Dave Grohl and Ringo Starr have intimate conversation about grieving Kurt Cobain and John Lennon
In a very recent Rolling Stone article, lead singer of the Foo Fighters and former drummer of Nirvana, David Grohl, sits down with former Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr and have a emotional discussion about losing John Lennon and Kurt Cobain.
Trauma is a hell of a thing to open up to and quite honestly it's touching to hear two grown men talking about this real issue. Below is a brief transcript of the conversation, for the full interview check it out here.
Ringo, what did you think when you heard Nirvana?
STARR Absolutely great, and the man himself [Kurt Cobain] had so much emotion. That’s what I loved. I’m an emotional guy. No one can doubt Nirvana, ever. And who knew he’d end up where he ended up. I don’t think anyone who listened to music with any courage could doubt him, ’cause he was courageous.
I don’t know the end story, and it’s not about him, and we lose a lot of people in our business early. And you think, “How harsh must it have been?” I mean, “Why don’t you call me?” You never know. This is the famous 27-year syndrome. A lot of them went by 27, like it’s that number — what, had they got it all in by then? Or maybe that’s just the way God planned it; I don’t know.
When John went, I was in the Bahamas. I was getting a phone call from my stepkids in L.A. saying, “Something’s happened to John.” And then they called and said, “John’s dead.” And I didn’t know what to do. And I still well up that some bastard shot him. But I just said, “We’ve got to get a plane.” We got a plane to New York, and you don’t know what you can do. We went to the apartment. “Anything we can do?” And Yoko just said, “Well, you just play with Sean. Keep Sean busy.” And that’s what we did. That’s what you think: “What do you do now?”
GROHL Wow, you had never heard that?
STARR I well up every time I think [about it] — he’s talking about me. He says [imitates Lennon], “Hey, Ringo, this’d be great for you.” And I can’t help myself. [He chokes up.] I’m emotional now thinking of him 40 years ago talking about me on his tape and thinking of me. The four of us were great friends with a couple of side issues. And it was far out. So anyway, I didn’t know how to act. And then I got back to L.A., and I grieved, and then of course you always go through the grief.
And George, the same. [He tears up; his voice starts shaking.] I’m such an old crybaby. He’s laying there very ill — not long. And I’ve got to go to Boston, ’cause my daughter’s having an operation. And so I said, “Well, you know, I’ve got to go, George,” and he says, “Do you want me to come with you?” You know, he’s dying in a bit: “Do you want me to come with you?” How many people say great things like that to you, really give themselves?
GROHL Well, I realized when Kurt died that there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. It takes funny turns. You’ll be numb. You’ll remember the good things, then you’ll turn and remember some dark times. I stayed away from music for a while. I wouldn’t
even turn on the radio. And then I eventually realized that music was the one thing that actually made me feel better. And music was gonna help me through that. So I started writing songs and recording them by myself.
And it’s also difficult when one of your friends or someone that you’re very close to, in real life, has become something more than a human being to others. So you sit in an interview and someone asks you these questions that are really emotional, that you’d never ask another stranger.