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BOOK REVIEW: Foo Fighters: Learning to Fly by Mick Wall

| 19 November 2015 | 1 Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Foo Fighters: Learning to Fly by Mick Wall

Hatchette Australia
October 2015
Paperback, $32.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Music Biography


Foo Fighters - Learning To Fly by Mick Wall

Mick Wall pulls no punches when analysing the career of indie rock mainstays Foo Fighters: from the very first page (after the introduction) Wall asserts with admirable confidence that “The Foo Fighters as a BAND is only a notional idea. Something that only exists in your head. There is only one real Foo Fighter and his name is Dave Grohl.” It’s true to a certain extent, and accordingly, this book is more the story of Grohl and those who have orbited around him, than it is solely about his band.

To tell the story of Dave Grohl, of course, you have to tell the story of Nirvana – and he does so for over a third of the book. After all: no Nirvana, no Foo Fighters.

Wall’s story is as thorough and riveting as it is readable: we all love an underdog, someone who came from adversity to make something good of himself, and Dave Grohl is “the nicest man in rock” TM, right? After all – everyone says so!

So LEARNING TO FLY is at its most intriguing when Wall states his argument that Grohl’s nice-guy schtick and career trajectory is far more calculated and even mercenary than anyone had previously supposed.

Don’t worry though Grohl fans: Dave comes out of Wall’s book as a thoroughly likable guy still, just one with a more deliberate path than the nearly-bumbling Mr Nice Guy his public persona may suggest. I won’t spoil Wall’s arguments for suggesting this, but I can attest that they make a very interesting read.

Category: Book Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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