Dave Grohl has a reputation for being the nicest guy in rock while his band, Foo Fighters, are known for a bunch of well meaning goofballs who can also sell out stadiums around the world.
Surely there aren’t any milkshake duck moments awaiting a well-meaning band like Foo Fighters, one who has done things like trolling anti-gay protesters by performing a song about “man muffins” to them, right?
Well, not quite because there was a period where the band were quite into the whole HIV denial thing.
Back in 2000, Foo Fighters threw their support behind the Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives group, which is basically a cohort of nutjobs who questions the link between HIV and AIDS, after bassist Nate Mendel was taken in with a pseudoscience book about the topic and convinced his bandmates to go along with it.
They organised concerts, rubbed shoulders with notorious AIDS/HIV deniers including like live & Well founder Christine Maggiore, went on record advocating for Alive & Well and even plastered their support for the group all over their website.
It’s not exactly the brightest moment from the Foos and there’s no erasing this dark spot from their history regardless of how many rock classics they’ve pumped out over the last few decades.
Now in the band’s defence, this was 2000 so they were young and dumb, not to mention that they were riding high on the momentum of a successful album release that included the banger “Learn To Fly” so it’s no surprise that they went a little stupid during this period.
But whereas some famous celebs stubbornly cling to their beliefs no matter how ridiculous or harmful they are, the Foo Fighters have seemingly realised that maybe, just maybe, there’s actually something in the whole HIV and AIDS thing.
They’ve stopped talking about the topic, erased any mention of Alive & Well from their site and have all but erased that period from their band history. Since then, the band have backed some actual good causes that includes autism research, poverty and breast cancer.
Hell, Dave even threw his support behind organisations that promote treatment, research and prevention of AIDS, like Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. There’s no way he’d do that if he truly believed that there’s no link between HIV and AIDS.
It sucks that influential people like the Foos can get taken in by nonsense like HIV denialism but it’s quite a relief to see them learn from their mistakes.
Maybe more celebs can be more like the Foos when it comes to supporting dumb causes: Shut the f**k up when they realise they’ve been wrong, learn from their mistakes and let their actions do all the talking.