‘Stacked Actors’: the Foo Fighters song about Dave Grohl’s hatred of Hollywood

There isn’t any rock star more down to earth than Dave Grohl. Although he may have been in two of the biggest rock bands in the world, Grohl has the same enthusiasm for music that he did when he was a kid, being giddy when working with his idols and loving playing his guitar for millions of fans. With time comes experience in Hollywood, and Grohl has zero tolerance for the diva attitude of rock stars.

From day one, Grohl’s punk rock ethic flew in the face of all of the plastic people in the entertainment world, and There is Nothing Left to Lose was the first album on which he felt comfortable talking about it in song. Opening up the record, ‘Stacked Actors’ is one of the heaviest songs that Grohl ever wrote, being down-tuned to metal-like proportions and Grohl singing the chorus with the same ferocity as a hardcore punk outfit.

When penning the lyrics to the tune, Grohl mentioned his anger being directed at the Hollywood set of rock stars, saying (via Rock Celebrities), “I wrote ‘Stacked Actors’ about everything fake and plastic and glamorous and unreal, so if that pertains to anyone that comes to mind, then there you go. Living in Hollywood always seemed transitional to me. I fucking hated Hollywood, hated the whole life, hated most of the people we met. That’s what I’m saying in ‘Stacked Actors’”.

Grohl was also willing to put his money where his mouth was. Around the same time that the Foo Fighters were releasing this record, metal icons Metallica were in hot water after Las Ulrich came down on fans sharing their new songs through Napster. While fans saw this as a case of rock stars becoming too money-hungry, Grohl was right down there with the rest of the fans, saying: “when you’ve got someone who’s sold 50 million records, and they got 50 million dollars, and they’re bitching about pennies, Fuck you man”.

There have also been theories among fans that some of these lines were directed at Courtney Love, the widow of Grohl’s former bandmate Kurt Cobain. Since Love was achieving success with her band Hole and disrespecting Grohl’s new outfit in the process, Grohl may have been using this takedown of Hollywood to throw a few jabs at Love, too, with lines like “one more for hire, a wonderful liar/ I think it’s time we all should come clean”.

This confrontational tone of voice is reminiscent of one of the Foos’ first singles, ‘I’ll Stick Around’, which Grohl has previously admitted to being about Love thanks to her “rehearsed insanity”.
To this day, Grohl still maintains that this down-to-earth demeanour is the best philosophy to have. When he was writing his best material like ‘My Hero’, Grohl mentioned that all of his heroes were directed at ordinary people, saying: “‘My Hero’ was written as a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential. I look up to regular people, more than I look up to celebrities”.

Grohl might have all the money and esteem that a rock star longs for, but no amount of money can separate him from his love of the common man.

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