Dave Grohl of Nirvana sat down with Pharrell to have a conversation in the studio that will surprise you, or maybe not. Grohl revealed that he is the most basic drummer ever and many of the early Nirvana records we know and love today were inspired by old disco records from The Gap Band, Cameo and Tony Thompson.
“If you ever listened to Nevermind from Nirvana, I pulled so much stuff from The Gap Band, Cameo and Tony Thompson on every one of those songs,” Grohl proudly announced. “That’s old disco.”
Pharrell literally makes an explosion sound, because his mind is blown at the connection. After praising Dave for his stellar drum skills, he quickly discovered the musician was simply inspired by the greats.
This is not the first time a White musician was inspired by Black artists, and it most certainly won’t be the last. It is refreshing to hear that Dave Grohl credited his influences after years of fans being virtually unaware.
Grohl goes on to say, “I told Toni Thompson that I owed him so much, because I’d been ripping him off my entire life. He replied, ‘I know.’”
The more you know!
Nirvana is the iconic rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. The band was founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers before recruiting Dave Grohl in 1990. Though new to the collective, Grohl made a huge impact in Nirvana’s sound.
Dave admits he can’t read music, and begged that Pharrell stop saying that he’s a great drummer. The musician @tcarriermusic who shared the video, quotes the tweet with, “we all steal drums. this is crazy tho.” This further proves the impact that Black music has on the world, and the Black artists and musicians have contributed to a legacy far greater than their own.
Listen to the drums in Nirvana’s classic record “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Now, listen to The Gap Band’s “Burn Rubber On Me.”
Sound familiar? Shout out the contributions of Black music to some of the most iconic songs in the world across all genres.