Why does Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters chew gum when he sings and plays live? Is there a reason for this, or is it just a bad habit?

“It’s just to keep my throat and mouth lubricated,” Grohl has said. He’s decided that masticating a wad of gum lets him scream better: “I don’t choke and vomit.” Grohl, who favors Dentyne Ice, joked, “Onstage I need a minty-fresh microphone.” Chewing gum is an easier way of achieving that winter-fresh aroma than dipping all the Foo Fighters’ equipment in Listerine, of course, but sometimes there are technical complications. At a live performance in 1997, Grohl got his sugary saliva all over the microphone, attracting the attention of a bee–for the rest of the show, whenever Grohl tried to sing, the bee would chase after him.

(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.)