How Foo Fighters Got Revenge (and 500 Pounds of Spaghetti) on Chad Smith in Prank War
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith has revealed how he lost a prank war with Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters when the bands toured the U.S. together in 1999. The friendly rivalry began soon after the road trip began, when Smith found himself getting on well with the Foos, and particularly drummer Hawkins.
In a new episode of Rolling Stone’s “The First Time” video series (clip above), Smith recalled: “We used to tour with the foo Fighters a lot. In ’99 we played an extensive American tour with them and I became very friendly with them… As you know the drummer doesn’t move around, he has to sit in one spot… so I decided it would be a good idea to rig up things above [Hawkins].”
Those items included M&Ms – “not like a few, not like a bag, like a lot… thousands” – and popcorn, although Smith noted he used “nothing dangerous; no knives or anything.” He added: “At the end of one of their songs it would all come down on him and he couldn’t get out of the way. I thought that was funny.” But as the tour wound to an end, he knew the Foos were thinking: “We’re gonna get Chad back.”
He admitted they were “smart” about it, choosing their moment on the second-to-last or third-to-last show rather than the obvious one. They also happened to choose a performance that was being recorded for a later DVD release, meaning that video evidence of the revenge prank is “out there somewhere.”
Smith recalled: “Down comes ping-pong balls and glitter, which was kinda weird – it was okay, but kinda weird. Dave and Taylor are at the side and [I’m like] ‘F––k you!’ Anthony [Kiedis] is laughing, missing all the words. Then the ping-pong balls and the glitter stopped. I was like, ‘Okay, cool.’ Then like 500 pounds of spaghetti! That was like snakes falling on you, for a long time. It did not stop, it was all over the drums… they got me really good. I barely finished the end of the song then I run off and tackle Dave.”
Reflecting that the entire experience had been all in fun, he noted: “Taylor’s godfather to one of my kids. Poor kid…”