Today, Dave Grohl took to the stage at SXSW, donned drugstore hipster glasses, and delivered one hell of an inspirational keynote speech.
He talks about hanging with last year’s speaker, Bruce Springsteen (you know, no big deal, just THE BOSS), his humble beginnings as a young punk rocker in the DC area, demonstrates “multitrack recording” using two tape recorders, describes his life-changing years with Nirvana, Kurt Cobain (of course), recording Nevermind at Sound City (the studio he made a film about), changing the world, the again life-altering aftermath that resulted in Foo Fighters, and finally becoming a cool dad. His mantra throughout the speech is that “the musician comes first.” He stresses the ultimate importance of the human element in music, communicating without words, finding your own voice, and screaming it out til it’s gone. Weirdly, though this is a tech blog, I share the same values and that is why time and again, no matter what toys come out, I always return to the guitar for inspiration.
Grohl is undoubtedly at SXSW this year to promote his new movie, and although he preaches the DIY ethos of his youth, he has become over the course of his astounding career too hugely successful to be considered ‘indie.’ But the thing is, he HAS followed the beat of his own drum and forged his path on his own terms, and is still the living embodiment of RAWK. He is today’s rock superhero, in a world where there may not really be any more on the way. Although he has entered the pantheon of immortal ‘classic’ rockers, Dave is one of the last of these dinosaurs championing the rock and roll dream and telling you to pick up a guitar and start a band. So if you haven’t already, watch his speech and BE INSPIRED, punk!