Dave Grohl Was Living in ‘Squalor’ Before Nirvana Success
The 54-year-old musician joined the band as their drummer when they were working on the follow-up to their 1989 debut album Bleach and he shared a small apartment with frontman Kurt Cobain, which was littered with garbage and cigarette butts. But that all changed when they released Nevermind in 1991, which propelled them to fame.
During an appearance on the Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast, Dave said: "We were kids and so when you talk about the amount of time that’s gone by, to me it’s not even so much about the years. It’s about the experiences that just kind of led, one after another, going from three kids that were basically living or touring out of a van to then becoming a huge band."
"Before we made the record Nevermind, we were pretty much living in squalor. I was living with Kurt in this tiny little apartment and there were just corndog sticks and cigarettes all over the place. It was fucking disgusting. I would have done anything to have my own apartment and to be able to do that through making music."
Speaking of how the record changed their lives, Grohl added: "By 1992/1993 we were living in a different world than we were just 16 months before."
However, the rocker insisted the change wasn't as dramatic as many thought as they didn't become millionaires overnight. He explained: "I know the transition happened really quickly, but you didn't just wind up with a million dollars in your mailbox the next day. It [was like going up] to $15 a day — you're like: 'I can get two packs of cigarettes a day.' And then it went to: 'Oh my gosh we're staying in a motel, I'm sharing a room with Kurt but it's not someone's floor.'"
Grohl went on to add he didn't feel bad about suddenly having money to spend. He said: "I really didn't feel conflicted ... or any guilt or shame in paying off my mother's house or I bought my mother a car or I can now afford to buy a new pair of shoes ... I knew the band hadn't done anything outside of our true selves to get there. We just did the thing that we did ... I was just really happy to finally be able to support myself as a musician."
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Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita