Foo Fighters do the darndest things...
Yeah, the Foo Fighters make popular records, sell out stadiums the world over and have that kind of carefree rockstar charm that makes them hugely endearing to literally millions of fans around the world.
But they also do some weird stuff. And that just makes us like them even more.
This band is hugely media savvy and its frontman and spokesperson, Dave Grohl, might be the most charming man in modern music history. They don’t take themselves too seriously and that stands for a lot in the often-austere world of rock’n’roll.
Here are five times when the band did something we really weren’t expecting. Something you just don't get from other bands.
Promote a Brisbane Chinese Restaurant (now closed)
While in Australia to headline the Big Day Out in 2003 (where they put on a damn good show), Dave Grohl sportingly took part in some bizarre triple j Breakfast promotion for a Brisbane suburban Chinese restaurant.
We don’t recall exactly why Adam and Wil were so enamoured with George Miu’s Chinese Restaurant, but they managed to excite Dave Grohl about it enough to record one hell of an ad for the small business.
Unfortunately, George Miu’s Chinese Restaurant is no longer around. But they had a good run for many years both before and after Grohl’s glowing recommendation.
Here’s what George himself had to say about his business.
Create the most entertaining tour rider of all time
If you were working in event production and a band sent you through a 52-page rider, you’d probably be more than a little miffed. But when the Foo Fighters do it, they make sure it’s worth it.
A rider is basically a list of requirements sent to a venue to ensure that a band and their crew are catered for sufficiently. It’s generally a list of food and drink, with a few added extras like towels, lights, socks and maybe some security directions for the biggest artists.
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They’re pretty lame, but very important, and very easy to take the piss out of (we’ve all heard about the brown M&Ms).
For their 2011 tour, the band put together an incredible rider that was as entertaining as it was informative. Presented as a colouring and activity book, it was full of hilarious pictures, word searches, mazes and all manner of other brilliant quirks.
Now the Foos clearly did this as they’d anticipated their rider would be leaked online. That’s the way of the world these days and the band got right on the front foot, rather than lamenting their lack of privacy. Brilliant.
Put up with rugby league stars
Dave and Taylor were in Australia for a promo tour last year, where they were subjected to one of the most awkward interviews you’ll ever see.
Let me preface this by saying that Matthew Johns, Nathan Hindmarsh and Bryan Fletcher were great footy players. And some people love what they do on TV these days and that’s great. I’m more of a Roy Masters guy myself.
But as music journalists, the fellas could do with a bit of coaching.
Most bands wouldn’t exactly take kindly to the following comment levelled at their new album:
“There were some good [songs] at the start. I didn’t quite get to the end.”
But being in the Foo Fighters puts you in some pretty interesting positions, and dealing with three hungover ex-footy players seemed like an absolute walk in the park for these guys. They are seasoned media pros by this stage and played along beautifully.
Appear on Top Chef
Foo Fighters were the first band to appear on the excellent (seriously) reality cooking show Top Chef, back in 2008. In it, they had the contestants make them a Thanksgiving Day lunch using microwaves and toaster ovens. It’s way better than I’m making it sound.
What was not good, was the concert footage at the end of the show. It becomes bleedingly apparent that the show’s producers have opted not to license any Foo Fighters music, so it’s just shots of Dave Grohl posing on stage with very poor stock music playing in the background.
Trolling the Westboro Baptist Church
When the Westboro Baptist Church first picketed a Foo Fighters show in Kansas in 2011, the band went to some pretty extreme lengths to take the piss out of them.
Dressed up as rednecks, the band performed a country song called ‘Keep It Clean’ on the back of a flatbed truck. Midway through, Grohl lets loose on a ‘God Bless America’ diatribe as he preaches the importance of inclusion.
We’re not convinced it was particularly effective, and some of Grohl’s lyrics and statements were a bit on the nose, but you’ve got to respect the effort.
Perhaps even more entertaining was the second picket of the church in 2015. This was far more low-key, as the band cruised past the protestors while blaring Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, forcing the angry mob to witness a particularly glitzy impromptu dance party.
Funnily enough, it isn’t even the best Rick Roll of their career…
Foo Fighters and Weezer play the following shows this month:
Saturday 20 January - nib Stadium, Perth (with Cosmic Kahuna)
Tuesday 23 January - Coopers Stadium, Adelaide (with Amyl & the Sniffers)
Thursday 25 January - Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane (with DZ Deathrays)
Saturday 27 January - ANZ Stadium, Sydney (with The Preatures)
Tuesday 30 January - Etihad Stadium, Melbourne (with Clowns)