From Cradle to Stage by Virginia Hanlon Grohl


There is no love like a mother’s love. It is life’s greatest song. We are all indebted to the women who have given us life. For without them, there would be no music.” – David Grohl

From Cradle to Stage is written by Virginia Hanlon Grohl, the mother of David Grohl. Virginia has interviewed mothers and step-mothers who have raised rock stars to give us their stories. A large portion of the book is Virginia telling the reader the story of their family and David from his birth, through his time with Nirvana and then with Foo Fighters.

With this book, we are able to see the difference of how some of the rock stars got their start. We see a lot of variety. With Miranda Lambert, it was a family business. Her family was there with her. Her father selling merchandise and setting up the stage, her mother booking her gigs and her brother working on the business side. For Gary Clark Jr., he received a guitar at the age of 12 and shortly after started performing. Due to his age his parents had to take him to the clubs where he would play and one would have to stay there since liquor was served. When his mom lost her job, she made his CDs, press kits and web site. She was his manager and accountant. Kelly Clarkson’s mother took an advance on her salary to fund Kelly’s way to be on American Idol.

We read about the struggles mothers had when their rock star children struggled. Such as Amy Winehouse, first her drug addiction and eventual death from alcohol poisoning. And the tragic death of Kurt Cobain.

The author ends the book with a chapter on “What’s A Mother to Do?”. In this chapter she points out that the explosive energy the child has isn’t going to subside, the maddening energy will probably send the child down new paths. That the child will bring joy to your life. She states there are actions to take: establish trust early, keep talking and listening, and buy the instrument (and music lessons). She also makes a good point of saying, this doesn’t guarantee you’ll raise a rock star, just a more fulfilled person.

This was a very interesting book to read. I have to admit, I am not really into rock music, I did not know many of the musicians mentioned in the book prior to reading it. The stories in the book did open my eyes to the artists and the affect their music had on them, their education and their family. Some of the artists were born talented, while others had to really work at it to achieve their dream. I feel this is a good book for music artists and their families to read.

240 pages

ISBN: 9781580056441

Publisher: Seal Press

Virginia Grohl is a longtime educator and writer. She is also the mother of Dave Grohl, frontman for the Foo Fighters and former drummer for Nirvana.

Some places to buy this book are:

This book was a Mother’s Day gift from my musically talented child. While he is not yet a rock star, who knows what his future holds.


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