Six Degrees of Dave Grohl: Foo Fighters, Nirvana, and Joan Jett DLC

By now Dave Grohl qualifies as the unofficial mayor of Rock Band, since he’s all over the game in every guise you can name. Not only does he appear with five different bands (Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Tenacious D, Nine Inch Nails, and Queens of the Stone Age), but the Foo Fighters were one of the first bands to make a whole album (The Colour & The Shape) available as DLC. And now they join the elite list of bands who’ve put new songs out as Rock Band downloads on the same day of their general release.

The Foo Fighters are temporarily on hiatus while Grohl rocks with Them Crooked Vultures, but they’re keeping fans happy in the meanwhile with a new Greatest Hits album. Along with lots of old favorites (including ‘07’s “The Pretender” and ‘05’s “Best of You,” both in our package), the CD has two brand-new songs, and we’ve got ‘em both: “Wheels” was first performed live on the Fourth of July, when the Foo Fighters headlined a USO benefit at the White House, before some military heroes and President Obama. The other new song, “Word Forward” was also part of a recent studio session with producer Butch Vig, who first worked with Grohl on Nirvana’s earthshaking Nevermind.

Grohl, of course, didn’t appear on Nirvana’s first album Bleach; original drummer Chad Channing was still in place then. And only a handful of insiders were paying attention when Sub Pop released this album, recorded for an estimated cost of 600 bucks. But over time, “School,” “Blew” and especially “About a Girl” would take their place as landmark Nirvana tracks; writer Nick Hornby sort-of named a book and subsequent movie (About a Boy) after the latter. And some fans still prefer this corner of Nirvana’s history, when they were still Seattle misfits with nothing to lose.

Wrapping up this week’s package is a prime Joan Jett track, “Fake Friends.” This was the leadoff single from her third album Album, the followup to the megahit I Love Rock & Roll. While it wasn’t as big a hit, “Fake Friends” has attitude to spare and a killer guitar hook as well. And though nobody had heard of Dave Grohl in 1983, there must be a connection we can find. Let’s see: Jett’s first band was teen-punk sensations the Runaways….who were discovered and produced by notorious LA impresario Kim Fowley…who later cowrote the KISS classic “Do You Love Me”…which was then covered by Nirvana. How’s that?