Is it true that the Foo Fighters’ original name was the Food Fighters, but at an early show the venue didn’t have a D to use on the sign?
Sadly, no; Dave Grohl chose the band’s name and recorded their first album before playing any live shows. “Foo fighters” is actually an old term for UFOs; World War II pilots reported seeing odd balls of light that circled around their planes and borrowed a catchphrase from the comic-strip character Smokey Stover (whose creator, Bill Holman, littered his strip with the nonsense word “foo,” in phrases like “A man’s foo is his castle” and “Foo-losophy”). Although Grohl has warned “that UFO stuff is all overblown,” he is sufficiently interested in flying-saucer conspiracies to have named his label Roswell Records (after the site where the aliens allegedly landed) and to take a walk-on role on “The X-Files.” If Grohl had chosen another term for the same aerial phenomena, his band would have been called the Kraut Fireballs.
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)