Dave Grohl Opens About Tribute To Late Mother ‘The Teacher’

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl opened up about “The Teacher,” a song written as a tribute to his mother, during his appearance on the latest episode of the Song Exploder podcast.

“The Teacher” is from Foo Fighters’ latest album, But Here We Are. The 10-minute rock song was written in tribute to Grohl’s mother, Virginia Grohl, who passed away in July 2022.

Grohl called his mother “the most important person in my entire life” and described the song as the “most important music I ever made.”

“I was with her for all of the time leading up to her passing,” Grohl told Song Exploder host Hrishikesh Hirway. “Everyday during that period, I would write something on the guitar, because I felt that if I didn’t have that release, I would explode. I would spend the day at the hospital and then try to translate it musically – with no clear intention of what I was trying to achieve. I was finding these chords and progressions that mirrored the way that I felt.”

Having come up with two separate demos, Grohl then tried putting them together: “These two ideas were separate to me until I imagined that if I were put them together, it’s more than a three or four minute song. It’s something much bigger. I could have a piece of music bigger than anything that we’ve ever done that I could dedicate to my mother.”

Discussing the lyrics of the song, Grohl said that the line “Where will I wake up?” was something Grohl’s mother asked him during the final days of her life.

As for the song’s chorus, in which Grohl sings “Wake up!” he explained, “I think someone’s immediate reaction to seeing someone dying is to wish for them to wake up, but that’s not how it works. One of my greatest fears in life is that I would be gone when this happened – gone on the road, not present for this. I was there and we were there together.”

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