At Morning Edition, we've been finishing 2009 by catching up on great music we didn't get a chance to tell you about this year. On the last day of the year, it's Them Crooked Vultures.
Them Crooked Vultures, a rock supergroup, was conceived over dragon's-breath soup. From left: John Paul Jones, Josh Homme and Dave Grohl.
The story starts with a birthday party for Dave Grohl, who first became famous as the drummer for Nirvana, and later as the frontman for Foo Fighters. His party guests included John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.
The trio sat down in a castle at a Medieval Times restaurant in Southern California. It featured knights in armor and live jousting.
"We began to talk over dragon's-breath soup, which is what they were serving," Homme says.
The idea looked good on paper.
"It read well," Homme says. "And so, after that initial meeting, we decided to test that paper chemistry, and we decided we had real chemistry."
They tested it in a secret jam session.
"The first one was sort of exploring the edges of our musicality together and trying to stump each other and realizing that wasn't very easy," Homme says.
So they came back for a second day and, in time, wrote an album. It was a chance for two younger musicians to play with one of the biggest stars of the '70s.
"You got this age thing — they're not that young," Jones says, laughing.
For Grohl, it was also a chance to return to his old instrument: the drums. For 15 years, he's been singing and playing guitar with Foo Fighters.
"Playing drums is like dancing," Grohl says. "People who think about their dancing aren't the greatest dancers in the world. And people who don't have to think about their drumming — they're some of the best drummers in the world. I don't really have to worry about it. I just do it."
As they play, the members of Them Crooked Vultures say they learn from each other.