When Virginia Grohl’s son, David, was younger, she began to suspect he was different than other kids. Extremely bright, charismatic and loved by his teachers, David was never interested in school and wasn’t successful in the classroom. What he did love was singing along to the radio on road trips with his mother and sister. In fact, Dave Grohl credits the moment he and Virginia sang harmony on “You’re So Vain” as the moment that music became his first love. From there, he listened to all the music that he could find, tried every instrument that he could, joined a band, and grew up to be the drummer for Nirvana and founder, singer, and guitarist for the Foo Fighters.
Watching her son perform, Virginia Grohl wondered about other performer’s mothers and the paths that their children took. When she could never find any other musician’s mothers at concerts, a friend encouraged her to go find them and the idea for From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars was born. Each chapter recounts a visit with a fellow mother of a musician; discussions cover the challenges that their sons and daughters faced, the sacrifices that were made that led to their success, and the overwhelming pride that each mother has for their children. Vignettes are interspersed throughout the book and tell of Virginia’s musical past, her friendship with Wendy Cobain (mother of the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana), and her post-9/11 cross-country trip on Gov’t Mule’s tour bus to be with her children, among other things.
From Cradle to Stage will be an entertaining read for rock fans. The profiles are compelling and it might surprise you to find out where some rock stars began their careers. Moreover, it will speak to anyone who’s ever struggled with raising their own free spirit, and even to creative teenagers who are trying to understand their parents’ less-than-cooperative mindset.