Foo Fighters: Times Like These

Dave Grohl
Dave Grohl after Day 2 of shooting the music video for “Times Like These”. Photo by Clay Lancaster.

A lot of folks voiced interest seeing/hearing about this over the years, so I figured I’d finally get something posted. Photos from shooting the second music video for “Times Like These” by Foo Fighters.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or just don’t like rock (music), Dave Grohl is the most well-known drummer of Nirvana (Nevermind, In Utero, Unplugged) and is now the songwriter and front-man for the multi-Grammy-winning band Foo Fighters. He has also played drums with/for Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Tenacious D, Them Crooked Vultures, Tom Petty, the closest thing to a Led Zeppelin reunion we’ll probably see, Paul McCartney, etc.

After a long day working at a hotel, I returned home to eat some dinner and work on some music that I had been recording in my little home studio. For whatever reason, I decided to check out Foo Fighters’ website for the first time ever… and there was a casting call for a music video on the front page.

I figured what the hell, so I sent off a message and a headshot (along with my bass player’s headshot without him knowing about it). A few days later, I get a call from Foo’s management inviting us to Southern California later in the week to be a part of the music video for “Times Like These”.

The night before shooting, I finished work at 11pm in Capitola, CA, drove home, grabbed some stuff, and we hit the road to Victorville, CA. Call time was 7am the next morning, so by the time we got settled into our hotel room, we had a good 30 minutes to sleep before guzzling some lobby-coffee and heading to the filming location.

I wasn’t much of a photographer then. I had taken a class on film photography and developed in a dark room, and I did take a lot of photos in general to document events. I did edit them in Photoshop. But as far as cameras go, I didn’t really pay much attention. I paid so little attention, in fact, that I didn’t even think to bring a still image camera on this trip.

So I bought a disposable film camera from a drug store. What’s the famous quote? Something like, “The best camera is the one you have with you.” I promise you, I’m more prepared these days. Please hire me.

Three days of shooting in Victorville between January 8th and January 10th, 2003 (as far as my memory serves) and I documented the project the best I could with the help of newfound friends. Some of the images below are not mine.

Fun Fact #1: The side of my head made it into the final cut of the video for like 5 frames. Not a good screen time ratio for three full days of filming. To be fair, most of our scenes from Day 2 were cut in the final edit.

Fun Fact #2: I was chosen to be Grohl’s stand-in for a few scenes and was taken to the wardrobe trailer to put on the same clothes he was wearing, but was sent away at the last second because they couldn’t initially find me, and another crew member had already found another stand-in.

Fun Fact #3: there are two different music videos for “Times Like These”. Ours was Version 2, directed by Marc Klasfeld. Version 1 was filmed in front of a green screen and directed by Liam Lynch, of Sifl & Olly and Tenacious D: Pick of Destiny fame.

Fun Fact #4: The CD Dave is holding in the above photo is our demo from a year prior. He asked me for a copy of what we were working on, and it was all I had on me (in the car). He voluntarily posed with it after I handed it over.

Photos below by Clay Lancaster, Marcia Neumeier, and Pat Diven with various cameras. The cleaner photos are from my film camera, and anything with dust/scratches exists because I lost the original negative scans and had to scan from a print.

“Times Like These” music video set. Mojave River Bridge, Victorville.
Film set overhead 1
Film set overhead 2
Nate Mendel and Dave Grohl. Morning Coffee. Photo by Clay Lancaster.
Clay Lancaster and Dave Grohl. Photo by Nate Mendel.
with Nate Mendel
with Chris Shifflett
with Taylor Hawkins
reviewing footage with Marcia and Dave
Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Taylor Hawkins
Cars on bridge before being dumped off of it.
…after cars dumped off of bridge.
Greg, and a guy that doesn’t trust this photo.
I rode this bike around for a while before throwing it off the bridge.
Dave Grohl and Marcia
Day 3 set
Taylor Hawkins hitches a ride.
Chatting with Dave Grohl after filming.