Inducting the Foo Fighters into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in October, Paul McCartney noted the almost eerie parallels between the group's jovial leader, Dave Grohl, and himself. Both men entered the realm of rock legend as rhythm-section anchors in paradigm-shifting bands: Macca as bassist for The Beatles, for whom he was also a primary songwriter, and Grohl as the drummer who helped take Nirvana worldwide. Both recovered from history-altering group implosions by retreating to the studio and making albums mostly in solitude. Both, McCartney said modestly, started life as "ordinary, goofy kids." And both "fell into rock and roll, and joined a group."
McCartney's fond identification with Grohl emanated from the heart of an archetypal band guy, the hero of rock's 60-year quest to rule popular music. The band guy's footprints forged the genre's path from the early 1960s onward, from Liverpool's grubby Cavern Club to Seattle's dingy Dutchman rehearsal space, in leather boots and Converse sneakers. Blending Hobbit-like charm with Aragorn-ish glamor, this figure took shape within the dreams of countless men following in the wake of John, Paul, George and Ringo teaming up as the Fab Four. The romance, familial connection and creative exchange that sparked for The Beatles in their Cavern Club days grew mythic as they became the biggest act rock ever produced, pulling rock's ring from the hands of solo artists and duos and making fellowship the primary energy empowering rock's quest.