NEW YORK — Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl's hands are great for strumming a guitar or pounding a drum.
But when it comes to manning a cash register, the singer/songwriter is all thumbs, as one fan discovered Thursday night.
"He needs to learn to take the money from the customers — he was gonna let people go without paying," Tower Records clerk Angela Price said of her new co-worker, who happens to be the leader of her favorite band.
For almost two hours Thursday night, Price, a 20-year-old New Yorker, stood beside Grohl as he promoted his band's just-released new album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose, from behind the cash registers of the Manhattan record store.
Grohl said he felt he was doing well. He occasionally worked the register while signing autographs and posing for photos with fans who lined up around the corner of the store to meet him.
"This is easy," he said, comparing the experience to his tenure as a Tower Records clerk for two months in 1990, not long before he became the drummer for grunge-rock icons Nirvana.
Tim Devin, the general manager of the New York store, had been the assistant manager of the Washington, D.C., Tower where Grohl had worked. When the rocker showed up a few minutes late for the event, Devin wasn't surprised.
"He had a little problem with lateness," Devin said, adding that the star was "not a particularly bad employee."
Grohl, who wore a red Puma T-shirt and cargo pants with a large hole in the rear, still isn't much of a salesperson.
"Don't feel pressured to buy anything," he told one fan, who nevertheless bought the new single of Foo Fighters' "Learn to Fly" (RealAudio excerpt).
Grohl seemed to enjoy putting customers' purchases in customized Foo Fighters plastic bags, and he gamely wielded a UPC scanner. "He was good with the scanner," Price said.
Bantering with fans seemed to be his favorite part of the temporary gig. He complimented 16-year-old John Zukatus on his T-shirt, which bore the image of children's TV host Fred Rogers wielding a gun. "It's f---ing dope — where'd you get [it]?" Grohl said.
He chatted with another fan about an upcoming Foo Fighters performance — a Dec. 3 radio show in Philadelphia's First Union Center.
"Who else is playing that?" Grohl asked the fan, then he clapped his hands in what seemed to be mock joy after being informed that British pop-rockers Oasis also would be on the bill with Beck and others. "That's weird," he said.