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Dave Grohl Talks ‘The Teacher,’ Foo Fighters’ Epic Ode to His Late Mother, on ‘Song Exploder’

“She was the most important person in my entire life. So I thought this had to be the most important music I ever made,” singer says of But Here We Are‘s 10-minute track

Dave Grohl goes in-depth about the Foo Fighters track “The Teacher,” which he penned as a tribute to his late mother Virginia, on the latest episode of the Song Exploder podcast.

Virginia Grohl, a longtime teacher, died in August 2022, about five months after the death of Taylor Hawkins; Foo Fighters’ latest album But Here We Are is dedicated to the two of them.

“I was with her for all of the time leading up to her passing,” Grohl told podcast host Hrishikesh Hirway. “Everyday during that period, I would write something on the guitar, because I felt that if I didn’t have that release, I would explode. I would spend the day at the hospital and then try to translate it musically — with no clear intention of what I was trying to achieve. I was finding these chords and progressions that mirrored the way that I felt.”

Clocking in at over 10 minutes, “The Teacher” is the band’s longest track to date, with Grohl telling Song Exploder that the song was actually constructed of two separate demos that he merged together to give it an epic scope.

“She was the most important person in my entire life. So I thought this had to be the most important music I ever made,” Grohl said of his mom. “I could have a piece of music bigger than anything that we’ve ever done that I could dedicate to my mother.”


The Song Exploder podcast marks one of the few occasions Grohl has spoken about the death of his mother, his co-star in the docuseries From Cradle to Stage; Virginia’s death still hasn’t been publicly announced.

“I was probably my only friend who liked hanging out with their parent,” Grohl added. “We were best friends. I felt like I had to honor her, pay tribute to her with this piece of music. So that’s when it turned into something other than a song. It’s the most important thing I’ve ever written because I wrote it for such a gigantic reason.”

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