Foo Fighters - "Friend of a friend"

The song "Friend of a friend", while appearing on the Foo Fighter's latest album In Your Honor, is actually one of Dave Grohl (vocals and guitars) 's oldest songs.

Grohl wrote the song in 1990, basing it on his initial impressions of Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic after joining Nirvana. He recalls : "I think it was written right when I moved up to Seattle. I wrote that song about those people that I’d just met. I didn't know them. I was living with Kurt in a little apartment. I’d just moved in and started playing in their band. I was kind of lonely. I'm from Virginia and my family and friends were back there. I was in Seattle with this dark cold winter. There was nothing to do, it was kind of depressing. So I just started writing some songs. I'd written songs before, for Scream [his previous band], and in my friend's basement on a 4-track but this was actually the first song I wrote just on an acoustic guitar".

Grohl even recorded and released a version around that time. Grohl : "I recorded the song on this 4 track while Kurt was sleeping and then played it to a friend when I got home in Virginia and recorded it on an 8 track. And then another friend of mine heard it and she had a record company called Simple Machines in Washington DC. She heard several other songs and asked me if I wanted to release a tape on her label. So I did and the song came out on that release, in 1991 or 1992". The song was released as part of a series called the "Pocketwatch series" and under the pseudonym "Late!", because he thought it’d be funny to "get on stage every night and say 'Hi we’re Late'".

The song was also recorded under the Foo Fighters' name, in 1997, during a BBC session. It appeared on a free tape given away with the NME.

As to why "Friend of a friend" is included on the latest Foo album, Grohl explains : "When we were making the acoustic record, a lot of people thought it would be just vocals and an acoustic guitar, whereas a lot of the songs got built up into this big orchestral things and there was something about this intimate vocal-guitar vibe that can be really powerful too. So after finishing the record, we thought maybe we need one more of those songs with just vocals and an acoustic guitar. I was writing songs, but they were rock songs, not acoustic songs. And then I remembered that song, and I thought it made sense since it's the first acoustic song I'd ever written and it had its place on the album. The few people that I played it for were really touched by it, so I thought 'Great, let’s put it on'. The version on In Your Honor is very similar to the original recording (a little more polished), with Grohl simply accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.

Available on the acoustic disc of the double album "In Your Honor"