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Dave Grohl’s Guest List: 21 Amazing Musical Cameos

The Foo Fighters frontman has drummed, played guitar and sang with everyone from Puff Daddy to Paul McCartney

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Dave Grohl has guest-starred with everyone from Puff Daddy to David Bowie. Here are his 21 of his best cameo appearances.

Katarina Benzova

Since the early Nineties, Dave Grohl has played in a few little-known bands like Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, directed a documentary about Los Angeles’ famed Sound City Studios, created a TV series for HBO and even rocked the Acropolis. But that evidently hasn’t been enough for the hyper-energetic multi-instrumentalist, who has also guest-starred with dozens of artists, drumming for Tom Petty, helping Puff Daddy remix his biggest hit, playing the devil for Tenacious D and squared off against the Muppets’ Animal. Here are 21 of our favorite Grohl cameos.

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Hip-Hop artist Sean 'Puffy' Combs performing on 'MTV 2 Large' on New Year's Eve in MTV's Times Square studios, 12/31/99. (Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect)

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Puff Daddy, “It’s All About the Benjamins (Shot-Caller Rock Remix)” (1997)

When Puff Daddy reached out to Dave Grohl to help remix his 1997 hit "It's All About the Benjamins," Grohl was intrigued, if a bit mystified. "It was probably my favorite song of his," Grohl said in 1999, "but I had never done a remix and didn't know what one was." Ultimately, the song's "Shot-Caller Rock Remix" also featured new instrumentation from Tommy Stinson and Rob Zombie and a campy prom-themed Spike Jonze music video. "It was a really wild thing," Grohl said. "I'd never done anything like it."

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Tenacious D, ‘Tenacious D’ (2001)

Dave Grohl has been intimately involved with the D ever since Jack Black and Kyle Gass founded the comedic rock group in the late Nineties. In addition to drumming on all three of the band's studio records, Grohl has contributed vocals and even acted as the devil in the music video for the group's "Tribute." "So hard to play drums when you're laughing hysterically and tears are rolling down your checks," Grohl said last year. "Maybe the hardest gig ever."

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Queens of the Stone Age, ‘Songs for the Deaf’ (2002)

Grohl has played on and off with Queens of the Stone Age since he joined them in the studio to drum on the entirety of their 2002 LP, Songs for the Deaf. Ten years later, Grohl returned to the studio with the band once again to handle drums on several tracks from their 2013 LP …Like Clockwork. "Queens of the Stone Age are, without question, the baddest rock & roll band in the world," Grohl declared in 2012.

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David Bowie during David Bowie performs as part of his Sold Out "New York Marathon" tour of intimate venues at Snug Harbor Music Hall in Staten Island, New York, United States. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

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David Bowie, “I’ve Been Waiting for You” (2002)

During the recording of his 2002 album HeathenDavid Bowie enlisted Grohl to play guitar on his cover of Neil Young's "I've Been Waiting for You." Bowie, who recorded most of the album in upstate New York with longtime producer Tony Visconti, sent the track to Grohl, who added his guitar part separately. Grohl, an avowed Bowie fan, claims that Let's Dance is the "best air-drumming album of all time."

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Cat Power during Cat Power In Concert at Castle Clinton 2003 - New York at Castle Clinton, Battery Park in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/WireImage)

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Cat Power, ‘You Are Free’ (2003)

For her sixth album, 2003's You Are Free, Cat Power enlisted Dave Grohl to play drums on several tracks. "I'll never forget hearing her the first time," Grohl said of the singer in 2006. "My friend had a mixtape going in the van and 'Cross Bones Style' from the Moon Pix album came on. I turned it up and asked, 'Who the fuck is this?' I swear, nothing else mattered at that moment. Her voice was chilling. Her guitar was beautiful. Her words were so pure."

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alex Berliner /BEImages (203657j) The Bangles ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT PRE EMMY PARTY, HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA, AMERICA - 21 SEP 2003

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The Bangles, “Grateful” (2003)

One of Grohl's most unlikely appearances came on the Bangles' 2003 comeback record Doll Revolution, where his background vocals earned him a credit as a member of  of the "Bangle Boys Choir." Still, the experience didn't leave too much of an impression: "They were next door in the studio, and we'd always meet in the kitchen," he later explained. "They asked if I would sing backup on a song. I went in, did it and never fucking heard it again."

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LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 10: Trent Renzor and guitarist Aaron North of Nine Inch Nails performs at 106.7 KROQ's "Almost Acoustic Christmas" at Gibson Ampitheater at Universal Studios on December 10, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

Karl Walter/Getty

Nine Inch Nails, ‘With Teeth’ (2005)

After recording the demos that would turn into his 2005 With Teeth, Trent Reznor passed along the rough tracks to see if Grohl would be interested in contributing percussion. After one listen, he said yes. "[Reznor] said, 'When can you start,'" Grohl explained around the time of the record's release. "I said, 'Let's do it tomorrow.'"

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LONDON - APRIL 16: Keith Flint of The Prodigy performs at Wembley Arena on April 16, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

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The Prodigy, “Run With the Wolves” (2009)

Grohl reached out to the Prodigy after he had finished a tour with the Foo Fighters, telling them that he wanted to get back into drumming. He ended up playing on “Run With the Wolves,” an album track from the group’s Invaders Must Die. “It was really inspiring,” said the Prodigy’s Liam Howlett, discussing Grohl’s desire to play with the group, adding that their collaboration is “definitely the most venomous track on the album.”

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Lemmy and Slash, “Ace of Spades” (2010)

When Lemmy Kilmister received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, the Motörhead frontman played a ripping, special one-off performance of his signature song, “Ace of Spades,” with Slash and Dave Grohl. “If there’s one band that everyone I know loves, it’s Motörhead,” Grohl said in an interview at the event. “[It] doesn’t matter if you love rock & roll, you love Chuck Berry, you love punk rock … ” Lemmy interrupted, and Grohl said, “Every musician wishes he were you.” Kilmister said, “Not the lead guitar players.” Grohl shot back, “Yeah, fuck them. Assholes,” and they laughed.

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: Matthew Shultz of Cage The Elephant performs at Manchester Academy on October 3, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)

Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage

Cage the Elephant in Salt Lake City (2011)

During their 2011 tour opening for the Foo Fighters, Cage the Elephant suddenly needed help when drummer Jared Champion suffered a ruptured appendix on tour. Enter Grohl. "I got a phone call and it was Dave Grohl, and he said, 'So I heard you guys need a drummer,'" lead singer Matthew Schultz recently told Rolling Stone. Grohl then surprised the crowd when he joined the band during their opening set in Salt Lake City to play on songs like "In One Ear" and "Shake Me Down." "First it was really, like, bittersweet," Schultz continued. "'Cause at the same time we were worried that Jared was gonna die. On the other hand, we were like, 'Oh my God we're playing with Dave Grohl!'"

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The Grammys Go EDM (2012)

In 2012, the Grammys embraced EDM by giving Skrillex six nominations and setting up a Chris Brown/David Guetta/Lil Wayne/Foo Fighters/Deadmau5 “club” performance, in which the latter DJ transformed the Foos’ “Rope” into a surprisingly catchy electro jam. Nevertheless, Grohl enraged easily-enraged dance music when his Best Rock Performance acceptance speech saluted the “human element of music” and noted that music “is not about what goes on in a computer.”

Deadmau5, however, didn’t seem to take offense: “I just want him to go in the garage with his boys, fire up the fucking tape deck and do whatever the fuck he wants,” the DJ told Rolling Stone later in the year, saying that he’d like to have Foo Fighters remix one of his own songs.

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Paul McCartney, “Cut Me Some Slack” (2012)

When Grohl made the soundtrack to his film, Sound City, he teamed with dozens of guest musicians, from Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor to Stevie Nicks. The most famous artist he worked with was Paul McCartney, who wrote and recorded the heavy jam “Cut Me Some Slack” with the surviving members of Nirvana. As a surprise, the Beatle welcomed Grohl & Co. onstage with him at the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief to give the song its live debut. They later performed it on Saturday Night Live and at a 2013 Seattle gig. Grohl previously backed McCartney as a drummer on “I Saw Her Standing There” in 2009 when the Beatle was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year. Grohl and McCartney have done “I Saw Her Standing There” a few times since, including once at McCartney’s 2015 London gig where Grohl played guitar and sang the chorus in the same mic as his idol.

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The Rolling Stones, “Bitch” (2013)

The Rolling Stones welcomed several guests onstage with them on their 50 & Counting tour in 2013, and when they stopped in Anaheim, California, that May, it was Dave Grohl’s turn. Armed with a guitar and his own mic stand, Grohl traded verses on the Sticky Fingers cut “Bitch” with Mick Jagger. He even took a turn at playing his own noisy guitar solo as Keith Richards looked on approvingly. “Take a bow, Dave,” Mick said when the performance was done.

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Zac Brown Band, ‘The Grohl Sessions, Vol. 1’ (2013)

“They’re unbelievable,” Dave Grohl said of the Zac Brown Band in a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone. After joining the group for a performance at the CMA Awards, Grohl ended up producing and drumming on the group’s 2013 EP The Grohl Sessions, Vol. 1. “People are like ‘oh, it’s country.’ ‘No, it’s not, it’s like the Allman Brothers.’ ‘No, it’s not, it’s jam band.’ I don’t even know what you would call it, it’s fucking great.”

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction (2014)

Dave Grohl has largely avoided any type of Nirvana reunion, but when the group was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he and Krist Novoselic decided to perform the band’s original material with a handful of female singers offering their own Grohl-style cameos. Kim Gordon, Annie Clark, Joan Jett and Lorde all performed inspired versions of Nirvana classics, and Grohl was particularly taken by Lorde’s work. “There’s something about her that represented or resembled the Nirvana aesthetic,” he told Rolling Stone.  

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The Muppets’ Animal (2015)

Grohl, who often whips his hair around like a Muppet when he’s drumming, joined unwieldy Animal for a drum-off in 2015 when the Muppets show was airing on TV. In a one-minute clip, Grohl says, “I’ve been waiting years for this, Animal.” “Now we see who best,” the muppet replies. Then for the next minute, the Foo Fighters frontman and the Electric Mayhem stickman trade licks in a competitive drum-off. Before long, they’re playing together – so hard in fact that each of their kits fall over, leading to a hilarious kicker. Later, Grohl fronted the Muppets on a version of “Learn to Fly.”

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Guns N’ Roses, “Paradise City” (2017)

After Nirvana feuded with Guns N’ Roses in the early Nineties, the two camps reached a détente in the years after Kurt Cobain’s death. In 2016, Axl Rose borrowed Grohl’s custom throne – which he’d built after he broke his leg onstage – for a run of gigs after the GN’R singer injured his foot. The band welcomed Grohl onstage at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, date of its Not in This Lifetime Tour the next year for a rendition of “Paradise City,” which found Grohl singing and playing guitar. When he came onstage, he tried to join bassist Duff McKagan on his mic, but the bassist showed him that he had his own stand. Once in position, he sang along and bashed away at his guitar until the end when he gave Axl Rose a big hug.

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