And you could feel that energy when he was playing.
“After that day, I was like, ‘From now on, everybody’s allowed in this room. I don’t care if it’s Britney Spears.’ I became the backstage best friend. Whenever I showed up at a festival, the first thing I’d do is grab a bottle of whiskey and go knocking on doors to see who the funniest people are. You’d be surprised who the real fucking nutcases are.”
That story is a testament to how cool Dime was. Pantera could have shit all over them, but were accepting.No one has a bad thing to say about him, and to know that Grohl was and is inspired by the guitarist adds to his legend. Good to see he learned from the best.