Upon returning home to my mother’s little house in Springfield, Virginia after Nirvana’s 1992 world tour, I followed my usual homecoming routine of dumping my entire suitcase full of soiled clothes into her old washing machine in the garage, rooting through her fridge full of delicious, comfort-food leftovers like a raccoon in a dumpster, and sitting down to months and months’ of mail that had been sent to her address for me while I was away. This was the house that I grew up in, after all, so my mother’s mailbox was always the best bet if you wanted to…

“Check…one, two….”

I turned out the lights, pressed record on the Realistic CTR-71 portable cassette recorder sitting on the windowsill beside my bed, and as my head hit the pillow I began to speak. What was once a device only used for listening to homemade mix-tapes of my favorite punk rock bands, it now served as my own personal therapist, an electronic ear to fill with my deepest secrets and childhood anxieties. Whispering in the dark, I could share anything with my new mechanical confidant, knowing that if I wanted to…I could erase everything. …

After all these years, this simple message, my first words of true validation as a fledgling writer, has never left me. It echoes in my mind like a long canyon scream each time I sit down to a blank page, and inspires me to fill it with my true voice. After a childhood of failed classes and dismal report cards (most of which ended with comments such as, “David has potential, but his hyperactivity and attention-seeking behavior are a constant distraction to the class!”), it was if I had pulled the proverbial red pen from the stone. No small victory…

Frozen in my living room chair, my stomach dropped like a lead weight as I stared down at my laptop screen in horror. Fingers trembling above the cold keyboard, I read and re-read those two sentences over and over again, praying that perhaps it was just some sort of typo, some kind of cruel autocorrect disaster. But…it was no mistake.

David Bowie had just told me to fuck off.

Believe me, it wasn’t the first time my battered ears had heard such colorful language, but from the “Thin White Duke” himself? What could I have possibly done to illicit such…

Like smoke in a crowded saloon, these four words hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity, as my mind struggled to make sense of this most surreal, life moment. There I was, standing in a cold, curtained off dressing room area, trying so desperately to keep my cool, to act as if this was just another conversation in just another backstage room on just another Friday night. But, it was no use. This was not just another conversation in just another backstage room on just another Friday night….

It was Prince.

And he was asking me to…

These were three words I thought I’d never live to hear. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was a lifelong, card carrying, die hard metal fan since I was a kid. A back patch wearing, cassette collecting, fanzine subscribing, stage diving lifer at heart. But Ozzfest? The Foo Fighters? The mother of all metal festivals, the meeting of all Marshalls, the most tyrannical thrash-apalooza known to man was requesting…the “Learn to Fly” guys? The smiley, smirky, candy commercial dorks? The rock and roll “Revenge of the Nerds”? Shit, some of us even had hair ABOVE our collars! This made…

My sweet mother stood there scowling and covering her ears behind the patio door as the final squeaks and pops of my Virginia-legal-sparkler-fountain-thing scattered its dying embers across the backyard of my childhood home. This was not the first time I had heard her say these words, of course. She hated those damn things, always did. And I had made a childhood career of indulging in any explosives I could get my hands on. Though, as Virginia fireworks go, this particular little gem was pretty standard fare: a few red and green sparks, a little whistle, and a puff of…

My name is Dave.

Sometimes I play drums.

Sometimes I play guitar.

Sometimes I tell stories.

I’m currently looking for work, so I thought I’d pass the time by writing true short stories that will make people smile.(I’m also a total fucking spaz who can’t sit around doing nothing)

My mother was a brilliant English teacher, my father a wicked speechwriter, so I decided to rebel by not paying attention to grammar and/or punctuation in school. (That, and cranking death metal 24/7 from my bedroom stereo) So…have mercy. Not going for a Nobel Prize in Literature here.

I look forward to sharing some of the more ridiculous moments of my life with you. Stay tuned!

Wash your fucking hands.


Dave's True Stories

Dave Grohl

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