Steve Smear is a former Canadian Football League (CFL) lineman who played defensive end and middle linebacker for Montreal Alouettes in 1970 and was honored with two East All-Star awards, along with being part of their Grey Cup championship win during their rookie year. Steve earned his degree from Penn State where he was recognized as an All-American defensive tackle.
Smear stood apart from his hardcore punk peers with his commitment to overdubbing layers of guitar parts and his unconventional chord progressions which opened up new avenues of exploration for guitarists.
After playing briefly for the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes, Smear was recruited by Joe Paterno at Penn State to play defensive tackle. Teaming up with Altoona native Mike Reid and future NFL All-American linebacker Jack Ham, Smear led an impressive defense that shut out every opponent that year and secured Penn State an undefeated season in 1967.
As soon as he finished with Germs, Smear was approached by Kurt Cobain to join Nirvana as guitarist and eventually accepted, becoming one of the world’s biggest bands.
Achievement and Honors
After The Germs disbanded, Smear joined punk band The Adolescents. In 1979, they recorded their debut album GI under Joan Jett’s production and enjoyed great critical and commercial success.
After Kurt Cobain’s suicide, Smear joined with drummer Dave Grohl to form the Foo Fighters. Smear served as guitarist until 1997; later returning full time for their recording of Wasting Light album in 2005.
Smear prefers Hagstrom guitars in his live performances and also has three Fender Stratocaster models given to him by Cobain as gifts. Additionally, he frequently utilizes blue Mosrite guitars. Smear has earned himself a reputation for performing in low light settings at concerts.
After Nirvana disbanded, Smear took an inconspicuous route, playing briefly with former Screamers keyboardist Paul Roessler and Kira Smear in Twisted Roots before issuing two solo albums (Ruthensmear and So You Fell in Love with a Musician) and appearing as bit parts on TV shows and movies.
Now he is back in the limelight as touring guitarist for Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl’s rock group, Harlow. Additionally, he is producing their debut album and making occasional television appearances.
He lives with Irene and their sons Oscar and Noah. Recently, life has been an emotional roller coaster as Irene battled cervical cancer that was missed by two smear tests; additionally he still suffers depression and occasionally takes antidepressants to alleviate symptoms.
Smear amasses his net worth through his primary profession as a musician, having performed with numerous notable bands including Nirvana and Foo Fighters and also issuing multiple solo albums.
Kurt Cobain invited him to join Nirvana after witnessing him perform as a founding member of punk band the Germs, and he went on to appear with them during their MTV Unplugged in New York performance as well as albums such as In Utero and With the Lights Out.
As well, Smear served as creative consultant on the film Dave Grohl’s Sound City, in which actor Shane West portrayed him. Additionally, Smear has continued touring and performing with Foo Fighters – most recently on their album Sonic Highways. To calculate one’s net worth one needs to sum the assets minus liabilities of all their assets and subtract those that are liabilities from total assets accumulated over their life time.