Dave Grohl’s 1970s Gibson RD Standard (Tobacco Burst)

This is another guitar that Dave used in the early days of Foo Fighters, and not much is known about it. As an interesting note, Krist Novoselic used to use RD bass guitars in Nirvana, but Dave explained that he discovered the guitar on his own and that it wasn’t necessarily an influence from Krist.

I had an RD phase [Gibson RD Artist]. I was really into RDs for a while. [Krist Novoselic] had RD and Grabber basses. But I think what happened was that I saw one in a store and I thought, Wow this thing weighs 40 pounds! I had a Gibson Explorer for a long time. I don’t know anything about guitars. If it sounds good when you play it, play it.

Classic interview: Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and Alain Johannes talk Them Crooked Vultures and affordable gear
Dave playing a Gibson RD Standard, June 15, 1996, Tibetan Freedom Concert
Dave playing a Gibson RD Standard, June 15, 1996, Tibetan Freedom Concert

Model

Based on the appearances, this guitar, in particular, is an RD Standard model, since it features dot inlays, compared to block inlays seen on the RD Artist model. These guitars were produced for only two years, between 1977 and 1979, so Dave’s guitar is somewhere from that period.

The Standard model was also the only of the three RD models (Artist and Custom being the other two) that had the old-school passive circuitry. The other two models had inbuilt pre-amplifiers.

The guitar used on Everlong?

According to Bradley Cook, who worked as an audio engineer on Foo Fighters’ second album, The Colour and the Shape, Dave most likely used the Gibson RD Standard to record the song Everlong.

It was probably the RD Standard. They had a bunch of guitars at that time, and I wasn’t really paying attention to that kind of stuff. This was the second record that I recorded all the way through by myself.

Bradley Cook – Foo Fighters Everlong: Inside the song

Dave couldn’t remember for sure, but since this is such a recognizably guitar visually, it’s most likely that there’s something to his story. Also, given that Dave did record Everlong on this guitar, it’s possible that he used it extensively on the remainder of the songs.

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