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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Foo Fighters: friendship, loss, and rock ‘n’ roll

Hard rock isn’t a genre known for moving, introspective songwriting. But that’s what Foo Fighters have done with their latest album, But Here We Are, released this month.

The album is their first since the tragic death of drummer Taylor Hawkins. With the death, too, of Grohl’s mother a few months later, it’s not surprising that grief and loss take centre stage – ‘Caught in illusion/not an illusion’ and ‘I’ve been hearing voices in my head/none of them are you’. The often-discordant music captures the questioning and confusion, the search for fixed points and meaning when both seemed to have been ripped away.

But whilst the songs act as grief therapy with heavy distortion, the album is also profoundly about friendship.

Grohl and Hawkins were famously close. From the moment they met, Grohl said it was clear they had a bond, making them almost inseparable over the next 25 years.

‘Someone said I’ll never see your face again/Part of me just can’t believe it’s true/Pictures of us sharing songs and cigarettes/This is how I’ll always picture you.’ (From ‘Under You’.)

The album is a celebration of their close friendship, a tribute to what difference it can make to have someone – anyone – to connect with, and honestly open up to.

It’s reminiscent of David and Jonathan’s deep friendship, formed through sharing battles and doing life together despite major obstacles – your best friend’s dad literally wanting you dead causes some issues. And when Jonathan is killed in battle, David (like Grohl) finds music to be a way to channel both grief and thankfulness:

‘O my dear brother Jonathan,
I’m crushed by your death.
Your friendship was a miracle-wonder,
love far exceeding anything I’ve known—
or ever hope to know.’
2 Samuel 1:26 (The Message)

Friendship like this doesn’t just happen. It takes time and effort to develop. Maybe that’s why, if recent research is right, we’re losing the art of friendship. Many men, especially, reveal they don’t have any close friends.

God has designed us for life-enhancing friendships where we can openly share life together – grace-filled melodies in a distorted world. Celebrate them and give thanks to God for them. If there’s an old friend you’ve lost touch with, why not reconnect with them? Now is as good a time as any. And who knows what a blessing to you both that might be. Here may be where we are, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Jules Gadsby
Church Engagement Specialist, LICC

Wisdom Lab: Friendship on the Frontline

Explore what it looks like to be a Christlike friend in your daily life with our small group discussion guide, based on our recent Wisdom Lab event.

Comments

  1. I think this is so true. Friendship is indeed an art form which takes time and effort to cultivate. Perhaps our loneliness is directly related to our reluctance to invest in the slow – build, long-term things. We want instant. And strong, lasting friendships can’t be found that way. A thought-provoking post. Thank you.

    By Deborah Jenkins  -  30 Jun 2023
  2. Dear Jules,

    Thank you for giving us the proverbial nudge: “Now is as good a time as any. And who knows what a blessing to you both that might be.” OK, here goes…I’m placing a call right now!

    By Dirk  -  30 Jun 2023

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