Dave Grohl Says He Thinks About Kurt Cobain 'All the Time': I 'Just Had a Dream About Him'

In his new memoir—The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music—Foo Fighter frontman and Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl spins a fast-paced tale on fame, fatherhood and his lifelong passion for music

Dave Grohl
Dave Grohl. Photo: Magdalena Wosinska

For years after Kurt Cobain's death by suicide, his bandmate Dave Grohl couldn't bear to listen to the music they made together.

"It used to be that years ago that I would hear a Nirvana song on the radio and turn the channel," Grohl, 52, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "I don't do that anymore. I'll go driving with my kids in the car and they'll put on Nirvana….We don't really sit around the house, talking about Nirvana all day long, but every once in a while, they'll ask me questions and I'll explain that life to them."

That life is passionately chronicled in Grohl's new memoir—The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music—which takes readers on a raucous, high-speed road trip through the story of his ascension from a self-described kid with "giant horse teeth and knobby knees" to rock stardom, fatherhood and beyond.

Dave Grohl the storyteller memoir

Writing an autobiography, admits the Foo Fighters' frontman and Nirvana drummer, is a lot like creating an album. "You're trying to engage the reader and the listener and keep them on the ride until the end of the song or the story," he says.

Grohl—who dropped out of high school to become the drummer for the Washington, D.C.-area punk rock band Scream—never imagined the dizzying success that Nirvana would achieve when he joined the group in 1990 and moved to Seattle.

"I was basically a gypsy with a drum set and a duffel bag who wound up living with these two strangers in these squalid apartments, wondering if I'd made the right decision," he recalls. "But when we went to the rehearsal space and started playing, it was pretty clear that we were all there for a reason. I think our greatest hope was that we'd have enough money to get an apartment and food to eat."

Nirvana has gone on to sell over 75 million records, but Cobain's tragic death in 1994 deeply affected Grohl.

"I think about him all the time," he says. "I just had a dream about him two nights ago. I only knew Kurt for about three and a half years, but in that time we went through multiple lifetimes. Kurt's songs touched the world."

Nirvana in the early '90s. Everett

On Oct. 30, Grohl will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for a second time, along with the Foo Fighters, the band he started after Nirvana that has gone on to release 10 albums and win 12 Grammy Awards since 1994.

"None of these guys ever aspired to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," he says, "so it's a beautiful feeling to know that we're going to share this experience together."

Besides making music, Grohl's life these days revolves around tending to his three daughters.

"I'm having the time of my life being a father," he insists. "The challenge is all about being able to shift gears. You go out on the road, playing stadiums, traveling every day. You're jet-lagged and exhausted, then you come home, you're in a minivan, you're packing lunch boxes and you're in the drop-off line at the school down the street. You have to be able to shift gears."

For more on Dave Grohl and his new memoir, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.

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