Dave Grohl and his mom, Virginia, have been making the rounds. This time, however, it’s not on a new tour, scouting recording locales for the next Foo Fighters album, or out chronicling American music history. Front man Dave Grohl is out front supporting Virginia in the spotlight on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “CBS This Morning” as she shares her own perspective on raising her rocking son, as well as those of other music star moms, in her new book. “From Cradle to Stage: Stories from Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars” offers parents, fans, and followers a unique peek into Grohl's growing years before the limelight. Grohl asserts that his Grammys, his fans, and his sense of personal grounding would never be a reality without the presence and support of his mom.

Carly Simon sing-along

Every artist dedicated to making music the focus of their life recalls the moment it became all-consuming. For Dave Grohl, his own indelible instant came in the car while he was driving to the lake. Carly Simon’s omnipresent, declarative “You're So Vain” came on the radio, and Dave sang the Carly Simon harmony, while his mom took Mick Jagger's part, instinctively knowing it. From that day forward, Dave describes, “I was constantly listening to music in a different way, trying to pick out harmonies, melodies, and parts.” Dave had surpassed simple mastery of guitar strings by the time he was a young teen, so it's no wonder that the lecture and rote of much of the school day did very little to feed his creative soul. Even though Stephen Colbert ripped Virginia over Dave's third-grade report card, which had all categories signified as “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory,” nothing stifled Virginia’s belief in her son or his gifts.

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Cool enough to make the difference

Virginia Grohl explains how every mother personally interviewed for her book knew that her child, from Dr. Dre to Adam Levine, Miranda Lambert, or Josh Groban, “heard sound in a different way, every element,” and knew that music was their only life path. Mrs. Grohl was a high school teacher for 35 years in Fairfax County, and her son verifies that “she was the coolest teacher in school.” Music was always part of the Grohl environment, from listening to young Dave’s raucous tapes to going to jazz clubs and harmonizing to Manhattan Transfer. That education from home was fostering Dave's gift in a way that school never did, and Virginia attests that “school did nothing for him.” Even her “coolness factor” could never support her boy in the way that he needed most. “I was in the system, but couldn't change things for him” she said. Her greatest show of support came when he asked her to let him leave school at 17 to tour with his band at the time, Scream.

She agreed and knew that his older band mates would “take care of him” through shows across Europe. “He was going to Amsterdam and Berlin… I wanted to go with him!” laughed Virginia to the late-night host.

Virginia and Dave Grohl have gone together now for many years down the rock 'n roll road, and she loves seeing the “energy transfer” from the elated fans to her son most. Her favorite picture has her with Dave, President Obama, and Sir Paul McCartney. That’s a heady ensemble for any high school dropout and his more than consenting mom.

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