Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney have a special relationship. Grohl repeatedly listened to The Beatles’ records as a kid. Then, after Grohl became famous with Nirvana and Foo Fighters, he finally met his idol. They clicked instantly and became good friends. Grohl had come full circle.
However, Grohl knew he and Paul were great friends when Paul, over the Grohls for some pizza and wine, gave Grohl’s five-year-old daughter, Harper, her first piano lesson. Everything else that the pair did to honor each other on and off the stage didn’t matter. That little piano lesson meant the world.
Dave Grohl met Paul McCartney at Concert for George
Grohl met George Harrison’s son, Dhani, in 2002. He didn’t know it was the former Beatle’s son. Once Grohl figured it out, Dhani invited him to Concert for George, the tribute concert for his father that had the likes of Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, and the remaining Beatles on the bill to perform.
Grohl wrote on his blog, Dave’s True Stories, that he saw Paul for the first time after the show. He’d grown up worshipping Paul and The Beatles, so it was a surreal moment. Grohl said 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 told Grohl that Paul wanted to meet him, and he nearly choked. “My heart doubled its tempo, the lights seemed to dim in a bizarre, twilight tunnel fashion,” he continued. How Grohl and Paul met remains a blur for the frontman.
“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,” he wrote.
“I was beside myself, having an out of body experience, living a moment that will surely be revisited in my final hours. 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 said Paul gave his daughter her first piano lesson
After meeting, Grohl and Paul became good friends. They hung out with their families, and, at one point, Paul gave Grohl’s daughter Harper (Grohl also has daughters Violet and Ophelia) her first piano lesson.
Grohl explained how the Beatle came to give his daughter such a precious gift on an episode of The Graham Norton Show.
“Years ago, I made friends with Paul McCartney and his wife and my wife swapped numbers. So every time he’d come to Los Angeles, his wife would txt my wife and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to dinner, would you like to come to dinner?'” Grohl explained.
“And, of course, my wife knows who Paul McCartney is, but I don’t know if he means the same to her as he does to me. He’s a Beatle, you know, that’s how I learned how to play music. So we had just had Ophelia, our youngest, and Paul and Nancy were in town. They said, ‘OK, we want to come see the new baby.’ She was a week old.
“So they come over to the house and, of course, my kids know who The Beatles are because I brainwashed them when they were young with all of The Beatles’ music. We have wine, pizza, and we’re hanging out, and it was time for Paul to go.
“Paul and Nancy were leaving, and there’s a piano in the corner of the room, and he just can’t help it. So he sits down at the piano, and he starts playing ‘Lady Madonna.’ In my f***ing house! My mind is blown; I can’t believe this is happening. This is like the most full-circle crazy moment of my entire life.
“My daughter Harper, who I think was five at the time, is watching Paul McCartney on the piano, and she goes to the kitchen, she gets a coffee cup, she puts some spare change in it and puts it on top of the piano like it’s a tip jar. I thought, she’s a Grohl. I like that.”
Paul then taught Harper a thing or two about the instrument. “She’d never taken a lesson to play any instrument at that point, and she sat down, and she watched his hands. They sat together, and he was showing her what to play.”
That’s not all Harper and Paul did on the piano together.
Paul wrote a song with Harper
The former Beatle didn’t just give Harper her first piano lesson; he wrote a song with her.
“They wrote a song together,” Grohl continued. “As they were doing it, it was the only time I’ve ever taken a picture of Paul because, to me, I don’t really want to do that. I just want to kind of be his friend, you know? But I saw my daughter getting her first piano lesson from Paul McCartney and I took a video.”
The next morning, Grohl heard Harper playing the song that she and Paul had written the night before.
Grohl continued, “I came around the corner, and she looked at me as she was playing the piano. She realized I was watching, and she never played the piano again [Laughs].
“And then, she’s like, ‘I want to be a drummer.’ I’m like, ‘Are you out of your mind?!'”
Maybe Harper would have been a piano player if her dad hadn’t embarrassed her. At least she’s following in her father’s footsteps.