Dave Grohl's tragedies - devastating deaths to feeling 'lost and numb'

Darcy Rafter August 18, 2022
Dave Grohl's tragedies - devastating deaths to feeling 'lost and numb'
Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images


Dave Grohl has experienced a lot during his four decades of rocking, and the tragedies he has endured by the age of 53 are utterly heartbreaking.

Dave was a world-renowned drummer for the ’90s grunge band Nirvana and pioneered the Foo Fighters to fame. This has led Grohl to become a two-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of both hit bands.

His legacy may be ever-lasting but with the sudden death of Taylor Hawkins and the cancellation of the Foo Fighters 2022 tour; fans can’t help but feel that Grohl is reliving his worst nightmare and pain from the tragedy of Kurt Cobain.

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Inside Dave Grohl’s life with his parents

Grohl was born in Ohio but moved to Virginia not long after his parents’ divorce when he was just six years old. He was raised almost entirely by his single mother and as a result, the pair became extremely close.

Tragically it has recently been reported that Dave Grohl’s mother, Virginia, passed away at age 84. The Foo Fighters’ UK Twitter page announced the news on August 17, 2022, and tributes have since poured out on social media.

As a child, Dave became distant from his father as he believed that he kept him from following his dreams, recalling: “I was not allowed to play music because my grades were so bad,” Grohl said at an event in 2021. Grohl even threatened to run away from his family and it “began the separation between my father and I,” he added.

Kurt Cobain’s tragic death at 27

Cobain was Nirvana’s lead singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter but he was riddled with personal issues and a cruel mental illness which led him to take his own life at his Seattle home.

Following his death at the age of 27, bandmates Grohl and Krist Novoselic dissolved the trio’s band and focused on grieving their best friend.

Grohl said in an SXSW speech in 2013 that he lost a part of himself following the death of his bandmate, “When Kurt died, I was lost. I was numb. The music that I had devoted my life to had now betrayed me and broken my heart.”

After taking some time to grieve, Grohl founded Foo Fighters and self-recorded their first album which was a big emotional step forward as “Kurt dying shocked me into running away from music for a while.”

Photo by Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage

Taylor Hawkins’ recent death

Grohl and Foo Fighters drummer Hawkins were extremely close. Grohl knew that he was “either my twin or my spirit animal, or my best friend! In the first 10 seconds of meeting him. And, of course, I’d seen him play the drums, and I thought he was an amazing drummer,” Grohl said.

According to The Guardian, Hawkins had battled drug addiction in the past and even overdosed on heroin whilst touring Europe in 2001. He spent two weeks in a coma in a London hospital, although he later recovered and the pair went on to make music for another 20 years together.

In a tragic turn of events, earlier this year, on March 25, 2022, while touring South America, the drummer fell ill. It was the night before their scheduled show at Festival Estéreo Picnic in Bogota, Colombia and the band was staying at the Four Seasons Casa Medina.

Taylor started experiencing chest pains and when a private ambulance and a medical team arrived on the scene, Hawkins was already unconscious. After resuscitation techniques failed, Hawkins was pronounced dead at age 50.

A toxicology report confirmed there were 10 different substances in his body including marijuana, opioids and antidepressants. However, the cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Following Hawkins’ death, his bandmates canceled all dates on their planned tour along with their scheduled performance at April’s 2022 Grammy Awards.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The circle of life

According to the Dave Grohl Alley Scholarship Program Grohl and his wife, Jordyn Blum welcomed their third baby named Ophelia, on August 1, 2014.

However, one of their happiest moments was met with sadness when just five days later, Grohl’s father, James Harper Grohl died at age 75, from cancer.

James worked as a former Special Assistant to Ohio senator Robert A. Taft and was a renowned journalist, not to forget the father of three children, and a grandfather.

If you are affected by any issues raised in the article or would like someone to speak to, please call the Samaritans for free on 116 123. You can also email them at [email protected] or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch in the UK. In the US, please visit Samaritans USA for more information.

You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text 741741 to get in touch with the Crisis Text Line. Americans can now call or text 988 to reach out and speak to a counsellor.

If you’ve been affected by this story you can contact American Addiction Centers on (877) 686-7688 or Talk To Frank on 0300 123 6600 in the UK.

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Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.