David Bowie Also Turned Down a Dave Grohl Collaboration
It shouldn't come as any big surprise that Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Pat Smear are David Bowie fans, especially following their tribute with Beck to the late rock icon last weekend, but to retrace Bowie's L.A. years with them is another thing all together.
In a new video for Playboy, the rockers -- who first joined forced in Nirvana in 1993 when Smear was recruited as the band's second guitarist -- drive around Los Angeles reminiscing about Bowie and providing plenty of entertainment.
One revelation: Like Coldplay, Dave Grohl was turned down by the legendary Bowie. "About two years ago, I got approached by this movie to do a song for the movie, so I thought, 'Maybe I'll have someone else sing, I'll do the music and then have another vocalist.' And then I thought, "Maybe I'll ask and see if David would want to do it.' So the next day I get an email and it says, 'David, I watched the movie and I got to be honest, it's not my thing.' He said, 'I'm not made for these times.'"
Grohl said he thanked Bowie for the correspondence, which ended with this line from Bowie: "Alright, now that's settled then, fuck off." The Foo Fighters frontman said he couldn't tell if Bowie was serious or joking.
As for the tour, Smear is the real guide of the two, having lived in Los Angeles in the 1975 and 1976 while Bowie lived in the city for a now somewhat mythological year recording and releasing Station to Station, reportedly living on a diet of cocaine, peppers and milk. The former guitarist of the seminal L.A. punk band the Germs recalls basically stalking Bowie one day with his future bandmate Darby Crash, who once left lyrics for Bowie on his car windshield and received a note in response supporting him to continue with his music.
Smear also reveals how he and Kurt Cobain decided to cover Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" for Nirvana's famed MTV Unplugged concert and album, essentially deciding they needed a cover and Cobain saying he wanted to cover Bowie, while Smear suggested the The Man Who Sold the World title track after spotting the record in his bandmate's vinyl collection.
Later, the duo visit the legendary glam club-turned-art gallery Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco and then the 10 minute segment ends over lunch at the famed Rainbow Bar & Grill. There, Grohl recalls performing at Bowie's 50th birthday party at Madison Square Garden -- the last time he saw Bowie -- and a odd email exchange that followed.
Watch the video here: