This Is A Call

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Through this book I "got" the geneology of it all like never before: who influenced who; how hardcore birthed heavy metal, birthed rock, birthed punk, birthed grunge, and how the whole thing comes full circle again. A really, really engaging book which left me with a lot of respect both for Dave as an artist and Brannigan as a peerless rock writer.

View all 3 comments. I really had nothing against this book, the first half was really great about growing up in the American early 80s punk scene, which is my favorite, more than the 70s in New York or the British scene. I never knew Dave Grohl was such a fucking rocker! However, not being a really huge fan of Nirvana or Foo Fighters, there was a lot of stuff in the last half of the book I didn't know enough about, like particular albums and songs, and the drama of the Foo Fighters in-fighting, etc. And the writer I really had nothing against this book, the first half was really great about growing up in the American early 80s punk scene, which is my favorite, more than the 70s in New York or the British scene.

And the writer is a LITTLE too worshipful, like falling all over himself about some lyric that seems pretty normal to me. If I had written this book I would have gone apeshit over Probot and the energetic live shows did anyone see that show in Austin recently where "Kiss Guy" got on stage and just ripped it apart on Dave's guitar? It's on youtube, watch it, it's pretty badass. 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. Am I bitter about that? Yeah, but they still remain my 1. Feb 17, Sam rated it really liked it. 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.


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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 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. 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 I thought "wow, this guy is actually human, just a regular dude who happens to front one of musics biggest contemporary acts" I recommend this to Foo fans, nirvana fans, punk fans and music fans in general.

This is a bio you simply cannot go past. I had anticipated a deluge of Nirvana, with this bring an unauthorized bio, but Brannigan has managed to pepper the right amount throughout. The closing lines of the book were fantastic, truly bringing the book home and showing the Dave really is still just a punk from Virginia.

Mar 06, Krista McCracken rated it it was ok. 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.

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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. Overall, t This is a Call was an interesting read, and did provide bits of inside into the life of Dave Grohl. Overall, the book wasn't a bad read -- but it felt more like bits of rock journalism stitched together, than an in-depth biography.

Jul 03, Lise rated it it was ok. 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.


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Just glad I waited and got it from the library and didn't buy it. Jan 05, Michael marked it as did-not-finish. A book about Dave Grohl even an unauthorized book about Dave Grohl should not be this plodding and dull.

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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. Jul 24, Denny rated it liked it Shelves: history , nonfiction , biography , cultural-studies , music , rock-roll. Paul Brannigan states early in the book that it is not an authorized biography of Dave Grohl, and he means it.

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If you're looking for an actual biography of Dave Grohl, look elsewhere or wait for the authorized bio. It just happens to have plenty of quotes from and biographical anecdotes about the gifted, hard-working, and highly talented Dave Grohl and the parts that he and the various bands of which he's been a member have played in that history. I checked This Is a Call out because I thought it was a Dave Grohl biography; I have been a fan of his since the first Foo Fighters album came out and have only grown to like and respect him more as his career developed.

Despite it not being a real biography, though, I was not at all disappointed in the book. It is well-written, interesting, entertaining, and compelling, at times even hard to put down. The Dave Grohl bits are simply a bonus. It has 3 stars from me just because it's Dave. Sadly, getting through this book was more like a daunting task than a pleasure.

Lots of unnecessary info, too many loose ends. Very detailed description of Nirvana era and punk scene but whole lot of stuff skipped about Foo Fighters and Dave's life.

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And from what I assumed before I picked this book up, it was supposed to be about him. Sep 20, Craig Ryan rated it liked it. A book that went into too much detail about non-Dave things at the start. Whilst I appreciate the history of that bands that inspired Dave, I wanted to know more about his motivations. I enjoyed reading about Nirvana, TCV and Foos - although felt the book glossed over the Foo Fighters in a sense given how long they have been in existence.

Aug 26, Joel Bradshaw rated it really liked it.


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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 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.

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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 hell of it, you've got to cast a wide net.

It helps that I skimmed reviews here first, and was therefore prepared for a heaping side of music history with my main serving of Dave Grohl anecdotes, but I rarely found myself disinterested in any of the "auxillary" notes. He spends plenty of time savoring the various albums and acts that Dave intersected with, and his day job as a music writer is fully apparent, but Brannigan does a good job of tying things back together before too long, and especially for someone like me who knows next to nothing about the environment that forged Grohl's musical sensibilities, they help tell the tale very well.

I was a glad to find that the reviewers that complaints about Brannigan's dwelling on Nirvana at the expense of the Foo Fighters were a bit overblown, in my opinion.

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Numbers-wise, the book is pretty evenly chunked into three sections: pre-Nirvana, Nirvana, Foo Fighters. So by pages-per-year, Nirvana does get about twice the coverage of Foo Fighters, but I didn't feel like I missed anything. Nirvana and his pre-Nirvana years are pretty important chapters in Grohl's story, and those chapters are closed.

Foo Fighters is a story that's still being told, and frankly, it's not as dense in significance and interesting stuff as the first couple phases. We'll get the Foo Fighters bio in a decade or two, but at this point, I think the balance was very well handled. So anyway, I came away from this book loving Dave Grohl even more than I did - it's a fantastic portrait of a fascinating man, and simultaneously same time a sweeping history of rock in all of its incarnations, with the two threads intertwining to tell each other's story. If you really don't like music criticism, or are going to get bored reading about things that aren't directly related to Grohl, you might want to skip it, but if you think you have space in your reading schedule for some punk rock history along the way, it will be well worth your while.

Aug 21, Karl rated it it was amazing. 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.

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