Dave Grohl delivered an inspiring keynote speech on Thursday (March 14) at South By Southwest, running through details of his own life and career to encourage conference attendees to stay true to themselves.
“The musician comes first,” he declared throughout the 45-minute talk in Austin, Texas. But Grohl also noted that he knew he following in big footsteps after Bruce Springsteen’s SXSW keynote in 2012 and Bob Geldof’s the year before.
Grohl told his audience that he even had Springsteen over for dinner at one point to talk about the task:
“I congratulated him on last year’s amazing keynote, quoting his insight and his humor and then I told him that this year’s keynote speaker was me. He stared at me for a moment, slowly cracked that famous smile that we all know and love - the smile that can light up an entire stadium, and then he started laughing. At me. As if to say good…luck buddy. But truth be told that’s not the first time anyone’s ever said that to me so it’s without a doubt my musical life’s greatest honor to be asked to share with you what I know about music.”
Grohl spoke modestly and with self-deprecation about being inspired at a young age by hearing the Edgar Winter Group’s “Frankenstein” and his own development as a musician – including demonstration of his rudimentary childhood multi-track recording experiments using an acoustic guitar and two old cassette recorders.
He spoke of his introduction to punk rock, joining Nirvana and its rise to fame, the pain of Kurt Cobain’s death, starting Foo Fighters and making the new “Sound City" documentary.
Grohl also screened the movie on Thursday night, and played a show with his all-star Sound City Players ad hoc band at Stubb’s.
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