The Foo Fighters were all over the TV this past weekend, from their rather straight-ahead, fist-pumping appearance on "Saturday Night Live" to repeated airings of their "Live at Wembley" concert film to -- most noteworthy of all -- the premiere of their new documentary on VH1. Titled "Foo Fighters: Back and Forth" and airing again tonight at 7 p.m. on VH1 Classic, the movie chronicles the band's rather unlikely rise from the ashes of Nirvana and features several appearances by Minneapolitans past and present.
For starters, keep an eye out for footage from First Avenue early in the movie, around the release of "The Colour & the Shape." Of course, there are also lots of scenes later in the film with violinist/cellist Jessy Greene, the former Jayhawks/Golden Smog partner and well-known gal-about-town who became an auxiliary Foo Fighter in 2007. While she hasn't yet been at live sets this year, Greene did play on the new Foo album and thus is seen again on film at the end of the documentary during the sessions with Butch Vig for the band's new album at Grohl's home in Los Angeles. Among those scenes are clips where Krist Novoselic and Bob Mould show up for their guest spots in the sessions. Grohl gushes when Mould arrives about having one of his heroes on a Foo record. There's a hilarious scene where the ex-Husker Du howler is angrily delivering his vocals for the album inside the studio while Grohl is just outside in the pool happily swimming with his daughter.
I was surprised how unhilarious and dramatic the rest of "Back and Forth" actually was. Grohl is one of the most humorous and affable rock stars I've interviewed, but in the documentary he comes off as something of a serious, hard-ass bandleader. It's an interesting, unique portrait on how this nice-guy frontman had to make the shrewd decisions to sideline the band's original drummer (William Goldsmith) and second guitarist (Franz Stahl, Grohl's ex-bandmate in Scream), both times seeking musical perfection over personal likability.
Grohl will get back to the fun next week (April 20) when the band returns to town for its Garage Tour. We're still awaiting details of who the lucky winner will be that gets to have a Foo concert in their garage. Click here for a clip of the first Garage show in New York.