Dave Grohl Had to Call His Mother and Listen to The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’ After Meeting Paul McCartney

Dave Grohl had a profound first meeting with Paul McCartney. It was so deep, in fact, that Grohl doesn’t even remember what happened exactly. At the moment, he was too excited to stock the memory away in his head for later. However, Grohl does remember what he did when he got back to his hotel room that night. He called his mother and listened to The Beatles’ “Blackbird.”

Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl backstage at the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions.
Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Dave Grohl said meeting Paul McCartney was like experiencing a supernatural event

In 2002, Grohl met George Harrison’s son, Dhani, after a Foo Fighters show in London. Dhani gave Grohl a copy of George’s newly released posthumous record, Brainwashed, and invited him to Concert for George. It was there that Grohl got to meet Paul.

After the emotional concert, an attendant showed Grohl and the group to the VIP room. Grohl doubted whether they were in the actual VIP lounge. However, when he saw Ravi Shankar and The Beatles’ producer, George Martin, he knew they were in the right place. “This was rock and roll ground zero. We had arrived,” Grohl wrote on his blog, Dave’s True Stories.

Grohl felt unworthy of being around such rock ‘n’ roll royalty. However, he definitely didn’t feel worthy of being in Paul’s presence. Seeing him in person was like experiencing a supernatural event.

“I noticed Paul McCartney out of the corner of my eye, chatting away with friends, and I couldn’t help but stare. There. He. Was.”

Grohl continued, “I don’t know what it feels like to see a UFO. I don’t know what it feels like to see a ghost. I don’t know what it feels like to see Bigfoot, but I know what it feels like to see Paul McCartney, and if that’s not a supernatural event, then I don’t know what is.”

Then, Grohl tried to avert his eyes, but “it was no use. I was mesmerized.”

Someone came up to Grohl to tell him that Paul wanted to meet him. Grohl nearly choked. “My heart doubled its tempo, the lights seemed to dim in a bizarre, twilight tunnel fashion,” he continued.

“What happened next will forever remain a blur,” Grohl wrote. “I don’t recall exactly how Paul and I were introduced, what was said, or how long we talked, but I do remember putting on my best ‘this is not the most incredible thing ever to happen to me’ face while trying to keep from making a fool of myself.”

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Grohl had to call his mother and listen to The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’ after meeting Paul

The Foo Fighters frontman was beside himself while meeting Paul. He described it as having an “out of body experience, living a moment that will surely be revisited in my final hours. I would not be standing there that night, much less writing this today, if it weren’t for this man.”

Grohl continued, “Like so many who have made lives as musicians, his music had been a teacher when I needed instruction. A friend when I felt alone. A father when I needed love. A therapist when I needed guidance, and a partner when I needed to belong.”

When Grohl hazily returned to his hotel room that night, the first thing he did was call his mother. She was the only person he knew would understand what he was feeling at that moment. “She cried tears of joy, knowing that all my years of struggle and faith had led to this profound, life changing night,” Grohl wrote.

Grohl told the story during his special on the BBC’s Radio 2 Beatles. He said he had to call his mother and then play The Beatles’ “Blackbird” after meeting Paul.

“But of course, as I left the venue, I think the first thing I did was call my mother and tell her I just my Paul McCartney,” Grohl said. “And then, I listened to the song ‘Blackbird,’ which I used to sit in my room, listening to over and over and over again because to me, it’s one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

“I eventually learned how to play it on guitar, and believe me; this is not a three-chord rock song. So whenever I think of that first meeting with Paul, I think of the song ‘Blackbird.'”

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Grohl thinks of his mother when he listens to The Beatles’ ‘Two Of Us’

Another Beatles song reminds Grohl of his mother, Let It Be‘s “Two Of Us.”

“This song reminds me of a trip I took with my mother and sister to Ireland in 1992, the week before Nirvana was headlining the Reading Festival,” Grohl explained on the radio special. “My mother’s side of the family has Irish heritage, and she had never been. So I thought my mother and sister and I would rent a car and just drive.

“One of the cassettes that we had in the car was the ‘Let It Be’ record. It got a lot of play that week, and there’s nothing like driving through rolling hills down little stone roads listening to this song ‘Two Of Us.’ It’s a great traveling song.”

Grohl has a lot of memories associated with Beatles songs. The first rock song he ever heard was “Hey Jude,” and the song he and his childhood sweetheart chose as theirs was “Eight Days a Week.” Thanks to his daughter, Violet, he fell in love with “Hey Bulldog” again.

Now, Grohl is family friends with Paul. He must have to pinch himself every once in a while.

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