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The Complete Episode Guide to Foo Fighters’ HBO Series, ‘Sonic Highways’

Foo Fighters - 'Sonic Highways'
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

On Friday Dec. 5, the eighth and final episode of Foo Fighters‘ HBO docu-series, ‘Sonic Highways,’ took the band to the musical center of the world: New York City. As we watched in awe as Dave Grohl interviewed President Barack Obama — and then recorded a track at the Magic Shop with Tony Visconti and Kristeen Young — we finally realized something … we’ve been privy to one of the greatest stories about music ever told.

For eight weeks, Grohl and his fellow Foo Fighters traveled across the country and told us all about the personal and cultural significance of music, and did so by bringing the actual artists and musicians to the center of the stage.

And now, with the first season of ‘Sonic Highways’ wrapped up, we wanted to package the entire series into one comprehensive episode guide. Below, you will find James Stafford‘s descriptions of each episode along with a preview of the show and the studio track the Foos cut in each city.

Which was your favorite episode? Where do you think the Foos need to travel to next, assuming there is a second season? Let us know in the comments section!


Episode One: Chicago

Any documentary that opens with Buddy Guy talking about playing a button on a string has me hooked. Dave Grohl‘s exploration of how place influences music starts in Chicago, the birthplace of that special flavor of blues practiced by Guy and his mentor, Muddy Waters. Read our full recap of episode one.

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Chicago Song: ‘Something From Nothing’

Special Guest: Rick Nielsen
Studio: Electrical Audio 

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Episode Two: Washington D.C.

In the second episode of HBO’s ‘Sonic Highways,’ Dave Grohl and company take their road show to Washington D.C. The nation’s capital is one of its most important music cities, no doubt because of its strange stew of politics, poverty and art. “The gap between the dream and the reality is excruciatingly wide,” says punk activist Mark Anderson. Read our full recap of episode two.

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Washington D.C. Song: ‘The Feast and the Famine’

Special Guests: Bad Brains
Studio: Inner Ear

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Episode Three: Nashville

If you think America’s biggest rock band visiting the home of country music is a fish out of water story, you aren’t totally wrong. “I don’t know any of these people,” Foo Fighters‘ bassist Nate Mendel says while looking at photos of country legends at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. But juxtapositions make for interesting storytelling, and episode three of ‘Sonic Highways’ delivers. Read our full recap of episode three.

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Nashville Song: ‘Congregation’

Special Guest: Zac Brown
Studio: Southern Ground

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Episode Four: Austin

Austin, Texas, the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Was there any doubt that Dave Grohl‘s traveling road show would end up here? Read our full recap of episode four.

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Austin Song: ‘What Did I Do? / God as My Witness”

Special Guest: Gary Clark, Jr.
Studio: ‘Austin City Limits’

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Episode Five: Los Angeles

“This is your episode,” Dave Grohl tells L.A.’s Foo Fighter, Pat Smear. It’s a nod to Smear’s native Angeleno status, and he gets some good screen time — but this really isn’t his episode. It isn’t even L.A.’s episode. Grohl almost immediately moves the action to Joshua Tree, located in the desert outside of Los Angeles. Read our full recap of episode five.

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Los Angeles Song: ‘Outside’

Special Guest: Joe Walsh
Studio: Rancho De La Luna

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Episode Six: New Orleans

Do the Foo Fighters have even the slightest bit of jazz in them? ‘Sonic Highways’ is a study of how place influences music, and New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz. Will whatever song results from the sixth episode capture a little Dixieland magic? Read our full recap of episode six.

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New Orleans Song: ‘In the Clear’

Special Guests: Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Studio: Preservation Hall

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Episode Seven: Seattle

This is the one we’ve all been waiting for; ‘Sonic Highways’ is about how place influences music, but it’s also about director and star Dave Grohl. “I wouldn’t be here without Seattle,” the head Foo Fighter says. “Seattle’s like my phantom limb.” Read our full recap of episode seven.

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Seattle Song: ‘Subterranean’

Special Guest: Ben Gibbard
Studio: Robert Lang Studio

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Episode Eight: New York City

Well, this is it. For eight weeks we’ve followed Dave Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighters around the country, listening to stories about how place influences music. Some of the previous ‘Sonic Highways’ episodes were great, and others not so much — but they were all fascinating. Read our full recap of episode eight.

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New York City Song: ‘I Am a River’

Special Guests: Tony Visconti and Kristeen Young
Studio: The Magic Shop

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You Think You Know the Foo Fighters?

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Next: Pat Smear On Smashing Guitars With Kurt Cobain, Foo Fighters’ Next Album + More

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