Martin James: Dave Grohl: Times Like His

Comprehensive look at the life and activities of Grohl.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

As a referential tome on the world of Grohl, Times Like His is very successful. Journalist/author/historian James reflects his academic day job (Professor of Music Industries at Southampton Solent) in diligent, comprehensive exploration.

No stone, no pre-Nirvana or non-Foos project is left uninvestigated, as he takes us from Freak Baby via Scream, Probot, QOTSA, Them Crooked Vultures… all linked, with interviews and reviews from the different releases, in a digestible chronology.

Ultimately, however, it boils down to an efficient cut’n’paste job – the vast majority of material is second-hand. Reasonable but rather dry tendencies (e.g. pedantic analysis of the sound of every album, and its reception), a few too many exclamation marks and laboured, un-revelatory reminders of what a hard-worker Dave is don’t exactly help its artistic value.

It’s a decent book – a useful research tool and overview of the scenes Grohl drew from. But a work of sparkly, emotionally invested-in prose? Not quite.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.