February 18, 2016


David Bowie Hilariously Turned Down Dave Grohl's Request to Collaborate

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Webby Awards
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Webby Awards

In the month and a half since David Bowie's death, we've heard, seen and read a deluge of wonderful tributes. We've also heard a few comical stories of Sir Stardust turning down some of the biggest acts in the world—Red Hot Chili PeppersColdplay—when asked to collaborate.

Today's entry is Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. In a Playboy video where Grohl and his co-guitarist Pat Smear tour Bowie's L.A. haunts, Grohl recalls meeting Bowie at his 50th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden. Then:

"About two years ago, I got approached by this movie to do a song for the movie, so I thought, 'Well, maybe I'll have someone else sing. I'll do the music and then have another vocalist.' And then I thought, 'Well, maybe I'll ask and see if David would want to do it.' So the next day I get an email and it says, 'David, I watched the movie and I gotta be honest, it's not my thing.' He said, 'I'm not made for these times. So, thanks, but I think I'm gonna sit this one out.' 

And I thought, 'Aw, man. What a bummer. So I immediately email back and say, 'No worries, I totally understand, I hope you're well and I'll see you around. And I hit send and within like a minute and a half I get an email back from him and it says, 'Alright, well that's settled then, now fuck off.' And I'm like, 'Whoa. Is he kidding?' Like, I couldn't tell. So I emailed back, I said, 'Well, I guess I'll see ya in another 16 years.' And he immediately sends one back and says, 'Don't hold your breath.' And I send back one that says, 'What, no more birthday parties at Madison Square Garden?' And he says, 'No more birthdays—I've run out of them.' But then he wrote, 'But that was a really fun night, wasn't it?'"

Some serious David-to-David honesty. But the mind-blowing Blackstar, Bowie's final album, released two days before his death, did unequivocally show that he was made for these—and all—times.

Watch Pat Smear and Dave Grohl do the L.A. Bowie tour over at Playboy.