Customer Reviews


59 Reviews
5 star:
 (32)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (10)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable with lots of musical history - but needs more on Dave himself
Full disclosure - I have huge respect for Dave Grohl and have been lucky enough to see him live in London on nine occasions with four of his bands over the last 23 years (Nirvana x 3 / QOTSA x 1 / Them Crooked Vultures x 2 / Foo Fighters x 3). I also came to this book a good 2-3 years after it was first published. Having read the other reviews of this book, they are fair...
Published 9 months ago by Dan

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars who goes to some lengths to assure us that he is such good friends with the subject would write a book about ...
Looking at the definition of unauthorised, we confirm that it means "not having official permission" so it strikes me as rather strange that the author, who goes to some lengths to assure us that he is such good friends with the subject would write a book about him without checking with him. Surely if you considered yourself such a good friend you wouldn't be writing a...
Published 1 month ago by keen reader


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars who goes to some lengths to assure us that he is such good friends with the subject would write a book about ..., 25 Feb. 2015
This review is from: This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl (Paperback)
Looking at the definition of unauthorised, we confirm that it means "not having official permission" so it strikes me as rather strange that the author, who goes to some lengths to assure us that he is such good friends with the subject would write a book about him without checking with him. Surely if you considered yourself such a good friend you wouldn't be writing a book in the first place. What sort of friend would do that?...

Financial and egotistical motives aside this book is not a biography in the conventional sense, it's more a study/history of Indi/alternative music from the US from the late 70s onwards. The book opens up with some excruciatingly cringeworthy descriptions of the author meeting his subject. It comes across like some school kid making juvenile attempts to ingratiate himself into the cool kids affections. We soon get past this and into the story of Dave.

You could be forgiven, if after reading the first 100 odd pages for thinking that you were actually reading, an unauthorised, biography of Ian MacKaye or the Dischord label. In fact it borrows so much from previous work it really is like re-reading "Our Band Could Be Your Life" again but with some vague and tenuous references to Dave Grohl's life crowbarred in to somehow pad it all out. In fact the author repeatedly rambles on for pages at a time without even mentioning Grohl and usually when he gets round to his supposed main subject again we are forever reminded that this is just cut and pasted from many other sources.

The next 100 plus pages take us into the story of Nirvana. Being a big fan of the band I found these chapters really interesting and they go into some depth about Cobain and the success and problems but again Grohl seems to take a back seat in his own story and you actually forget that you are supposed to be reading about him instead of Cobain and Nirvana.

From the final third onwards on we get to the Foo Fighters and it's only here that Grohl eventually gets to take centre stage in this version of his own story and I felt like we did get more of an insight into the subject and the book was all the better for it but it also just made the rest of the book appear so uneven and dis-jointed by comparison, as a result you are left conflicted and confused by the overall approach.

Continuous use of Grohl says, Grohl thought, Grohl felt etc, keeps us forever at a distance from the subject so it loses immediacy and intimacy and we always feel apart from the action and the story as this is a constant reminder that someone else is telling someone else's story without their blessing.

On the plus side there are some interesting photos which I had never seen before and I enjoyed finding out more details about the Nirvana era but this book was not so much about Dave Grohl as about the people, music and circumstances that shaped and influenced him. Looking for more information on the origins of such a puzzling attempt at a biography I found this interview with the author online below, lifted from a Rock Cellar Magazine.

"Paul Brannigan: The book is something of a happy accident. I conducted a five hour interview with Dave Grohl towards the end of 2009 for a magazine feature, and found myself with a 45,000 word transcript for a piece commissioned to run at 5,000 words in total: the idea that so much material would never be seen seemed like such a waste to me, and I knew that I had an interview that was more revealing and personal than anything in the existing DG biographies, so I approached a literary agent in London with the idea for a book. And happily there was a lot of interest in the idea.

It was only then that I approached Dave's management about the idea of doing an authorised biography. I didn't speak to Dave directly during this period - it would have been impolite to do so - but after some discussion Dave's management told me that Dave would prefer to wait until his career is over before writing an official book. Which makes complete sense, but Dave is a lifer in this business, and I'm not sure I'll still be around in 20 years when his career draws to a close, so I made the decision to press on with the idea, albeit that the book would be unauthorized".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable with lots of musical history - but needs more on Dave himself, 23 July 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl (Paperback)
Full disclosure - I have huge respect for Dave Grohl and have been lucky enough to see him live in London on nine occasions with four of his bands over the last 23 years (Nirvana x 3 / QOTSA x 1 / Them Crooked Vultures x 2 / Foo Fighters x 3). I also came to this book a good 2-3 years after it was first published. Having read the other reviews of this book, they are fair and balanced - this book will largely hit your sweet spot if you have a penchant for detail about the US hardcore/metal scene in the 1980's (I do and I loved this part of the book) & the Nirvana years. The book is well written and is positive and kind about Mr. Grohl's output - I personally find a lot of later period Foo Fighters to be be rather bland - whilst not seemingly finding digging very deep into revealing more about Dave as a person. The quotes are from interviews and other media sources, so whilst the author has had some good access when new releases were being promoted, this is not an authorised biography. There is almost a total lack of embarrasing stories - a man who drinks absinthe out of choice and who has been a touring muscian for over 25 years will have many notable stories of debauchery - none feature here. There is much detail in the book for even the comitted fan, I bought the Probot album due to this book - I love it - and the overall quality of the writing made this a highly enjoyable read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is about the most important thing of all: The music., 5 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl (Paperback)
If there's one thing I DON'T want to read in my lifetime, it's an authorised biography of Dave Grohl. Because there is no way this guy is anywhere near finished what he's been put on this planet for. Music biographies, especially more recently, seem to be for those who know that they're coming to the end of their careers and are looking to get some kind of time line of their life down on paper before they potter off into a retirement of reunion tours and speaking circuits. I have a feeling that Dave is nowhere near that point, and probably never will be.

However, this book isn't just a look at Grohl's life. It's more a way to connect the dots between the punk, grunge, and 1990's (onwards) rock scene and Grohl's personal involvement with them. For me, it was an inspiring book of one guy who dropped out of high school, chased his dreams and caught them thereby changing the face of music as we know. It's definitely a kick up the ass for any of us who work in the arts and constantly find ourselves facing the proverbial brick walls (if you're looking for another kick up the ass, I highly recommend Grohl's 2013 SXSW Keynote speech. It's not just for the musicians!).

If you're looking for a book that focuses on rock n' roll excess, this isn't the one for you. This is a book that, especially in Grohl's eyes, is about the most important thing of all: The music.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could more accurately be called the times of Dave Grohl (and a bit about his life), 19 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl (Paperback)
I am a fan of the Foos and Dave Grohl and have seen them live, watched films etc over the years so I thought that I'd enjoy this book and finding out more of Dave's backstory. Although I'm a fan, I'm not obsessive or nerdy about Grohl and his life and times, so perhaps I'm the wrong audience for this book; this seems to be for hardcore 'tell me everything' acolytes, rather than the moderately intrigued.

The introduction is great and sets the scene with Paul Brannigan's relationship with Grohl. However you get the feeling the focus of the book is starting to drift when the author starts talking about Grohl's ancestors without really relating it back to him. The recollection of Grohl's childhood and family, and in particular his fascination with particular records, bands and instruments is great. It puts his much memed quote about leaning to play your own music and not join the x factor queue, into perspective

I lost interest in the book (and by lost interest I mean I actually fell asleep mid chapter out of boredom) when Brannigan documents seemingly every single band that were around during Grohl's youth. It's hard to summon an enthusiasm for lists of groups you have never heard of or their tracks that you will never hear. This would be forgivable if it was all relevant but there seemed to be pages and pages where Grohl was forgotten and it was all about obscure underground scenes and the people in them. This is where I stopped reading so perhaps it got better after this.

Overall the book could have done with a heavier editorial touch to make it more readable. I just don't have time to skim read the 'times' and to get to the 'life of'. Either than or it could be great in audio format with clips of tracks that the author alludes to.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More about the writer than the subject, 15 Feb. 2015
Exhaustive and well-researched account of the life and career of Dave Grohl. Though well written, it's slightly annoying how keen Brannigan is to constantly let the world know he has famous 'friends.' At times the book is more about the writer than the subject (I was hanging out at a Malibu beach house with Dave, I was drinking in a bar in London with Dave, Dave told me this, Dave told me that, etc). Its also a bit uneven in places. Page after page is devoted to obscure Nirvana songs or side projects, while entire Foo Fighters albums are covered in the space of a couple of paragraphs.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and engaging snapshot, 12 Oct. 2011
By 
MCDee (Perth,Scotland) - See all my reviews
Written from the perspective of a former Editor, this work is well written and covers in great detail the various makings and breakings of Dave Grohl the individual, the front man and the genius.

Paul Brannigan has provided an entertaining and engaging snapshot into the life of the man that has featured prominently at various stages of the past twenty years in the music business.

The background given on the many players in the kaleidoscopic music scene of Grohl's youth and beyond enriches the text so that is is more than merely a reflection on one person alone. Thankfully, the story of Nirvana and Grohl's place in it is told proportionately to his many other exploits and avoids turning the book into a eulogy of what once was.

I highly recommend this work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and interesting read, 3 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I found this very entertaining and as this was my first book on Grohl/Nirvana this was a very interesting read. Got me to listening Nirvana again...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 16 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A real heart felt in-depth look into the life of one of Rocks greastest icons! It really shows why he is such a nice guy after the life he lived, through Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, and the tragedies along the way! A great read
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Bio Of Modern Rock Legend!!, 12 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl (Paperback)
This is a really enjoyable read on Dave Grohl, tracing back to his early to being part of the best Grunge band on the planet, before fronting his own awesome modern rock band, a great read on a modern rock idol and true all round musician/singer songwriter!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Decent enough read, 10 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A decent read but as its written by a music journalist its written from a very factual perspective. Provides a good insight into the development of the music genres that shaped Dave Grohl. Until the man himself tells his own story its probably the best book to give you an idea of the guy. He strikes me as the kind of guy that has no urge to write a book about himself (but hope I'm wrong) and then you may have something to compare with a great autobiography eg Slash's. Worth a read and will definitely open doors for new bands and influences.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl
This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl by Paul Brannigan (Paperback - 7 Jun. 2012)
£7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews