Editor’s Note: Check back all week for new additions to this year’s Hanukkah Sessions covers.
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and producer Greg Kurstin rebooted their “Hanukkah Sessions” project on Sunday night (November 28) – the first night of the Festival of Lights – with a jaw-dropping black metal version of Lisa’s sweet 1994 ballad Loeb” Stay (I’ve missed you). After scouring eight covers of songs by Jewish artists in the past year, including tracks from the Beastie Boys, Drake, Mountain, Peaches, Bob Dylan, Elastica, The Knack and the Velvet Underground, the demonic duo returned with a new version of Loeb’s signature song for the first entry in this year’s edition.
“Welcome to the menorah, all of you. Let’s kick off this year’s Hanukkah sessions with one of Dallas, Texas’ favorite Jewish girls,” Grohl wrote alongside the couple’s low-budget video for the song. “So put on your coffee glasses and your Betsey Johnson dress and HAVA listen to this…”
The clip opens with Grohl wearing a mid-’90s vintage floral dress and chunky glasses as he sings the song’s sweet opening riffs. It’s just a Rickroll-style headliner, though, as the camera zooms in on Dave’s restless, shaking face bellowing the chorus in his best black metal scream for a completely unexpected and delicious change of tone. Your Hanukkah has never been stronger.
Loeb appreciated the effort, tweeting that Grohl and Kurstin did a “great job,” and also shouting about the singer’s smart dress choice of a vintage Betsey Johnson dress.
On the second night of Hanukkah, the duo released a blistering run through the Ramones’ classic punk debut single of 1976, “Blitzkrieg Bop.” And because Grohl is also the most irreverent rock star on the record, they of course changed the signature vocals from the song “Hey Ho! Let’s go!” to “Hey oy! Let’s go!”
In a note accompanying the video, the couple wrote, “Once upon a time, two nice Jewish boys from Queens named Jeffery Hyman and Thomas Erdelyi changed the world forever with their music… as Joey and Tommy Ramone!
Their third selection was a hard-hitting pivot into the disco stunner with a swinging version of Barry Manilow’s classic 1978 ruffled shirt, “Copacabana.” With Grohl in a glittering tuxedo jacket, they discussed the twisted history of showgirl Lola and the tragic battle for her affections between mobster Rico and her boyfriend Tony.
“Barry Pincus – not only one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th (or any) century, but a mega-mensch to boot!” they wrote. “So, as a good neighbor, you deserve a break today. So grab a bucket of chicken and let’s get stuck on….. ‘Copacabana!’ BY BARRY MANILOW”
The boys hit rock back on Wednesday (December 1) with a keytar-tastic ride through Van Halen’s first US No. 1 hit, 1984’s legendary “Jump,” complete with slow-motion footage of Grohl, yes, jumping. “Probably the loudest and proudest of hard rock Jews, David Lee Roth has publicly stated that his preparation for the Bar Mitzvah was his first vocal training. He became a rockstar the day he became a man: Diamond Dreidel DLR and Van Halen…with ‘Jump’,” they captioned their trusty cover.
On the fifth night of Hanukkah (December 2), Grohl invited his 15-year-old daughter, Violet, a supporting singer, to come forward and perform Amy Winehouse’s “Take the Box,” from the British singer’s debut album in 2003. , Franc. Violet nailed the song’s smoky jazz vibe, with the duo writing, “Despite the mention in this song of a ‘Moschino bra you bought me last Christmas,’ it is common knowledge that the woman incredible behind the song was actually Jewish. Gone way too soon…Ms. Amy Winehouse.”
For the sixth night of Hanukkah Friday (December 3), the boys returned for a unique rendition of Billy Joel’s “Big Shot,” which landed at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979. Raised on the Island (and has songs full of Catholic and Italian imagery), @billyjoel remains one of the great Jews of songwriting – here’s his ultimate ode to a true Macher: “Big Shot!” Foo Fighters tweeted.
Check out this year’s “Sessions” videos below.
Welcome to the menorah, all of you. Let’s kick off this year’s Hanukkah sessions with one of Dallas, Texas’ favorite Jewish girls. So put on your coffee glasses and your Betsey Johnson dress and HAVA listen to this… “Stay” by @lisaloeb.#HanukkahSessions #hanukkah pic.twitter.com/UXOKPtOjjd
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) November 28, 2021
I Great job to Dave Grohl and @GregKurstin with the lid AND the @xoBetseyJohnson dress! https://t.co/dUUqjNwPFa
—Lisa Loeb (@LisaLoeb) November 29, 2021