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This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl
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This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  2,307 Ratings  ·  265 Reviews
This Is a Call , the first in-depth, definitive biography of Dave Grohl, tells the epic story of a singular career that includes Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and Them Crooked Vultures. Based on ten years of original, exclusive interviews with the man himself and conversations with a legion of musical associates like Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Da Capo Press (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Phil Simon
Mar 19, 2012 Phil Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
I agree with another reviewer's three-star rating of this book. While well written and researched, I really wish that the book contained more of an inside peek into Grohl's motivations. Also, as previously pointed out, the book starts out slowly and tends to gloss over the last five years of Foo Fighters' history.

I agree that Nirvana is an important band and I enjoyed learning more about Grohl's role in it. Still, Grohl has spent more than five times as long in FF as he did in Nirvana. I feel a
...more
VegasGal
May 14, 2012 VegasGal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's unfortunate when a book gets so bogged down with other unecessary information it gets to be a chore to read... and it clearly doesn't have enough stories about the original purpose to sustain an entire book so it needed to rely on other stories to attempt to dazzle the reader. I normally don't rate books I couldn't finish, but this particular book wasn't all that good in the 58% of it that I did manage to trudge through, so I thought it needed a rating. If you don't mind minimal facts/stori ...more
Sharon Burgin
Nov 27, 2011 Sharon Burgin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Brannigan was the renowned editor of Kerrang! magazine between 2005 and 2009. He then went on to write a short book on sayings from Lemmy of Motorhead. This is probably where Paul Brannigan should stay - writing short articles and books.
Although only 353 pages long, this book seemed to drag on. It was more of a history to punk and music from the early 90's to today, than an autobiography of Dave Grohl.
It was very interesting to read about the music industry, but it seems that Paul cannot ge
...more
Greg
Sep 05, 2012 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big Dave Grohl fan (I have a picture of him hanging in my hallway and asked the wife if 'Grohl' could be our young son's middle name. She didn't think I was serious) and received this book as a present from the aforementioned missus.
I read a bit, but initially found it a bit smug and kind of 'I know Dave', 'one time Dave said to me' and 'I think that Dave' blah, blah, blah. I put it down and consigned it to the doom of being tucked 'just under the bed'.
Then, one day, I treated myself to a
...more
Trisha
Aug 06, 2012 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carla Coulston
Jan 31, 2012 Carla Coulston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hubby and I were slightly deflated to discover this was an 'unauthorised' biography; however, the disppointment was short-lived as it became evident the depth of personal insight Paul Brannigan has into the mind and heart of one of our favourite rock identities... not to mention his iron grasp of the nuances of rock history in general.
More than just an insight into Dave Grohl, this book more than ANY other single rock biography I've read (and I've read MANY) gave a unique overview of the alterna
...more
Colleen
Mar 04, 2012 Colleen is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I've been stalled for a month now. I seriously skipped a chunk of the history of punk rock. Don't get me wrong, I like punk rock and music in general, but I kinda wanted to read about Dave Grohl. I get that he likes music, but do I need to understand how some band in DC formed to understand that Dave liked them and went to see them in concert?
Librariasaurus
Jun 02, 2012 Librariasaurus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starts out really slow and is totally cluttered by all the DC punk scene history, this is one of the better unauthorized music bios I have read.
Dave Grohl is a pleasure to read about simply because he rocks. He's not the typical rockstar but at the same time can still express modesty at being labelled the nicest guy in rock.
There were moments in this book where I found myself laughing out loud at Dave's fan boy antics when meeting members of the bands he loved growing up and also moments where
...more
Krista McCracken
This is a Call was an interesting read, and did provide bits of inside into the life of Dave Grohl. However, it is clear that this is not an authorized biography, the book is packed with 'filler.' Brannigan describes at lengths the development of the US punk-rock scene, which though interesting doesn't directly focus on Grohl. Sometime it seems as though only a few lines in a single chapter actually relate to the person the biography is about (eg. The introduction of Nirvana in the book). Overal ...more
Brad Sorensen
Mar 12, 2012 Brad Sorensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Foo Fighters, Nirvana, and Dave Grohl. I can't get enough. I was excited when I heard about this book. The first 100 pages were a disappointment as the authors just name drops every punk band that ever existed and there is next to nothing about Dave Grohl, even though it is allegedly a biography. But then it gets good. The Nirvana section is captivating. And the Foo Fighters section goes album by album with in-depth information and reviews. It was great for a junkie like me. My only q ...more
Michael
Jan 13, 2012 Michael marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
A book about Dave Grohl (even an unauthorized book about Dave Grohl) should not be this plodding and dull. Grohl is one of the feel-good rockers of this generation, and he deserves a lively biography. But Brannigan's insistence on filling pages with a peripheral history of punk rock stops this story dead in its tracks and takes the focus (far) off Grohl.
Lise
Jul 16, 2013 Lise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book really needed some editing. It's a dogs breakfast, jumping backwards and forwards in time and reading like the author just put every single fact about Dave Grohl on the page as soon as it appeared in his head. Much better article in the Good Weekend a year or so ago. Disappointed. Just glad I waited and got it from the library and didn't buy it.
Lani
Dec 21, 2016 Lani rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I made it to 10%...

This read like a really long magazine article instead of the unauthorized biography it was meant to be.
I learned more about the type of music and bands Dave Grohl liked than anything interesting about him.

I'll just keep my fingers crossed that he writes his own book. For some reason Foo Fighters hate Tampa, well Florida in general, so I will never see them live! Am I bitter about that? Yeah, but they still remain my #1.
Joel Bradshaw
Jan 24, 2015 Joel Bradshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweeping history of the history of punk rock to alt rock as traced by the whirlwind path of Dave Grohl, this book certainly ventures out of the strict boundaries of a Dave Grohl biography, but I loved it wholeheartedly. To tell the story of a man who has been making music since age 12, released his first demo at 15, rose to prominence drumming in Nirvana, and then went on to lead his own phenomenally successful band, and jumps in on side projects with some of the biggest names in rock for the ...more
Karl
Jun 09, 2014 Karl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not your typical biography in that Paul Brannigan chooses to spend as much time discussing the eras of music that are Dave's influences and his history as he does Dave's actual life. This actually is a good thing, in Dave's case, because of his wide variety of influences and is a reflection upon the various times in the life of Dave. Brannigan's background in the music industry gives him a bit of an inside track into understanding what makes Dave tick. I was amazed to find little tidbits ...more
Deanna
Well written, full of information, though it's somewhat the wrong kind of information. Punk rock history, the beginning and end of Nirvana. Details about the various things that happened to the Foo Fighters over the years... this book is supposed to be about Dave Grohl! For much of the book it felt like it was about everything BUT him. It gets better as we get closer to present day, but it still doesn't delve into the life of the man like I'd hoped. But, I guess having read it I now know why - h ...more
Constadina
Jul 07, 2012 Constadina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I really liked this book and I liked the fact that it's not only about Dave Grohl's life
but it also describes the music scene that took part when a certain song/album was created which gives it a better and deeper understanding. I honestly don't know how I survived the part where Kurt died :'( I swear when it was coming towards the end of Nirvana I almost didn't want to continue reading cause I knew what was coming and I caught my self tearing up a few times...Anyway this book is a really good r
...more
Bwgauci
Was a decent read but found it to be a little bloated in the sense that Brannigan would basically review each record Grohl has been involved in. You could tell Brannigan is a big Grohl fan himself so it was difficult to read without constantly knowing that this is just a love letter to Grohl. Was expecting something gritty and behind the scenes but got a pretty generic book. Decent but I won't be recommending it.
Mike
Dec 18, 2011 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of Dave Grohl but I was a little let down by the book or had too high of expectations. Since this was an "unauthorized" biography, most of the interviews and quotes had been previously published in various media outlets. There is a great line in the beginning that says only a handful of people know the real Dave Grohl. Unfortunately this book does not get anywhere close to letting us into the select few.
Jody
Oct 27, 2011 Jody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brannigan follows Grohl from Teenage punk through Nirvana to the surprising highs and lows if the Foo Fighters and beyond.

A great read that reveals a passionate man where it counts his music and his family.

Best read whilst listening to the Foo Fighters and Nirvana back catalogue!

A great love story about music and Dave Grohl!
Carrie Straka
It took me eight months to read, but I just wanted to nurse it and didn't want it to end. It was amazing. I'm a huge fan of Dave Grohl's, and I loved reading about him. I'm really glad I own a copy of this so I read it again and again.
Jeff Macpherson
The author seemed to be trying to show how much he knew about grunge with occasional references to Dave Grohl. Hard going but I just kept skipping pages until I saw Dave Grohl's name again.
Michele
Jan 15, 2017 Michele rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is more about "the times" surrounding the life of Dave Grohl rather than about Dave Grohl himself. Wasn't what I was expecting but would be really great for those interested in a lot of history about punk and hardcore and Nirvana.
Toby Ruder
Similar to many of the reviews, a large portion of this book is given over to reviews and stories of the grunge scene rather than a lot of detail/ insight into Grohls life, interesting enough but doesn't really get under the skin of things.
Elise Camuso
Apr 09, 2012 Elise Camuso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the informational novel “This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl”, by Paul Brannigan, the life of the former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters front man are shared, along with his road to stardom. Described as “the nicest man in rock”, the auspicious rockstar known as David Eric Grohl has been interviewed many times, which acts as the basis of this book. Throughout the first four chapters of the book, which are titled “Learn to fly”, “This is a call”, “Chaotic hardcore underag ...more
Eric
Dec 30, 2012 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, non-fiction
While I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this book since it is an unauthorized biography, I have to say that it was a really enjoyable read. The reason I probably did appreciate the book that much is that my knowledge of the history of rock music, or music in general, is essentially inexistent. While some have criticized Brannigan’s many historical tangents into the punk rock scene, I really liked it, because I didn’t know anything at all about the DC underground punk and hardcore scene. In that sen ...more
Clinton Sweet
Hmm not a great read. 60% of content was uninteresting and it took 100 pages before Kurt was introduced. Second half however did pick up thankfully
Tiffany
Jan 09, 2012 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great trip through the life and mentality of Dave Grohl, including genealogy, rock & roll history, and U.S. history -- a bit of something for everyone!

I thought this was a really great biography of Dave Grohl. Yes, it is unauthorized, and yes the author does sometimes spend a little too much time talking about tangential topics, and sometimes not enough time talking about how a particular event really affected Grohl or what he thought about something (which might be a result of it being an
...more
Brakpomysłu
Chyba każdy fan rocka zna, a przynajmniej kojarzy, osobę Dave'a Grohl'a. Multiinstrumentalista, perkusista Nirvany, a obecnie gitarzysta i wokalista Foo Fighters. Grał na bębnach chociażby dla Iggy'ego Popa, The Prodigy, Slasha czy Paula McCartneya. Ikona muzyki rockowej. Bazując na wywiadach i rozmowach z innymi muzykami, Bannigan stworzył pierwszą dogłębną biografie artysty.

Ogólnie mówiąc, mam problem z czytaniem tego typu pozycji. Biografie po prostu potrafią znudzić. To suche fakty, które ni
...more
Jane
Didn't actually finish it. Once Kurt Cobain suicided I found it boring .. As much as I love Dave!
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“Revolution is not the uprising against pre-existing order, but the setting up of a new order contradictory to the traditional one.” 2 likes
“I’m about to have a nervous breakdown / My head really hurts / If I don’t find a way outta here / I’m gonna go berserk …’ Black Flag, ‘Nervous Breakdown’, written by Greg Ginn, published by SST Music, from the EP Nervous Breakdown (SST, 1979).” 1 likes
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