Dave Grohl – Storytelling Review

It was that famous joke: What’s the last thing the drummer said before he got kicked out of the band? ‘Hey, I wrote a song.’

Dave Grohl

Since I drive a lot, I have taken to listening to stories in the car. I have just finished listening to…

“Dave Grohl The Storyteller – Tales of Life & Music”.

From start to end, it was Dave & I. His voice was warm, fun, and he spoke like an old mate; no hangups, never spoke like he was more than anyone else.

His narrative on the beginnings of his music history, the people in and out of his life, who he meets on those odysseys, doesn’t set you standing on the sidelines looking in; No, it has you standing there next to him, experiencing the emotions and spirit of what he remembers.

In the book, there were a few times I let a few tears roll when he spoke of personal loss and pain or I felt the anxiety at times he was second guessing himself or felt lost. I laughed when he did the goofy voices and loved the Nurse story when his baby was born and the hilarious one about his mum’s shoe. It had me smiling at times when he would met musicians he worshipped from afar and just how things fell into place for him.

His energy is 🔌 in…always creating, but he is that kind of guy. Never one to sit still for too long, having to keep busy. It shows throughout the book.

Enjoyable to the very end.

Thank You Mr Grohl for the exceptional storytelling.

NOTE:

Personally, it bought back heaps of memories of the music scene during the ’80s and ’90s in Australia. For me, it was doing similar things as kids, climbing trees, listening to a transistor for the latest song on a university radio station, to growing up and trying to find where you fit in. The sounds we craved for under our militant state at the time. I suppose it goes for anywhere in the world that if you are different, you are a target.

And I have to say, at one part, when Dave was speaking of his getting Josh Homme and John Paul Jones together and start a band, I started laughing because I had not heard about Them Crooked Vultures in a donkey’s age. I even had forgotten that THEY were Them Crooked Vultures (age catching up on me), and back in 2009 or 10, I thought it was one of the most excellent collaborations put together. When I listened to that album, I heard bits of Rory Gallagher and can listen to a bit of Led Z too… it’s hard to explain, but it is an album to play at a bar, few drinks, playing pool, good company, a few more drinks and then it’s that time of the night when…

A Dog, Nettles and a Funeral

When my family and I lived on the banks of the Hunter River, in Aberdeen in NSW, we had bought this red kelpie and named him Jasper. Now Jasper was a carefree dog that loved to bound, roll and explores. Rabbit chasing was his favourite thing to do. We had a six-foot deer wire fence that was about five metres from the bank to keep our young children from heading towards the water, for they also liked to explore.

So on this day, I had a funeral to attend. My lovely tennis partner, who was a quiet young lad, had died in a car crash a few days prior. All the kids had been sent to their grandmother’s place in the morning. X-Husband was in the office and would meet me at the church at the time. The small community was coming together for this family that was an integral part of Aberdeen.

As I was cleaning up that morning, I had let the dogs off to do their business before coming back and being put back into their beds. As I was cleaning, I could hear this howling. On and on it went and so I went out to investigate. I found our smaller dog, Foxie, sunning herself on the veranda on that spring day. Jasper, however, was nowhere to be found. So I followed the howling and had to go beyond the fence and onto the river bank to see… he got himself stuck on a ledge on the river bank….full of nettles.

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Stinging Nettle (Urtica Genus). Grows up to 1-2 metres tall. Leaves are coursely toothed, pointed at the end. Tiny hairs grow on the stem and underside of leaves and are hollow and hypodermic needle-like, that break off when touched, imbedding itself into the skin. This in turn injects formic acid, histamines and other chemicals into the skin to give the reaction.

 

I was too far away from the house now to go get long sleeves on, as the river was in flood and the dog was now no-stop howling.

So I walk down the bank with a feeble branch, that I used to make a path in the nettles. However, within a couple of steps, I slipped right on my derriere, sliding down, arms flailing down towards the water. In my unlady like decline, I am trying to grab anything on the ground to stop myself falling into the river. Including nettles bushes. But is it to no avail.

It is with great luck that I land directly onto the same small ledge where the dog is, pushing myself back into the dirt wall, trying to dig my hands into the harden soil so not to go into the river. My heart is pounding, I am shaking a little, thinking of what would have happened if I fell into that brown muck of water. No one would have known. No one would have thought to look in the river until it was too late. The water was churning and, a couple of days before, I had seen a milking cow swept away in the turmoil of the river. That was very distressing.

It was no more than a few seconds of landing on that bank when Jasper, all 18 kilograms of him, jumps up into my chest. Jasper is not there to be mollycoddled by me…Jasper does not want me to hold him and say it will be ok…Jasper is there to use me as a human ladder. And he does.

Onto the bank he bounds, tail wagging, happy, looking at me with those brown eyes of his and gives me this look of “shit, that was close” … and then the wee bastard runs off. I scream out to him, whistled, call him in a gentle way, trying to coax him. But Jasper doesn’t even look back at me. Bloody ungrateful dog! Now I am stuck on the ledge. I think I had it in my mind that my dog would be so grateful and help me, drag me out. I’d seen too many Lassie movies.

Trying to dig footholds into the bank in the room I had, I attempted to break roots or anything to make a footing. Then I notice the itching and burning sensation up my arms and looking saw welts were everywhere. God! Nettle stings!

Near the tree on the bank, and in reach, there was one dock plant growing and somewhere deep in my memory, I knew you had to rub that shit on. On tip-toes, I reached up for it and crushed it and rubbed it along my arms and on the inside. It helped for a time because, after thirty-five minutes of trying to get off that ledge, I had had enough.

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Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) dock leaves might contain natural antihistamines that reduce the irritation, but nothing scientifically has been found to suggest this is true. Whatever the reason, Dock does soothe the Stinging Nettles.

Looking up over the ledge, all I saw before me was a sea of nettles. Yet sticking up slightly out of that green was an old tree root a little way off. It was my only hope.

With all my force I jumped up and out for it…and missed. I missed another twenty or so times until finally, I had that little bastard in my hand.

With all my heart and energy, I dragged myself up and through that sea of nettles. I had it over my chin, neck, down my shirt, my arms, and it was hell on earth. I laid on that bank, my body aching and heart still pounding, thinking if that dog got stuck there again, I would leave him…but I knew I wouldn’t.

Slowly I raised myself up, grabbed as many dock leaves, which wasn’t many, I got up to the house like a rodeo rider having been bucked off a brumby.

Having to pull my finger out and get ready for the funeral, I rubbed the dock sparingly over me where I could. The stinging was insane but had to get going or be late, so I dressed and put a brush through my hair and was out the door.

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Imagine that over your chin, neck, arms chest, ankles and how good I felt going to the church that day. I looked a real treat! 

When I got to the church, people looked at me with this look of surprise and yet just smiled at me. My x-husband is there already and looks at me with this pissed look. He storms over to me, grabbing me by the arm and hisses at me had I been drinking! Me drinking? I said WTF, NO, I had not been drinking. He told me I looked a bloody mess. Sarcastically I thanked him for his words, then relayed the story of the dog, the nettles and stuck for near an hour on the river. Well, he busted out laughing and then goes over to his mates, tells them, who then mill around looking at me, poking fun, laughing.

“Should of let the dog die” was said continuously. I just ignored the lot of them.

In the church, it was near impossible not to scratch and listen to my young friends farewell. I felt so bad but halfway through the service, I snuck the dock out of my purse and started rubbing it on my arms as discreetly as I could. It started a whole bunch of sniggering by the lads who were in the know. Eventually, I had to walk out the church and take what dock I had and just rub, and I mean rub. I was a bloody mess. I didn’t stay long after that. I gave my condolences and left it at that.

Popping into my In-laws to pick up the kids, they even had a laugh at my exploits. After a cuppa and then with the kids in tow, we went home, where I went looking for more dock. Sitting in my kitchen, the kids helped me rub the herb over my worse spots, laughing seeing the green tinge colouring on my skin. But they made me feel better with their tenderness and their young words of helping me get better. That night was a bit of a bad night of sleep, but eventually, I fell into a deep sleep, and by morning, most of it had gone away.

My friend in Northern Ireland now makes Nettle Tea from the abundance of nettles growing in her yard. Noreen’s Nettle Tea from Aghalee. Every time I look at the plants she has grown, it brings about a little shiver of that day. Yet I have more respect for the Nettles now, after being educated by Noreen by the great benefits of the plant.

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Nettles contain formic acid in fresh plant, galacturonic acid (sugar acid, an oxidized form of d-galactose. It is the main component of pectin), Vitamin C, iron, sodium, choline and acetylcholine (organic chemical that functions in the brain and body of many types of animals as a neurotransmitter), histamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine (Serotonin), vitamins A and D, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, silica, trace minerals and protein. A Super Food for sure!

But stinging nettles, no matter how irritating, really doesn’t compare to the day I stood on a green ants nest in bare feet …

Buts that another story for another day.

The Ash Incident – Memories of An Airport Security Guard.

 

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The Horror!

 

Many years ago now, 2004, I was security personnel for a Central Queensland airport. I was on afternoon shift this day that had a late flight. It wouldn’t be taking off until 1am, as there were no engineers available for the plane leaving that had issues. So an engineer had to fly up from Brisbane when he was available and then be able to catch a flight to our fair city at the time.

About 200 people were waiting around for this flight, and as it was in our airport, you would have to take your bags in and out of the lounge if you wanted to go get something to eat or have a smoke. And that meant you have to go in and out of security and have your bags checked via the x-ray machine. Now, this lad and his brother and sister-in-law had been sitting out in the smoking area of the terminal for some time and had not passed the security check that night. But after an announcement, they grabbed their gear and proceeded to security.

The brother and sister-in-law went first and cleared, but the younger brother did not. He had a large jar in his bag in a plastic bag with this material in it that came up on x-ray and I was told to check it as I was on bag check. The lad was very nervous, and he looked like he wanted to say something to me, but kept looking to see where his brother and sister-in-law were.

I asked him to pull the bottle out of the plastic bag and open it up, and his face lost all colour. His brother walked over after putting his steel capped boots back on, and the younger lad kept telling his brother and his girlfriend to wait for him in the lounge. But something made the brother hang around, wanting to look to see what was in his brother’s bag, as he was a bit mouthy in taking his steel capped boots off.

Out comes the bottle and in it was this grey ash. I said to him: “What is this?” He just looked at me with this painful look, and then his brother exploded.

“Are they Mum’s F**King Ashes?” and as the lad opened the top of the jar, the brother punched him in the back, and his mum’s ashes flew out and over me. Now it would have been ok if their mum had flung onto my lower half and onto the floor, but no….

Out it flew from the jar over my face, up into my nose, mouth, eyes, ears, hair, arms, down my top.

It was like time stood still, and everyone was frozen in what just happened. I stood there thinking to myself “This cannot be happening”. My colleague on x-ray said out loud “No f**king way!”, which in turn bought about our supervisor, who put two and two together of the grey ash and then said out loud “F**ck off!” and started to dry wretch. That, in turn, started me to dry wretch. I had to run to the ladies toilets.

Bursting into the ladies toilets, I was lucky no one else in there, and as I got to the basins I was shocked at what I saw. It was like I had grey talcum powder exploded into my face with gravelly bits here and there. My eyes are looking back at me with this look of do I burst out crying or hysterically start laughing look. There are wet marks of where tears, from dry wretching, had run down and around my nose and side of my face.

I rinsed, splashed water into my eyes, blew my nose till tears came out, cleaned my ears. I undid my top and let it all fall onto the floor and sink of the washroom basins and got as much toilet paper I could, to wash. I shook my hair, and watch it fall into the sink below. All this time, I was still off and on dry wretching.

It was horrifying, I finally thought. Why does shit like this happen to me?

A knock on the door of the ladies room came, and it was from my supervisor who yelled through the door that I have to get back to my station, as people were coming through. I swore under my breath and then tidied myself up as much as possible, took a deep breath and walked out, crimson with embarrassment.

The two brothers were still there, trying to dust up as much as their mother’s ashes as possible. They wouldn’t look at me. Someone had gone to an office to get a dustpan and brush, and when it finally came, you could see other bits of dust and shite from airport floors in it.

The eldest brother was fuming still and yet not one of them apologised for the incident, and he was fuming and calling his brother all the names under the sun.

“You told me you had her in a proper urn, you $#*&^%.”

“You said you had her in a safe place, *&^%$#.”

It went on. I stood there in a bit of a daze because people witnessed it, but no one said a word, and yet they kept staring at me. I tried to act like it was nothing, but inside of me, I was starting to play it over and over in my mind. There was this one nagging thought that I had kept at bay and tried to push to the back of my mind:

“Did I swallow any of it?”

Well, the brothers walked off after they cleaned up their Mum, with the eldest claiming the bottle. My best friend, whom I worked with that night, walked over from her station and said quietly to me that as soon as I got home, take a long shower and wash my hair. I said thanks, that I would do that. She reached over to me, which I thought she was going to give me the reassuring hand on shoulder or pat on back to not think about it. Yet her hand went up to my hair, picked a few white bits as if they were nits, looked at them in her hand and said:

“Wow…Do you think that is bone?”