Lenny Kravitz once asked Dave Grohl to play drums on an unfinished Michael Jackson song, but it didn't quite go to plan

Musician Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters performs on VH1 Storytellers, Lenny Kravitz poses at the Wonderwall portrait studio, Michael Jackson poses at a press conference before a date on his HIStory world tour in 1996
(Image credit: John Shearer/Getty Images/Christopher Polk/Phil Dent/Redferns)

Dave Grohl is not short of guest slots across his career to boast about. He’s leant his muscular groove drumming prowess to a variety of ace songs, a number of which are ace songs precisely because they’ve got Dave Grohl drumming on them. 

He’s sat behind the kit for Nine Inch Nails, Liam Gallagher, The Prodigy, Tenacious D, Tom Petty and many more, but Grohl’s favourite tale to tell of his extra-curricular activity is the time Lenny Kravitz enlisted him to drum on an old Michael Jackson tune the pair had co-written. Unfortunately, it's his favourite tale to tell because they ended up taking the Dave Grohl out of Dave Grohl. Allow him to explain:

“I met Lenny Kravitz at some movie award ceremony thing,” he told Classic Rock. “He’s like: “Yo, man, give me your number, let’s jam some time.” So I gave him my number. And he leaves a message saying: “Dude, call me right now. I have a project.” So I call him up, and he says: “Do you want to play drums on a Michael Jackson song? There’s this song that me and Michael worked on in 1992, but it never came out and I want to finish it. And I’d love to have your huge drums on the chorus.”

Grohl said that Kravitz sent over the track, and he sat down with Butch Vig in the studio and they recorded an array of mammoth-sounding drums, just like Lenny requested. “I sent it to Lenny and he’s like: “Dude, this is going to be awesome.” I’m like: “I’m on a Michael Jackson track!” So a month goes by, and another, and another, and I still haven’t heard anything from anyone. 

"Finally, I hear the song online. You know what they used? One snare hit. That’s it. I don’t know who’s playing drums on it, but it ain’t me. It says: ‘Featuring Dave Grohl’. And it’s like: “It does? I can’t hear me in that!” It’s funny.”

The song, titled (I Can’t Make It) Another Day, features on Jackson’s posthumous 2010 album Michael. It might only feature one snare hit from Dave Grohl, but, come on, it’s Dave Grohl, one snare hit is enough.

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.