Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl experienced a night he’ll never forget when he met Paul McCartney, one of his biggest heroes. He’d listened to The Beatles repeatedly in his room like the next Beatlemaniac. He practiced playing all their songs.
However, nothing could have prepared him for actually meeting a Beatle. Grohl was speechless when he found himself in Paul’s vicinity at Concert for George, the tribute concert for George Harrison. It was like experiencing a full-out supernatural event.
George Harrison’s son, Dhani, invited Dave Grohl to Concert for George
After a 2002 Foo Fighters show in London, the band’s guitarist, Chris Shifflett, brought a man to meet Grohl. He had no idea the man was Dhani Harrison, George’s son. However, when Dhani gave Grohl a copy of George’s posthumous album, Brainwashed, Grohl put two and two together.
Not recognizing Dhani shocked Grohl. Then, Dhani shocked Grohl even more. He told Grohl he was having a tribute concert for his father and that some of music’s elite were going to perform.
“The line-up was a virtual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame dream come true,” Grohl wrote on his blog, Dave’s True Stories. “And all under the same roof to pay tribute to my favorite Beatle! These musical giants were not only the soundtrack of my life, but many of the gods that I had bowed to ever since I picked up a guitar. In my mind, this was Valhalla.”
Then, Grohl got a third shock. Dhani invited him to Concert for George. “If there was ever an instance where a human being actually levitated, I do believe that my feet literally lifted off the ground in bewildered excitement in this unimaginable moment,” Grohl wrote.
“I’m sure that Dhani had no idea how momentous this gesture was to me. But it felt like I was being granted a lifelong wish… To be included in such a monumental affair felt like my life’s greatest reward up until that point, so every waking moment was spent awaiting its arrival.
“Of all the places my crooked musical path had taken me up until this point, this would undoubtedly prove to be a memory I would cherish forever.”
Grohl said meeting Paul McCartney was like experiencing a supernatural event
A week after meeting Dhani and getting the surprise of his life, Grohl and the group arrived at Royal Albert Hall for the show. They were like kids in a candy shop. All the performances moved Grohl to tears. “This was no longer a concert hall this was a temple,” Grohl wrote.
After, an attendant showed Grohl and the group to the VIP room. Grohl was doubtful they were in the actual VIP lounge. However, when he saw Ravi Shankar and The Beatles’ ex-producer, George Martin, he knew they were in the right place. “This was rock and roll ground zero. We had arrived,” Grohl wrote.
Grohl felt unworthy of being around such rock ‘n’ roll royalty, but nothing beat the feeling Grohl got when he saw Paul. It 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.
Grohl can’t remember how his meeting with Paul went
The Foo Fighters’ frontman can’t remember what happened after discovering Paul wanted to meet him. It’s all a blur.
“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.
“I think I may have tried the ‘So, are you guys on tour at the moment?’ line, but who knows. I was beside myself, 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.
“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.”
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 and Paul’s first meeting must not have been too forgettable because the pair ended up good friends. Foo Fighters have honored Paul many times. In return, Paul inducted Foo Fighters into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021. Grohl and Paul are family friends now. Talk about coming full circle.