Dave Grohl Opens Up On The Tragic Moment He Heard Of Kurt Cobain’s Death

by : Emily Brown on :
Dave Grohl Opens Up On The Tragic Moment He Heard Of Kurt Cobain's DeathAlamy/Collection Christophel

Dave Grohl has revealed how he had to deal with the news of Kurt Cobain’s death twice in what he calls ‘the darkest day’ of his entire life.

The Foo Fighters founder opened up about the loss of Cobain in his new memoir, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music, in which he explained that ‘not a day goes by’ when he doesn’t think about his Nirvana bandmate.


Kurt Cobain passed away in April 1994 as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after spending four years playing music alongside Dave Grohl, who joined Nirvana in 1990.

In his book, Grohl explained how he received a call on March 3, 1994 to say Cobain had overdosed at a hotel in Rome.

Recalling his response, per the New York Post, Grohl wrote, ‘My knees gave out and I dropped the phone as I fell to my bedroom floor, covering my face with my hands as I began to cry.’


He continued:

He was gone. The shy young man who had offered me an apple upon our first introduction at the Seattle airport was gone. My quiet, introverted roommate who I’d shared a tiny little apartment with in Olympia was gone.

The loving father who played with his beautiful baby daughter backstage every night before each show was gone. I was overcome with a more profound sadness than I had ever imagined.

Just a few minutes later, however, Grohl received a second call to say Cobain was still alive, and that he was going to survive. The news meant the drummer experienced ‘the darkest day of [his] entire life to feeling born again’ in the space of five minutes, and ‘from that day forward’, he recalls how he ‘built [his] walls higher’.

Kurt Cobain (Alamy)Alamy

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Grohl was hit with a second, irreversible blow a little over a month later, when he got word of Cobain’s suicide. The news came on April 8, though police concluded he had actually died on April 5.

The musician wrote, ‘This time it was for real. He was gone. There was no second phone call to right the wrong. To turn the tragedy around. It was final.’

In spite of the permanence of the situation, Grohl recalls struggling to grieve for the loss of his bandmate, saying, ‘It was stuck somewhere deep within me, blocked by the trauma from a month before when I had been left in a state of conflicted emotional confusion.

”Empathy!’ Kurt wrote in his suicide note, and there were times where I would beg my heart to feel the pain he must have felt. Ask for it to break. I would try to wring the tears from my eyes as I cursed those f*cking walls I had built so high, because they kept me from the feelings I desperately needed to feel,’ he continued.

Dave Grohl (Alamy)Alamy

Almost three decades on, Grohl now finds himself ‘often overcome with that same profound sadness’ that he felt the first time he heard that Cobain had died. He feels Cobain most when sitting a drum set, explaining, ‘It’s not often that I play the songs that we played together, but when I sit on that stool, I can still picture him in front of me, wrestling with his guitar as he screamed his lungs raw into the microphone.’

Following the dissolution of Nirvana, Grohl launched Foo Fighters in Seattle, Washington in 1994.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters, Kurt Cobain, Nirvana


New York Post
  1. New York Post

    Dave Grohl was told Kurt Cobain died month before suicide: new book