Dave Grohl's SXSW 2013 Keynote Speech

NPR | March 21, 2013 8:46 a.m.

Contributed By:

Stephen Thompson

Matt Sayles

For the second straight year, public radio will partner with South by Southwest to present the music festival’s annual keynote address — this time featuring an exclusive speaking engagement from Dave Grohl.

Somewhere along the way, Dave Grohl has become the unofficial Mayor of Rock ‘n’ Roll: a gregarious ambassador who wins armloads of Grammys and even directs a documentary about the artistry, technology and magic that goes into making a great studio recording. He’s not only the leader of one of the world’s most popular and successful rock bands in Foo Fighters — not to mention the former drummer of Nirvana — but Grohl has also become a highly regarded storyteller with the release of the movie Sound City, whose companion album Sound City: Real to Reel is streaming now as an NPR First Listen.

At 44, Grohl exudes youthful exuberance even as his music career approaches the three-decade mark — he joined the D.C. hardcore band Scream at 17 — and he remains a prolific and adventurous collaborator. He’s particularly fond of supergroups, having formed Them Crooked Vultures (with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones and Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age) and Probot, featuring an all-star lineup of metal musicians. In short, the guy pops up everywhere, and works with everybody.

The entire event will be available to watch at NPR Music and public radio station sites, via the NPR Music mobile apps and at, starting at noon ET on March 14. NPR Music critic Ann Powers will host a live blog during the keynote and take comments and questions from the online audience. Listen again on public radio stations — check local listings.

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