By Jeremy Gordon, The New Yorker | The Foo Fighters leader and the English prodigy struck up a competitive friendship on social media that has brought them, and thousands of music fans, immense joy.
You didn’t need to know every note of Nirvana’s angst-rock classic “In Bloom” to marvel at the spectacle of a little girl drumming along to the song in perfect synchronization last November, her face scrawled over with joy and passion.
The internet is an open playing field for regular people performing impressive feats, and over a couple of years, Nandi Bushell, a resident of Ipswich, England, had attracted a solid audience by expressively covering famous songs by a genre-diverse range of artists including the White Stripes, Billie Eilish and Anderson .Paak. Sometimes her father, John, and brother, Thomas, accompanied her, but Bushell was the star, combining technical virtuosity with bright-eyed showmanship (and some enthusiastic yelling).
The sight of Bushell wailing away immediately impressed Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer who played “In Bloom” on the band’s 1991 breakthrough album, “Nevermind.” Grohl is not a social media user, and he only learned about the viral clip when the album’s producer, Butch Vig, sent it to him.
“I watched it in amazement, not only because she was nailing all of the parts, but the way that she would scream when she did her drum rolls,” Grohl said in a recent video interview. “There’s something about seeing the joy and energy of a kid in love with an instrument. She just seemed like a force of nature.”
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