Dave Grohl Reveals Tales Behind His Trio of Led Zeppelin Tattoos

November 16, 2009 10:22 AM ET

Playing with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones in the new supergroup Them Crooked Vultures is a dream come true for Foo Fighters' frontman Dave Grohl, the singer/dummer tells Rolling Stone in an exclusive Q&A in our next issue.

Check out photos of more supergroups, from Cream to Audioslave.

Grohl's Zeppelin worship goes all the way back to his teenage years, when he got the first of three Zep-inspired tattoos — he's got John Bonham's three-circle Led Zeppelin IV logo tattooed in three places. "I did the first one myself when I was 16," he says. "I tried to get different colored ink to make it seem pro, but now it looks like someone put a cigarette out on my fucking arm."

The second was slightly more professional: he got it done in an illegal squat in Amsterdam. "It was done by an Italian guy named Andrea whose tattoo gun was made out of a doorbell machine," he says. "When my mother saw it, she was like, "David!" I was like, "Mom, I've done a lot worse shit than this, believe me. Look at my other arm."

And the last one Grohl paid for with his first check — that would be $400 — from being in Nirvana. "Kurt and I were living with each other in Olympia. The place was so depressing," he says. "I took the $400 and bought a Nintendo, a BB gun — mind you, I was 21, not 12 — and got that tattoo. One of my fondest memories of living in that rat-shit-hole apartment was buying a dozen eggs at the A&P, bringing them to Kurt's backyard, and me and Kurt and Buzz [Osbourne] from the Melvins shooting at the eggs. Those were the days."

Look back at the rise of Nirvana and more grunge legends, in photos.

Learn more about Grohl's two bands, and why playing with Them Crooked Vultures is like "being in the most incredible luxury car, driving on the Autobahn, flying by the seat of my pants" in the next issue of Rolling Stone. For now, find out how you can hear the band's debut album — and read our review of the self-titled disc — right away.

Related Stories:
Them Crooked Vultures Give Away "Mind Eraser, No Chaser"
Foo Fighters' Grohl Says Greatest Hits Feels Like "An Obituary"
Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl Gets His Own Alley in Ohio Hometown

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