Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl have a lot in common — or so the Beatle realized when writing his speech inducting the Foo Fighters into the “fucking Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” as he dubbed it Saturday night.
In a short speech that the former Beatle gave in Cleveland on Saturday night, he drew parallels between his and Grohl’s love of rock, the bands that made them legends, and how they both rebounded to launch successful solo careers of their own. As he looked back on his own accomplishments and compared them with Grohl’s, McCartney had to stop several times as the audience overwhelmed him with cheering.
Outside of their similar journeys, the Beatles legend — who, like Dave Grohl now, is a two-time inductee himself — has a long history with the Foo Fighters frontman: Grohl served as drummer on the one-off “Sirvana,” or McCartney, Grohl, bassist Krist Novoselic and guitarist Pat Smear, who together released the track “Cut Me Some Slack” in 2012. McCartney also guested on Foo Fighters’ 2017 album Concrete and Gold, showcasing his drumming chops on “Sunday Rain.” (Grohl also revealed that McCartney gave his daughter her first piano lesson.)
Here’s his entire speech in his own words.
When they asked me to do a speech, they said, “Do you want to have the autocue?” I said, “No, I’m good. I’ll look at the paper.” But I’ve been seeing everyone do these amazing speeches, I’m beginning to think I should have taken the autocue. But I didn’t, so here it goes.
OK, so me, a teenage kid in Liverpool, just an ordinary kid going to school like everybody else; and then one day, I heard some music and I fell into rock & roll. It just happened. One day. Suddenly, the world changed, and I just fell, like, through a hole in time. And suddenly, I was in rock & roll. By the same time in his life, Dave did the same kind of thing. You know, he’s just an ordinary, kind of goofy kid. And same thing happens, he falls through the same hole, and he’s in rock & roll and it’s gonna be his life. It’s gonna take over everything. And nothing was every the same again.
It’s so magical. Everyone who knows, everyone who’s connected with it, everyone who loves rock & roll. It really is a magical thing that contains so many elements – like all of the people we’ve heard tonight. I mean, it’s just unbelievable. So I feel super privileged to be here tonight, inducting these guys.
So when that happened, and I fell into rock & roll, I joined a group. My group was the Beatles. Like I say, the world changed. Dave did a similar kind of thing. He joined a group, Nirvana.
We had a great time with our groups, but eventually tragedy happened and my group broke up. Same happened with Dave. His group broke up under tragic circumstances. So the question is, what do you do now? We both were presented with that question. In my case, I said, “Well, I’ll make an album where I play all the instruments myself.” So I did that. Dave’s group broke up, what’s he do? He makes an album where he plays all the instruments himself. Do you think this guy’s stalking me?
Anyway, so me, I’m gonna name my new group, and I call them Wings. So Dave’s got the same problem, and he’s got to think of a name for the group, so he comes up with “Foo Fighters.” So now the group is formed. It’s ready to take flight. It’s Dave, Taylor [Hawkins], Nate [Mendel], Pat [Smear], Chris [Shiflett], and Rami [Jaffee] – all the members of the Foo Fighters. So here they are tonight. I was just saying to them in the dressing room, “Guys, this is it. You’re here in Cleveland, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And tonight, you’re gonna be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.” I mean, it’s not just any Hall of Fame — it’s the fucking Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. OK, now they’re gonna show a little film, and this film shows the reasons why this band is one of the greatest rock & roll bands in the world. OK, let’s roll the film.