The Ongoing History of New Music, encore presentation: Ultra-deep background on Dave Grohl, part 3

[Last of the summer repeats. Something brand new starting next week! – AC]

Whenever you’re having a bad day, I want you to think of a specific number: the one that describes the probability of you ever existing. That you have become a sentient being, alive in this vast universe. That number is zero.

Yep. None of us should be here.

Your mom and dad have to meet. They have to stay together long enough to think about having kids. Then there’s that sperm thing, involving millions of cells fighting for that one egg, and so on. In short, so many things have to go right for everything to result in you that you shouldn’t exist.

A guy by the name of Dr. Ali Binazir calculated the odds of you being you. That number is 1 followed by 2,685,000 zeroes. If you want an analogy, here’s what D. Binazir provides: “Imagine there was one life preserver thrown somewhere in some ocean and there is exactly one turtle in all of these oceans, swimming underwater somewhere. The probability that you came about and exist today is the same as that turtle sticking its head out of the water — in the middle of that life preserver. On one try.

Mind-boggling, right? Now let’s get even weirder. To that already ginormous number, add in the chances of you getting into that becomes famous. And not just famous, but a band that becomes world-changing. That would require at least a few more zeroes. Now consider this: What if you got into a second successful band that also becomes one of the biggest thing rock has ever seen? How many more zeroes would that require?

In this completely unscientific extrapolation of Dr. Binazir’s estimate of the uniqueness of existence in this universe, I put the chances of Dave Grohl being Dave Grohl at approximately 1 in 10 to the power of 2,685,000,000,000. Give or take.

This is the third and final installment of our ultra-deep look at the guy.

Songs heard on this show (all by the Foo Fighters)

  • Monkey Wrench
  • My Hero
  • Learn to Fly
  • Times Like These (Live)
  • Best of You
  • Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners
  • Rope
  • Band on the Run (Wings cover)

As usual, Eric Wilhite provides a companion playlist.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

If you ever miss a show, you can always get the podcast edition available through Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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