Dave Grohl and Friends Perform ‘I Love L.A.’ at Hanukkah Sessions
Playing drums and singing lead vocals, Grohl led a cover of Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” complete with “We love it!” choruses from Kurstin, Jack Black, Pink, Karen O, Beck and others. As can be seen below, they’re clearly having a great time, to the point that Black and Pink mess with the timing of one vocal and can’t help laughing about it.
The nine-song show took place at the Largo club in Los Angeles on Dec. 5. It was the third time he’d collaborated with producer and multi-instrumentalist Kurstin on a Jewish-themed set of covers, although the first time they’d done it in front of a live audience. The performance was hosted by Judd Apatow and profits were donated to the Anti-Defamation League.
Released by Newman in 1983, “I Love L.A.” was initially a flop and failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100. However, over time it became one of his most recognized songs and an unofficial city anthem. It's has been used in a long list of feature films, and is regularly played at games for all Los Angeles professional sports teams.
Newman was born and raised in a Jewish family, though he’s openly admitted it wasn’t a very religious household. He often shares an anecdote recalling his first experience with anti-semitism. When Newman was about eight years old, he was invited to a classmate’s cotillion and a nearby country club, only to have the girl’s father call back and rescind the offer. “I’m sorry, Randy, my daughter had no right to invite you, because no Jews are allowed [at the club],” the parent reportedly said. “That’s all right, sir,” Newman replied before hanging up the phone and turning to his own father. “Hey, dad, what’s a Jew?”
After the first run of Hanukkah Sessions in 2020, Grohl said his exploration of the celebration – assisted by Kurstin, who’s Jewish – had started as “a silly idea” but became “something much more important.” He added: “It showed me that the simple gesture of spreading joy and happiness goes a long way, and as we look forward, we should all make an effort to do so, no matter how many candles are left to light on the menorah.”
Blood Sweat & Tears, Rush, 10cc and Janis Ian are among the classic artists covered this year. Previous sessions have featured material by Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Beastie Boys, Mountain, the Ramones, Van Halen, the Clash, Billy Joel and Kiss.
Watch Dave Grohl and Friends Perform ‘I Love L.A.’