A Hanukkah tradition everyone can get behind.
Dave Grohl and Greg Kurstin are back celebrating the greatest Jewish artists and their work with 8 nights of spectacular covers!
Lisa Loeb- Stay
“Welcome back to the menorah, y’all. Let’s kick it this year’s Hanukkah sessions with one of Dallas, Texas’s favourite Jewish daughters. So put on your coffee shop spectacles and your Betsey Johnson dress and HAVA listen to this… “Stay” by Lisa Loeb.”
This 1994 track launch Lisa’s career, it’s use on the Reality Bites soundtrack being the main credit thanks to Ethan Hawke showing Ben Stiller his friends latest single. Lisa would later hit #1 in the US without being on a record label but was quickly snapped up by Geffen Records.
The Ramones- Blitzkrieg Bop
“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!”
This 1976 hit by the Ramones was a salute to their fans, and the good times they brought to their shows. Joey Ramone would admit that for the chant in the song, the part that the audience really participates in, was inspired by “bubble gum pop” of the time, mainly “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers.
Barry Manilow- Copacabana
“Barry Pincus – not only one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th (or any) century, but a mega-mensch to boot!”
Based on the New York club, which was named after a district in Rio de Janeiro, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t heard this earworm telling the story of Lola and Tony.
Van Halen – Jump
“Quite possibly the loudest and proudest of hard rocking Jews, David Lee Roth has gone on record crediting his Bar Mitzvah preparation as his earliest vocal training. He became a rockstar the day he became a man: Diamond Dreidel DLR and Van Halen…with “Jump.”
David Lee Roth hasn’t been too clear on the inspiration on this tune. He once told that a news crew that a man was about to kill himself by jumping off a building and Roth thought, “Might as well jump”. He’s also said a stripper was his muse…. Whatever it’s about, it always lands on the Rock 95 Top 500 Rock Songs of All Time list.
Amy Winehouse- Take The Box
“Despite this song’s mention of a “Moschino bra you bought me last Christmas,” it’s common knowledge that the amazing woman behind the song was actually Jewish. Gone far too soon…Ms. Amy Winehouse and “Take The Box.”
Dave’s daughter Violet takes the vocals on this Amy Winehouse cover. This is not the first time Violet has appeared on one of her dad’s projects, she’s actually the backing vocals on the Foo Fighters Making A Fire, which she did just one day after school, no big deal. This cover also comes with the most performers on a cover so far, with Violet, two backup singers, and of course Dave and Greg.
Take the Box comes off Amy’s 2003 album, Frank. In this jazzy track, Amy discovers her lover’s affair and tells him to “take the box” of gifts that includes that Moschino bra.
Billy Joel – Big Shot
While he claims a secular Long Island upbringing (and has songs full of Catholic and Italian imagery), Billy Joel remains one of the great Jews of musical scripture—here’s his ultimate ode to a true Macher: “Big Shot!”
Okay. This is one of my favourite Billy Joel songs and to see this cover gets me a little excited.
From Songfacts “When Joel appeared on The Howard Stern Show in 2010, he explained that he wrote this song about Bianca Jagger, who was a socialite married to Mick Jagger, but it was written from Mick’s perspective. Mick and Bianca were on the outs and divorced shortly before the album was released, and Billy was thinking about how Mick would sing the song to Bianca when he recorded it.”
THE CLASH – TRAIN IN VAIN
“Michael Geoffrey Jones, born to Russian Jewish mother Renee Zagansky, would come to be known as punk rock legend Mick Jones, co-founder of The Clash. It’s London Calling Jerusalem as we take a “Train In Vain.”
This was the Clash’s first number one in the US and there’s no reason why it wasn’t this 1979 hit. If you got the album London Calling this single would be found there… But not on the sleeve. See it was originally supposed to be a Flexidisc promotional single, but unfortunately this proved to be a little pricey, and Flexidisc didn’t gain as much popularity as the later Compact Disc.
KISS – ROCK AND ROLL ALL NITE
Ladies and gentlemen….we made it. Night 8! And what better way to celebrate another year of Hanukkah Sessions than Chaim Witz and Stanley Eisen….two young lads from Queens that set the world (and thousands of stages) on FIRE as Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS!!!
Greg and I would like to thank all of the people that helped ramp up the Hanukkah Sessions this year. It’s gonna be tough to beat! (But we will. Oh, we will…..)
We hope that this year’s batch of hits has brought a little joy to you, as it surely did to us!
Now let’s rock and roll all nite and party everyday until next Hanukkah!
Greg and Dave don the iconic makeup for the very last night of Hanukkah Sessions and show us what a rock and roller does now a days. House work and yoga.