How the Police Helped Foo Fighters Get Their Name
Dave Grohl explained how the Police helped him choose a name for Foo Fighters and suggested it made drummer Stewart Copeland the ideal person to induct his band into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Foo Fighters were recently named among the candidates for the class of 2021. While it’s not certain they’ll win entry, Grohl told Howard Stern on SiriusXM that he’d enjoy the experience.
Asked about who might convey the honor, he said: “This band started with this demo tape that I did. … I went into the studio for five days, I played all the instruments, I recorded 13 or 14 songs – just for fun. I made cassettes, and I called it ‘Foo Fighters’ because I didn’t really want everyone to know it was me. I thought maybe if I give someone a cassette, maybe they think it’s a band, they’ll be surprised when they find out it was just one person and that it was me. Coming out of Nirvana, I didn’t want to, like, say, ‘Hey, I got a solo project!’ So I called it Foo Fighters.”
You can listen to the interview below.
Grohl had come up with the approach after remembering a childhood experience. “When I was young, someone gave me a record by an artist named Klark Kent,” he said.
“It was this kinda weird fringe thing. … It sounded a lot like the Police, because it was actually Stewart Copeland, the drummer of the Police. He made this record under the name Klark Kent. He didn’t put his name on the record. When you first got it, you were like, ‘Wow, who’s Klark Kent? This is kinda rad!’ Then someone was like [whispering], ‘That’s Stewart Copeland!’”
He explained "that’s really the thing that inspired me. I think Stew would be a great guy to indict the band. And if you’re ever hung about with Stewart, he can make a fucking speech!”
Grohl was careful to note that his idea was “unofficial,” which led Stern to ask the rest of the band if any of them had any alternative suggestions for a Rock Hall host. When guitarist Pat Smear suggested “Dave’s mom,” the band leader responded: “You know what, I’ll ask. … Pat’s right!”