Title: From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars
Author: Virginia Hanlon Grohl
My Rating: ★★★★
Summary: “In From Cradle to Stage, Virginia Hanlon Grohl, mother of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, shares personal stories about Dave’s childhood alongside family anecdotes from fellow ‘rock moms.’
In exclusive interviews with the mothers of Michael Stipe, Adam Levine, Amy Winehouse, Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, Dr. Dre, and other other music stars, Grohl asked the questions only a mom could answer: When did you hear the first chords, the drumbeats, that stellar voice that announced that music was the future? Did you encourage your child’s passions despite the odds against success? Did you worry about the unknown, unpredictable road ahead? About possible dangers? About drugs? Do you still remind him to pack a warm coat when he leaves on tour?
These answers–along with never-before-seen family photographs and a heartwarming introduction by Dave Grohl–make From Cradle to Stage the ultimate insider look at the real making of a rock star.”
I really liked that the book had both vignettes from Grohl’s perspective on raising her own rock star as well as the longer stories of other moms. I found each chapter to be very interesting, if sometimes a bit brief. However, the book covers many different stories, so this is expected. I also enjoyed the fact that this book included mostly happy (or happier) stories of musicians, which is a refreshing change from the stories of death and destruction often told in stories of musicians. Although From Cradle to Stage tells stories of people from different backgrounds, Grohl does a great job of creating central themes. For example, she describes the importance of school systems that serve children who are creative, how a mother of a creative child should support that creativity and the similarities between many musicians.
Below are some quotes that stood out to me:
“It was in Germany, at the home of a babysitter, that Michael recalls his first musical memory. It was the Beatles song ‘Michelle’ playing on an old radio on a tall shelf. His memory is visual; he watched the radio dial as the song played. It didn’t change his life.” (From the chapter on Michael Stipe)
“But although other professions might gradually or subtly inspire children, music is a calling that doesn’t call softly or politely. It screams insistently. The musician WILL find a way.”
“They sold over sixteen million records in the relatively few years they recorded and once were introduced by Mary to an enormous arena as ‘the best f*#king band in the universe.'” (From the chapter on Tom Morello)
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