Dave Grohl pulled a lot of stuff when he was a kid. At this point, the Foo Fighters singer’s mom knows most of it, but during their appearance on The Late Show on Wednesday night (Apr. 26) to promote her new boo, From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars, Dave dropped a few more gems on his momma as he told host Stephen Colbert what a veteran the former public school teacher has become at rocking it.
“She’s been on tour more than most rock moms I know,” said Grohl. “She’s perfectly comfortable on the road. I give her a laminate, play a gig and come back to the dressing room and she’s having a beer with Green Day.” The book doesn’t just draw from Virginia’s experience, but also interviews a number of mothers of other pop-music superstars, including Pharrell, Amy Winehouse, Dr. Dre, Haim, Michael Stipe, Adam Levine and (yes) Geddy Lee from Rush. They share their stories of joy and sadness, a topic Virginia Grohl touched on near the end of the Late Show segment when the subject of late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain came up.
In addition to bringing along the requisite embarrassing childhood picture of Dave to show Colbert, Virginia Grohl also explained to Colbert that she didn’t necessarily think her son was going to be a rock star when he grew up, only that he’d do something in music. “I knew really early that he was going to be an entertainer,” she said. “I have a feeling that some of you have it in your blood somewhere that you just start being goofy… and silly and making people laugh and that’s what he was.”
Virginia also shared a sixth grade report card in which Dave got failing grades for respecting authority, courtesy, accepting responsibility, exercising self-control and exerting effort, among other fails. Regardless to say, school was not for little Dave and so he dropped out at 17 to hit the road, which he’s never left. Though he was pretty good on tour, Grohl did reveal to his mom that when he came back home he had an elaborate scheme for sneaking her Ford Fiesta out of the garage that involved wrapping the clanky keychain in a towel and pushing it down the hill before turning the engine on.
Things got a bit more serious, though, when Colbert noted that in the book Virginia says the first rock mom she met was Cobain’s, asking if the Nirvana leader’s suicide changed her relationship with her son and what it means to be a rock mom. “I think it did,” she said. “It was such a dark, sad time. David came home after that so we all sort of had to regroup. We talked a lot… We’ve always been able to say everything to each other. But that was a particularly sort of incredible time. It’s hard to express.”
Watch the full interview below: