According to this illustrated letter to Seattle-based band Aerobic Death in 1984, Dave Grohl was compiling and selling mixtapes with his friends at the age of 15 — this particular compilation bearing the name “John Denver’s Nightmare.” Two years later, 17-year-old Grohl dropped out of school to become the drummer for punk band Scream. A few years after that, he was a member of Nirvana.
Transcript follows. Image courtesy of Matador Records.
HI, IM DAVID GROHL FROM WASHINGTON D.C., AND ME AND MY FRIEND ARE PUTTING OUT A COMPILATION TAPE OF ABOUT 15 DIFFERENT BANDS FROM ALL OVER. WELL, WEWANT YOU! THE TAPE IS GONNA BE CALLED “JOHN DENVERS NIGHTMARE” ITS GONNA BE SOLD AT ALMOST ALL OF THE D.C. SHOWS, SO IT WON’T BE A WASTE OF TIME. THIS IS WHO WE’VE TALKED TO - MAUFICE, UNDERGROUND SOLDIER, PRESIDENTIAL A.I.D.S., THE DEAD ENDS, CHIPS PATROL, N.I.L.8. BUT WE ARE FINDING OTHER BANDS. WE ONLY NEED 3 SONGS AND THEY CAN BE GARAGE RECORDINGS. I READ ABOUT YOU IN “WARNING” AND I THOUGHT I’D WRITE. THIS IS WHAT WE NEED:
PICTURES OF THE BAND
3 SONGS (ON TAPE)
WRITE BACK AND TELL ME WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT TO DO IT. THANX,
5516 KATHLEEN PL.
OUR ADS FOR LOOKING FOR BANDS WILL SOON BE IN:
THE LEADING EDGE