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Foo Fighters- weird references


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Okay, I just got the Foo Fighter's album "There Is Nothing Left To Lose" therefore completeing my Foo Fighter's collection, and I've noticed something.....

Dave Grohl includes a crap load of Kurt Cobain references (that's a no brainer, everyone knows that) but the one that I find the weirdest, is Dave's strange obsession with the phrase "burn out" has anybody else noticed that?

Seriously go through listen to all the Foo's albums and you'll see it pops up all the freakin' time!

Now how this ties in with the 'Kurt Cobain references' is who all remembers the Neil Young quote in the 'suicide letter' "It's better to burn out than to fade away" (or it went something like that)

Bottom line, has anybody else noticed the 'burn out' thing.

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That quote is from "My My, Hey Hey"

My my, hey hey

Rock and roll is here to stay

It's better to burn out than to fade away

My my, hey hey

Out of the blue and into the black

They give you this, but you pay for that

And once you're gone, you can never come back

When you're out of the blue and into the black

The king is gone but he's not forgotten

This is the story of Johnny Rotten

It's better to burn out than it is to rust

The king is gone but he's not forgotten

Hey hey, my my

Rock and roll can never die

There's more to the picture

Than meets the eye

Hey hey, my my

I found an interesting article at smh.com.au. Read the last few paragraphs - it deals with Neil Young dedicating "Sleeps With Angels" to Kurt in memoriam.

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Okay, thread's not going exactly the way I expected it to, so I'll give a couple examples

In the song "Learn To Fly"

there are lyrics that go like this 'got to learn to burn out right'

okay I could chalk that one up to coincidence, but the phrase burn out is used over and over in numerous Foo songs

like in their latest album 'one by one' there's a whole song that sais it over and over and over (the name eludes me)

but it goes something like this 'burn out burn on'

Now does anybody else think that those 'burn out' references are all in fact referring to the 'note'


Costello girl, I hold nothing against you for posting before fully grasping my post, it's completely understandable, for I tend to ramble ::

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That's a good question Scott. In my opinion, however, I think maybe in one of the 1st songs you hear it in, it may have had references to Kurt. But think of this: How many other artists/bands use a certain phrase or same type of phrase over and over in many of their songs? I am trying to think of a gleaming example at the moment.... ::.....

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Good point!

I would normally dismiss something like that, but with the Foo Fighters it is a little different though, because a whole crapload of their songs seem to have veiled Cobain references (feel it come to life when I see your ghost)

or Courtney Love references(and how she's so freakin' evil! :laughing:)

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You realize, of course, that my favorite past time is playing "devil's advocate" don't you??? :: But in all honesty, I seriously don't think that everything he says would relate to Kurt OR Courtney in some way or another. I'm sure they have and will make references to Kurt, but I'm just saying, I think the Foo-Fighters have a little more talent musically and lyrically than to constantly dredge up the past about Kurt....or what they think of Ms. Love.

As always, this just happens to be own opinion. ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting observation scott and one that has definitely been noticed by me.

David Grohl is probably one of the busiest rock stars in the industry today. But as busy as he is, he has remained modest, at least in the interviews I've seen him participate in. The "burn out" phrase, IMO, is his respect for his hero, Neil Young. Young has pretty much always been consistent with his music career and has never "burned out." It's interesting how the phrase has a dual meaning with Kurt Cobain appearing on the other side of this puzzling coin.

I've lost a few friends to suicide and can relate to the surprise shock and anger which comes from it. Grohl's determination not to burn out or fade away was proven with his success after Cobain did what he did and Nirvana was no more.

Grohl shares my musical tastes. One example is his favourite Beatle, George Harrison as well as one of his first guitar learning songs, Something.

Oh, not to get away from this thought provoking topic but have you heard any news on his Probot project? I'm partial to heavy metal, much like Grohl.

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What is it that the Chillies say about Cobain in 'Californiacation'?

'And Cobain can you hear the spheres singin' songs off station to station'

My personal interpretation of that line, is that 'the spheres' is actually a reference to (oddly enough) the Foo Fighters, 'cuz a 'foo fighter' is what some branch of the military sais to refer to a flying saucer or U.F.O or whatever (which are shaped like 'spheres' get it?)

Then the 'singing songs off station to station' part has a couple o meanings, one of which is the Foo's were gettin' some good radio play at the time and since Grohl was Nirvana's drummer....so on and so forth,

the other one is the Foo's did a cover of Bowies 'Man Who Sold The World' (like Nirvana did) which is a song of the Bowie album 'Station To Station' (which happened to be one of Kurt's faves)

Now to Muzik:

You're totally right in the aspect that Grohl is the busiest man in R 'n' R right now, he does at least 4 side projects a year(probably more, but I can't think of more than that right now) and originally the Foo Fighters was just planned to be a limited engagement.

Though a little psychological aspect of Grohl's constant involvement in different projects is 'cuz he wants to show that he can make a huge musical impact on the world, and doesn't want to just live in Nirvana's shadow, and while the Foo's are insanely popular, they're kind of 'light weights' content wise (One By One was pretty impressive though) So he's constantly trying new things in hope that at least one will be remembered as a 'great group'

On the 'There Is Nothing Left To Lose' album there's a Computer extra that shows a video of a drunken Grohl saying

"Someone please tell me how to make an album, just a great Rock n Roll album, I was in Nirvana, the greatest rock band of the nineties, the band that changed music forever"

(that's pretty close to the quote, I think I botched the beginning of it though)

Kind of sums up everything.........

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that song all my life, i believe is about doing coke,

"Don't let it go to waste, I love it but I hate the taste

weight keep pinning me down."

"All my life I've been searching for something

something never comes never leads to nothing

nothing satisfies but I'm getting close

closer to the prize at the end of the rope."

if you just think about it, its like, "oooooooohhh!"

or thats the way i see it.


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