Were the Foo Fighters Originally the FooD Fighters?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: Due to a marquee missing a “D,” the Food Fighters became the Foo Fighters.

The Foo Fighters are a popular rock band formed by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl in 1994, soon after Nirvana disbanded (following the death of lead singer Kurt Cobain).

A story about their unusual name was that the original name for the band was the Food Fighters, possibly named after the obscure late 1980s action figures…


, but when they were to play at a local theater in an early appearance of the band, the marquee at the theater was shy a letter D, so the band just went on as the “Foo Fighters.”

Is that true?

This question made it into Gavin Richards’ neat book, Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries and Richards pointed out that, first of all, the band recorded their first album before ever performing live.

Secondly, though, and most importantly, the band’s name has a specific origin. It refers to mysterious “moving fireballs” that some U.S. pilots reported while in Germany in World War II. They called these mysterious “unidentified flying objects” “foo fighters.” These were some of the very first reported sightings of what people would later think of as UFOs.

Grohl also named his record label Roswell, after the town in New Mexico where an alien craft supposedly landed in the years after World War II.

The legend is…


Thanks to Gavin Richards for the information!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

2 Responses to “Were the Foo Fighters Originally the FooD Fighters?”

  1. I believe the term “foo fighter” may have originated in the Smokey Stover comic strip.

  2. Back during WW II, fighter pilots on both sides, reported seeing strange “flying lights” while in the air, these lights known back then as: Foo Fighters.

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