Friday Song: “Everlong”

Written quickly during a sad Christmas, this became the Foo Fighter's signature song.

Written in 45 minutes by Dave Grohl while huddled in a sleeping bag on a friend’s floor over Christmas 1996, “Everlong” was inspired by Veruca Salt frontwoman Louise Post, whom Grohl was dating.

  • She ended up singing backup vocals on the studio version
    • The vocals were recorded via a phone call from Los Angeles

Reeling from a divorce, homeless, and with two members of the Foo Fighters on the brink of quitting, Grohl was in the dumps that Christmas. Writing this song about his flowering new love of Post was his way of looking ahead.

The song was written in a manner Grohl later described as “off the cuff,” making him fear he’d accidentally ripped off a riff from a Sonic Youth song. He played it for that band’s frontman, who immediately urged Grohl to get the song out because it sounded so good. There was no concern about anyone being ripped off.

The song became the second single off the band’s 1997 album The Colour and the Shape, and is now regarded as the group’s signature song.

According to Grohl, this was the first Foo Fighters song where audiences would sing the lyrics back to him, particularly “Breathe out, so I can breathe you in.”

The band performed the song on The Late Show With David Letterman in 2000 after Letterman returned from heart surgery. The song was important to Letterman during his recovery, and he specifically asked the Foo Fighters to perform it on his first night back. The band cut short a tour to make the show, and got a ringing endorsement from the host, who introduced them as “my favorite band playing my favorite song.” The group appeared on the show for a whole week in 2014, and when Letterman did his final show on May 20, 2015, the Foo Fighters played this song to close it out over a montage of memorable moments.

“Everlong” reached #3 on the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart and the Canadian RPM Rock/Alternative chart. It reached 1 billion streams on Spotify on December 2, 2023.