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Dave Grohl Recalls Living in ‘Squalor’ With Kurt Cobain Prior to Nirvana Success

Dave Grohl Recalls Living in ‘Squalor’ With Kurt Cobain Prior to Nirvana Success

While he has been a successful musician over the past three decades, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl admits that things weren’t always going so well in his music career. 

During a recent appearance on the Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast, Grohl revealed that he had been living as a squalor with Kurt Cobain before their Nirvana success. “We were kids and so when you talk about the amount of time that’s gone by, to me it’s not even so much about the years,” Dave explained. “It’s about the experiences that just kind of led, one after another, going from three kids that were basically living or touring out of a van to then becoming a huge band.”

Dave Grohl said that prior to Nirvana’s album Nevermind, he was living with Cobain in a tiny little apartment that had corn dog sticks and cigarettes all over the place. “It was f—-ing disgusting,” Grohl admitted. “I would have done anything to have my own apartment and be able to do that through making music.”

Thankfully, Grohl said that by 1992/1993 they were living in a different than they were just 16 months prior. However, the change didn’t make the bandmates millionaires overnight. “It [was like going up] to $15 a day – you’re like, ‘I can get two cigarettes a day.’ And then it went to, ‘Oh my gosh we’re staying in a motel, I’m sharing a room with Kurt but it’s not someone’s floor.’”

Dave Grohl Refused to Feel Bad About Nirvana’s Fortune & Success 

Dave Grohl declared that, at the end of the day, he didn’t feel bad for spending the money. “I really didn’t feel conflicted or any guilt or shame in paying off my mother’s house or I bought my mother a car or I can now afford to buy a new pair of shoes.” 

The musician added that he knew the bandmates hadn’t done anything outside of their true selves to get where they were. “We just did a thing that we did. I was really happy to finally be able to support myself as a musician.”

Dave Grohl was part of Nirvana from 1990 to 1994. The band ended up dissolving following the death of Cobain. From there, Grohl recruited bassist Nate Mendel, drummer William Goldsmith, and guitarist Pat Smear to create Foo Fighters. The band made its public debut in February 1995 at the Jambalaya Club. 

Foo Fighters have continued to make music but experienced tragedy last year with the loss of long-time drummer Taylor Hawkins. Hawkins had replaced Goldsmith as the band’s drummer in 1997. In March 2022, Hawkins was found dead in a hotel room in Bogota, Columbia hours before he was supposed to perform with his bandmates. The musician died from a sudden cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of medications and heroin.