Foo who?

… a long distance wedding performance, continued #4


‘Of course,’ I responded. ‘Everyone’s heard of the Foo Fighters.’

However, naming one of their songs with any confidence was doubtful, although the name Dave Grohl has cropped up periodically over the years. Being the multi-instrumentalist past-member of Nirvana (and a rather charismatic chap), I became aware of Grohl as Nirvana’s drummer through their amazing 1991 top-lip* ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and its entertaining-but-bizarre video clip. I offered myself the luxury of a metaphorical back-pat by naming something by Nirvana.

A number by either band was not on my expectation-radar as part of Barbara and Ian’s wedding performance list and I was on the money, at least regarding the latter.

‘Do you know how to play ‘Everlong’, my sister posed.

‘I’ve never tried to play it but know how it goes.’ I started to replicate the chorus in non-lexical vocables (la la la’s) in what turned out to be a totally different song, albeit a similar-sounding title, but by a different band, from a different country — and from a different decade.

‘No, silly’ (or words to that effect)! Barbara went on to clarify that I was humming ‘Forever Young’, by German synth-pop band Alphaville.

‘Really? (merde) How does ‘Evermore’ go, then?’

‘Not Evermore,’ Barbara sighed and I was sure I detected the slightest FFS through my earbuds. ‘That’s Taylor Swift. Not Evermore or Forever Young — Everlong: Ever- l o n g. Look it up on YouTube.’

When I did, I discovered this rapidfire, alternative-post-grunge song, inspiring the strangest video clip depicting a fresh-faced Grohl sporting punk-spiked hair, battling a couple of seedy-looking characters for the girl of his dreams. Grohl’s hand would grow proportionate to his protective wrath and he’d smite the bad guys with a few coat-hanger strikes of his pizza-pan mitt.

I couldn’t put a proverbial finger on the song despite learning that it had reached #3 in the US, and remains the Foo Fighters’ signature tune. Evidently I must have slept through 1997, I mused, feeling older than before the revelation.

I still toyed with the notion that Barbara was simply taking the psss, or testing my boundaries. Nothing else to do but call her back. ‘I’m serious, brother,’ was her answer. ‘If you don’t want to do it that’s okay, (sigh) but we really love the song and we reeeeealllly think it would suit your voice.’

So I bit back my reservations and acceded. Over the next few days I gradually familiarised myself with the original and other, stripped-back acoustic versions, until ‘Everlong’ began to grow on me — not unlike Grohl’s video-clip-hand. With a little bit of application and emerging fondness I developed my own take on the song. Thankfully I never noticed my metacarpus segue into shovels throughout the process because that would have made guitar playing problematic.

‘Everlong’ and Mozart’s Der Hölle Rache (incidentally, a Google search tells us the daring soprano must reach an ‘astonishingly high, Mariah Carey-level F6 above top C’) were intended as a background to the couple signing the register, although on the day it didn’t quite work out that way and both had more plays than expected.

My interpretation of ‘Everlong’ by the Foo Fighters (Dave Grohl composer).

*Put on your favourite high-tempo song, stand in front of a mirror, curl your top lip and nod your head to the beat.

Just in case, like me, you lived under a rock in 1997 (if indeed you were alive and cognizant), this is the original Everlong.

Oh and by the way, happy Xmas to all my readers. Flick me a ‘like’ or comment on the song or the season. Go on, it’ll be like Christmas for me.