Saturday, 1 October 2011

GUEST SPOT #17 - Mrs Grohl was my teacher/Nirvana - 'Heart-Shaped Box'

Nirvana - 'Heart-Shaped Box' (1993) Saturday Night Live rehearsal

We always remember the teachers that made an impression on us, as this weeks Guest Spot will tell. It comes from Tania, an old friend of mine during our school days in Saudi Arabia, we had some good times but we all eventually had to leave to further our studies. I went back to the UK where I was taught geography by Mr Thompson, a grubby man who constantly had dirt under his fingers and smelt of BO, we loved him. Whereas Tania went back to the US to be taught by Mrs Grohl she was cool, funny and her son was in a rock band.....uh, what? Mrs Grohl? Son in a rock band? Hang on a minute!

I was a Senior at Fairfax Highschool during the 1991-1992 school year. On the first day of school, my English teacher, asked each of the students to state our names and share something unique about ourselves to the class.  Once we all had all mumbled through our introductions, one of the students asked that our teacher do the same. She smiled, introduced herself as Virginia Grohl, and in her dry witted, clever manner, shared with us a few of her personal hobbies and interests. She then casually mentioned that her daughter was a marine biologist, and that her son was a drummer in a little known rock band in Seattle.

Student: "Oh yeah? Which one?"
Mrs. Grohl: "The band's name is Nirvana"
Student: "Never heard of them"
Mrs. Grohl: "You will"

Weeks passed during the school year with more and more stories about Nirvana's activity through Mrs. Grohl. Her pride was subtle but unmistakable when asked about her son. When their first CD came out, a student brought it to class pointing to the cover, asking which band member was her son. "The handsome one", she said. We discussed the unique sound of their music, the pain in Cobain's voice, the raw talent of their drummer, and the brilliance of the lyrics.

Funny man, yes you at the back there, see me after class...oh, is that you Dave?
During a visit to Virginia from Seattle, Dave spent an afternoon in her classroom with us. Warm, sharp and funny as his mother, he sat in the back teasing Mrs. Grohl, while handing out kittens to any interested takers. We learned that he's a self taught musician, didn't care for lessons, so played by ear. A sarcastically funny, clever and outspoken person, it was clear to all of us that a genuine talent was among us. Shortly after his visit, Nirvana performed on Saturday Night Live; a rite of passage for emerging bands. Needless to say, that was the year Nirvana skyrocketed to fame. We all felt so lucky to have the unique experience of watching Nirvana emerge into global stardom through the eyes of Mrs. Grohl.

'territorial pissings' not a concern

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GUEST SPOT #17 - Mrs Grohl was my teacher/Nirvana - 'Heart-Shaped Box'
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1 October 2011 at 09:34

Wow Tania! What a fantastic (if not legendary) post!

1 October 2011 at 12:26

Great Post, loved it, greeat tune of course

1 October 2011 at 18:42

Great song and that's the story of stories! I want a kitten from Dave!