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Foo Fighters FAQ, V. 7.0 [1/4]

( Part0 - Part1 - Part2 - Part3 )
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Archive-name: music/foo-fighters/part1
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Version: 7.0
Maintainer: Ben Rogers <>

0. What's new in v7.0?

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
        Updated Compiliation Contributions (II-B)

        Updated Video Information (II-C)

        Updated Concert Chronology (III-A)

        Updated Internet Sites (V-A)
        Updated Recording Sessions (VI-B)

I.  Band Information
  A. Who are those Foo Fighters?
Foo Fighters are a band put together by former Nirvana drummer Dave 
Grohl, utilizing songs he wrote during and after his tenure with Nirvana.
The band grew out of a 15-song demo Dave recorded at Robert Lang's 
studio in Seattle from October 17-23, 1994.  For the demo, Dave played 
every instrument himself, except for one guitar part on "X-Static", which 
was played by Afghan Whigs' Greg Dulli.  In early 1995, the demo was 
remixed and the result was the 12-song Foo Fighters debut album that 
entered the *Billboard* charts at #23. (Left off of the album were 
"Winnebago", "Podunk", and "Butterflies", though "Winnebago" and "Podunk" 
wound up as B-sides on the "This Is a Call" single. For more info, see 
section II-A.)
Dave soon assembled the actual band.  They were:
Dave Grohl: guitar and vocals
Pat Smear: guitar and backing vocals
Nate Mendel: bass
William Goldsmith: drums
(From the photo in the liner of the Foo Fighters album, they are: [from l. 
to r.] Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, William Goldsmith, and Dave Grohl.)
Pat Smear, an ex-Germ, had joined Nirvana as a second guitarist near 
the band's end.  Dave decided to bring him along for the Foo ride.  
Nate Mendel and William Goldsmith were from a Sub Pop band called Sunny 
Day Real Estate, which broke up over two year ago.  Dave had heard them play, 
and was blown away.  When he heard that the band had split up, 
he asked the two to join Foo Fighters.

William Goldsmith left the band in February of 1997 to pursue "other 
musical interests," leaving the Foos drummerless for a short period.  
His replacement was Taylor Hawkins, whose last gig was as the drummer 
for Alanis Morrisette's band.  

Over the course of the summer of 1997, rumors surfaced that Pat was going
to quit after their European tour.  These rumors turned out to be true,
and at the MTV Music Video Awards on September 4th, Pat played his last
song with the Foo Fighters, "Monkey Wrench."  He then introduced his
replacement, Franz Stahl, former guitarist of Scream and Wool.

Franz toured with the band for the rest of 1997 and all of 1998, 
seemingly without incident.  In the spring of 1999, recording 
began for the next Foo Fighters release, and the band was 
scheduled to appear at Woodstock '99 in July, but word surfaced
in late June that they would not be playing the festival due
to the lack of a guitarist.  On June 29th, word officially came
from the band's publicist, Nasty Little Man, that Franz had
split from the band, describing it "as amicable but 

A search soon commenced for a guitarist to help fill in on the
tour to support the release of the Foo Fighters third album,
"There Is Nothing Left To Lose."  After auditioning a number of
different guitarists, the band finally settled on Chris Shiflett
in August, who was a member of No Use For A Name at the time.
For now at least, Shiflett will remain a touring guitarist for
the Foos, as it has not been decided if he will become a 
permanent member of the band.
The current Foo lineup is as follows:

Dave Grohl: guitar and vocals
Nate Mendel: bass
Taylor Hawkins: drums

  B.  What exactly are "Foo Fighters"?

Near the end of WWII, the U.S. Air Force patrolling German airspace 
encountered highly maneuverable balls of light in the area between 
Hagenau in Alsace-Lorraine and Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in the 
Rhine Valley.  These unidentified flying objects came to be referred to 
as "Foo Fighters", or "Kraut Balls" by those who believed the objects 
were a secret German weapon.

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