Foo Fighters mark 15 years with hits set, VH1 show

Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:42pm EDT
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Almost 15 years ago, former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl quietly circulated among his friends copies of a demo tape on which he did all the singing and played all the instruments.

He considered the project "a goof," and he dubbed it "Foo Fighters" because he wanted people to think it was a real band, "like the Ramones or the Pixies," he recalled at a taping of VH1's "Storytellers" series on Wednesday.

That would have been the end of the story. But the tape inevitably ignited a bidding war among record labels, all desperate to release the first music from the Nirvana camp since the suicide of frontman Kurt Cobain in 1994.

Grohl assembled a real band with three musicians, signed with Capitol Records, and officially released the demo tape -- still dubbed "Foo Fighters" -- in July 1995.

Fast-forward past seven hit albums to next week, when the band will release its first compilation, simply titled "Greatest Hits." The 16-track RCA Records set also boasts two new tracks, "Wheels" and "Word Forward," both of which were unveiled at the "Storytellers" taping.

A deluxe version includes a 21-track DVD. Music videos have been good for the Foo Fighters, a showcase for their self-effacing sense of humor. Grohl recounted that the Mentos-themed clip for 1995's "Big Me" led to the band being pelted by the sweets every time it played the song.

He also mimicked a fey flight attendant's snooty reaction to the band's Grammy-winning video for 1999's "Learn To Fly," in which Grohl plays said character, among many others.

GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES   Continued...