On March 19th, 2001 Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins were in Cleveland, Ohio to induct the legendary Queen into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. The pair joined remaining members Roger Taylor and Brian May on stage at the ceremony for a rendition of their classic track ‘Tie Your Mother Down’, as well as giving an official induction speech. Returning home on a high, Grohl and Hawkins headed to Studio 606 to record the very first version of what would go on to become a classic track of their own.
“Dave just had a riff. We jammed it out a couple of times, and then he said 'Well, let me change it here, here is the other part',” said Hawkins of the new track. The riff/song in question was ‘All My Life’ and the pair put the rest of the song together at a quick pace.
“We came up with that rhythm interplay thing in the middle and basically put that together in like an hour, and then recorded it really quickly,” added the drummer. According to Hawkins, this initial version was “pretty close” to the final version of the song, released on their 2002 album ‘One By One’.
When it came to vocals for the song Grohl would “always procrastinate with the lyrics”, unsure of what he would sing. “I didn't know what the hell I was gonna sing over it, because it's not the most melodic riff. I thought 'How am I gonna turn that into a song? What's the chorus'?” Writing something the night before tracking, the two were unsure of the results - “Does that work'? We thought, Well let's keep it for now and if we need to change it, we can,” thought Grohl. In the end, the original lyrics were indeed almost entirely the same as those of the final song.
Chris and Nate were not present during this demo recording session, hearing the song for the first time when this rough demo was presented to them a month later.