“I texted him and said, 'Hey, do you want to be in a horror film?' He said, 'Absolutely, brother'.”: Dave Grohl on how Lionel Richie’s cameo in Studio 666 came about

Dave Grohl and Lionel Richie in Studio 666
(Image credit: YouTube)

One of the funniest moments of Foo Fighters’ 2022 horror comedy Studio 666 is when Dave Grohl begins playing a solemn version of the Lionel Richie hit Hello in a bid to break his writer’s block only for Richie himself to turn up and instruct the Foo Fighters frontman to cut it out. “That,” Richie tells Grohl, “is my fucking song.” Speaking to this writer in 2022, Grohl revealed how the Lionel Richie cameo came about, saying it had its roots in Grohl breaking his leg back in 2015.

“I met Lionel ages ago at a restaurant where he told me that he was a fan of the Foo Fighters and I wasn't sure whether I should believe him or not,” Grohl said. “But then when I broke my leg, I had surgery in London and I had to stay in a hotel for two weeks in a wheelchair afterwards, people were sending get well cards and flowers and things like that. And fucking Lionel Richie sent me a muffin basket because he was supposed to play Glastonbury with us. We had to cancel Glastonbury and he was supposed to play that show with us and we were looking forward to seeing each other. I call him the muffin man ever since. He was written into the script by the screenwriters without them knowing that we're friends, so when I read the script, I'm like, 'Oh, fuck, this is hilarious, I know that guy'. I texted him and said, 'Hey, do you want to be in a horror film?' And he said, 'Absolutely, brother'. That was it.”

As part of the film’s soundtrack, Grohl got to indulge his inner thrash metal fan and record songs for the fictional Dream Widow band. “I grew up listening to punk rock and thrash metal in the early 80s, mid 80s and I have a real soft spot in my heart for old school bands like Venom and Slayer and Testament, Exodus, all those bands,” he said. “I was really into that shit when I was a kid but I've never been in a band that plays that type of music so when I go into the studio by myself and I record those things, it's almost therapy, I'm finally getting it out of my system.”

Lionel Richie didn’t partake in any of the thrash metal adventures, though. He was just in and out to tell Grohl to stay away from his cherished ballad. Watch the scene below:

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.