There are plenty of jaw-dropping collaborations to look forward to on tonight’s Grammy Awards — Coldplay with Jay Z, Jonas Brothers with Stevie Wonder, Radiohead with the USC Marching Band, the all-star swagga of M.I.A., Kanye West, Lil Wayne and T.I. — but perhaps most anticipated is the pairing of Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney.
Grohl will be back at the drum set for the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There,” but at Friday night’s MusiCares Person of Year gala honoring Neil Diamond, the Foo Fighters frontman played it cool, recounting a phone conversation he had with McCartney earlier in the week. “He tells me, ‘So we’ve got this rehearsal space for, like, three hours, but I like to play rock & roll for a couple hours just to get warmed up.’ I was like, ‘Fuck, okay. Let’s do it, dude!”
But by Saturday’s Clive Davis party, which he and McCartney attended immediately following a final run-through at Staples Center, Grohl was giddy as a teenager. (Check out photos from the party — and Grammy rehearsals — in our pre-Grammy gallery.) That three-hour rehearsal in Burbank turned into one sick jam session, Grohl revealed, which kicked off with “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” then made its way through “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Honey Don’t,” and Wings’ “Let Me Roll It.” Grohl had practiced “Jet” on his own, so that was also added to the playlist, to his delight. Grohl was even trying to convince McCartney to play a secret warm-up show at House of Blues later that night, which, sadly, did not materialize.
Still, the bromance continued at the Foos table during Saturday’s gala. Grohl and McCartney sat side by side for the dinner and show, and though they both had their significant others in hand, it was the two guys who chatted and giggled like girlfriends. To be fair, they do have a history going back a few years. Grohl first met McCartney in 2007 when the Foos recorded Wings’ “Band On The Run” at London’s Abbey Road studios and Macca simply popped by the session, according to bassist Nate Mendel. Then in June of last year, Grohl joined McCartney onstage at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, playing drums on “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Back In The U.S.S.R.” as well as handling guitar and backing vocals for “Band On The Run.” And lest we forget, Grohl also played all the drums on Beatles songs used in the 1993 movie Backbeat.
But with a resume that includes guest stints with everyone from Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page to Tom Petty to Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, not to mention gigs with Queens of the Stone Age and Tenacious D, has Grohl reached his hero worship peak? Once you’ve bagged a Beatle, who’s left?
The Grammys are mere hours away — stay tuned to Rolling Stone‘s Grammy hub for all the latest reports and photos.