Grohl: Dimebag was the original nicest guy in rock

Dave Grohl says his “nicest guy in rock” tag is all down to the late Dimebag Darrell.

Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Grohl recalls Dimebag’s backstage hospitality having a huge impact on him when the pair met in 1998.

The Foos were playing at Ozzfest in England on a bill that included Dimebag’s Pantera, as well as Slayer and Black Sabbath – and Grohl wasn’t sure his band would fit in.

He tells Rolling Stone: “We had to go on after Pantera. I was so terrified, ‘There’s gonna be a riot. I’m gonna get drawn and quartered. No one’s going to like our band.’

“But we played, and I looked to the side. The guys from Pantera are watching us and singing the lyrics to our songs. Afterwards we made friends with Pantera. I was nervous and scared. I didn’t think I fit in.

“But they were so open to us. That backstage hospitality we try to have – it all came from Pantera. Dimebag Darrell was the nicest fucking guy in the world. He could walk in and do a shot of Crown Royal with Justin Bieber, with Rick Nielsen, with James Brown – he was everybody’s best friend. And you could feel that energy when he was playing.”

Dimebag’s example stayed with Grohl, who made a decision there and then to strive to behave the same way.

He adds: “After that day, I was like, ‘From now on, everybody’s allowed in this room. I don’t care if it’s Britney Spears.’ I became the backstage best friend.

“Whenever I showed up at a festival, the first thing I’d do is grab a bottle of whiskey and go knocking on doors to see who the funniest people are. You’d be surprised who the real fucking nutcases are.”

TeamRock Radio’s Dimebag Darrell tribute show will be available on demand from Monday, December 1. The show will then be aired at 5pm on the 10th anniversary on his death, December 8.

The exclusive, hour-long documentary features contributions from Machine Head, Halestorm, In This Moment and Vinnie Paul.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.