Foo Fighters Live

Laundry Room Studio (Mission Impossible)

Early 1985 • Arlington, VA, United States

Tracks Recorded

  1. Mission Impossible Theme Song
  2. Different
  3. Love In The Back Of My Mind
  4. C.H.U.D.
  5. No Words
  6. Butch Thrasher
  7. Dead You Fool
  8. Band Aid Theme
  9. To Err Is Human
  10. 20/20 Hindsight
  11. New Ideas
  12. Life Already Drawn

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Band Members

  1. Dave Grohl
    Dave Grohl

    Drums

  2. Bryant Mason
    Bryant Mason

    Guitar

  3. Chris Page
    Chris Page

    Vocals

  4. Dave Smith
    Dave Smith

    Bass Guitar

Equipment

Tascam 34 ¼ Inch 4-Track Reel-to-reel tape machine
Peavey 12-channel Mixing Console

Credits

Recording & Engineer: Barrett Jones

Session Information

With their first demo in the bank, Freak Baby continued as a band into the tail end of 1984, Dave Grohl still in his position as the second guitarist. It was a position he was enjoying, but in his heart, he knew there was somewhere else he’d rather be – with sticks in his hands, sitting behind the drumkit.

As had been the case with guitar, Grohl received little in the way of professional instruction to play the drums. At his first (and only) lesson, his tutor informed him he had gone wrong with the absolute basics – how to hold the sticks. His supposed incorrect technique was something he adopted whilst playing on the rather unconventional ‘drum kit’ he'd set up in his bedroom. “The house was pretty small, so we didn't have room to put a drum set anywhere, and I didn't have enough money to get a drum set for myself,” Grohl recalled of the setup. “But I knew the configuration of a drum set, so I'd set up a pillow between my leg as a snare drum and I'd use my bed as a tom and a chair as a high hat, and I'd just play along with the records all day long, 'til there was sweat dripping from my windows.” Unwilling to pay vast amounts of money to re-learn the 'correct' way to do everything, he instead carried on playing his own way.

Itching to make the instrument switch during one band rehearsal Grohl plucked up the courage to ask if he could try out on the drums. Ordinarily, this might have caused problems in a band but the then-current drummer, Dave Smith, only really got the position by virtue of the simple fact he owned a drum kit. His real talents, he believed, was with a bass guitar. Original bassist Brian Samuels had gone home during this particular rehearsal session and so Grohl jumped behind the drum kit, Smith grabbed the bass guitar and they started to jam.

The four were happy with how the re-jigged band was sounding which meant Brian Samuels had been effectively kicked out of the band. With a new lineup they decided they also needed a new name – Mission Impossible.

In early 1985 the band once again headed to Barrett Jones’ Laundry Room Studio, happy with the unique lo-fi sound the studio produced on their earlier visit. Four of the songs recorded a few months earlier as Freak Baby were re-recorded with the new line-up - ‘Different’, ‘C.H.U.D’, ‘Dead You Fool’ and ‘20/20 Hindsight’ as well as seven new original songs. Jones was impressed with the new look band, noticing a clear improvement from just a few months earlier. In particular, he was again drawn to the “still really hyper” Grohl. Now behind the drum kit, Jones noted that he had “never seen a drummer play so hard, fast and precise before. It was insane. He could focus that [hyper] energy on bashing the drums.”

Also recorded during the session was a cover of their new namesake – the theme music to the TV show Mission Impossible. Equipment at the Laundry Room remained the same as the previous Freak Baby session, using a 4-track Reel-to-reel recorder onto ¼ Inch magnetic tape.

New song ‘Life Already Drawn’ was featured on a 77KK Records 12” album, a hardcore/punk rock compilation which featured one side of French artists, the other side American artists. Released in 1985, it is the first widely available commercial release to contain a recording featuring Dave Grohl.

Session Photos

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Available Sources

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ANA(x)
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Metrozine - Can It Be (Cassette)
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Soundboard Audio #1c

77KK (12" Vinyl)
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