Thursday, March 07, 2013

New in Paperback: This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl by Paul Brannigan

When This Is a Call (DaCapo) came out in hardcover late in 2011 it was well reviewed by critics and fans alike. This is the definitive biography of one of the most important and influential musicians of his era by a rock journalist who was as well-equipped as any who might have bitten off this assignment. This is a Call’s opening lines explain why:
Dave Grohl has just slapped me across the face. It’s the early hours of 20 December 2005, and he and I are in a central London rock bar. Neither of us is meant to be here.
Brannigan goes on to explain his relationship with Grohl and the connections they’ve shared. From a very early point, one gets the feeling that this will be the best sort of bio, containing both respect and meat. And it does.

Despite his punk rock background, Brannigan begins his biography carefully and at the beginning, sketching out all of the characters and influences who would come to impact on future head Foo Fighter, Dave Grohl.

Though there are many intimate details and lots of juicy stories, the portrait of Grohl that Brannigan paints is both careful and sensitive. One gets the feeling that Grohl is that rock and roll royalty rarity: a true talent who has ove the years had all of the crazy and all of the temptation thrown at him and still managed to emerge relatively unscathed. More: as a force and talent still very much to be reckoned with. ◊

Aaron Blanton is a contributing editor to January Magazine. He’s currently working on a book based on his experiences as an American living abroad.

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