This song is often interpreted to be about the drug addictions and bad habits of the late Kurt Cobain, who was in Nirvana with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who wrote this song. However, according to an interview with Grohl in Mojo magazine, he penned this song during one of the lowest points in his life over Christmas 1996.
The frontman was sleeping in a sleeping bag on a friend's floor having just gotten divorced from photographer Jennifer Youngblood, and as a consequence was homeless. On top of that Grohl had no access to his own bank account, and both his drummer, William Goldsmith, and guitarist, Pat Smear, were on the verge of quitting the Foo Fighters. In the midst of all this he wrote this love song in about 45 minutes.
Dave Grohl said this song is about "being connected to someone so much that not only do you love them physically and spiritually, but when you sing along with them you harmonize perfectly."
The song evokes real love, that feeling of shyness, yet excitement, like the first time for anything. It's a feeling that is so strong that you want it to last forever, even though you know nothing ever lasts forever. in the video, Grohl is trying to protect his girlfriend. When he sees that she is in trouble his hand grows abnormally large and beats down anyone that tries to hurt her.
The band performed this on The Late Show With David Letterman on February 21, 2000, when Letterman returned from heart surgery. Letterman explained that the song was important to him during his recovery, and specifically asked for Foo Fighters to perform it on his first night back. The band had to cut short a tour to do it, but they made the appearance and got a ringing endorsement from the host, who introduced them as "my favorite band playing my favorite song." The group became Letterman mainstays, appearing on the show for a whole week in 2014.
When Letterman did his final show on May 20, 2015, Foo Fighters played this song to close it out, once again getting a stirring introduction from the host. As they played, a montage of memorable moments in Letterman history was shown.
According to Grohl, this was the first song he wrote with lyrics that were often quoted back to him by fans. He says the line "Breathe out, so I can breathe you in" really resonated.
There is some whispering at the end of the song. It is a combination of three tracks mixed by Dave Grohl. One track is a love letter being read, another is a technical manual, and the third is a story about the father of one of the studio engineers.
The music video is partially a parody of the cult horror film Evil Dead
. In the movie, which was directed by Sam Raimi (who would go on to direct the Spider-Man films), a group of friends spend the weekend in a cabin only to be attacked by zombies. The parts of the video featuring Dave Grohl as some kind of a superhero with a giant hand (referred to as "Handor" by some fans) have nothing to do with Evil Dead
, though. The video was directed by Michel Gondry, who went on to make Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
. Gondry used to have dreams where his hand grew to giant size.
When Grohl first came up with the guitar riff, he thought it was a rip-off of Sonic Youth.
Dave Grohl played an acoustic version of this at one of Neil Young's Bridge School benefit concerts. The Bridge School is a program for children with disabilities, and after Grohl performed, he got a standing ovation. It was the closest he ever came to crying on stage.
The passionate love Dave Grohl sings about in this song reflects his feelings for his first wife Jennifer when they were at the beginning of their relationship. They were dating for about two years when she moved to Seattle to be closer to Dave (this was in 1994, not long after Kurt Cobain's suicide). The day she moved, he asked her to marry him, and they were wed later that year. Jennifer gave Grohl some stability at a time when he was adrift, but they got married too soon and were divorced two years later. Getting the divorce papers triggered the creative spark for this song and also "Walking After You
." That one is more of a woe-is-me heartbreaker about wanting her back, but "Everlong" tapped into the fervor of their young love.
The song appeared on Friends
episode 7.24, "The One With Chandler And Monica's Wedding." This version, which wasn't played by The Foo Fighters, was used at the end of the episode right after Monica and Chandler were married.
In the movie Little Nicky
featuring Adam Sandler, you can hear an acoustic version of "Everlong" just before the scene where Nicky falls from Valerie's balcony.
A goofy electronic version of this song plays at the beginning of the Foo Fighters "Learn to Fly
" video in a scene were Jack Black and Kyle Gass are cleaning an airplane. Dave Grohl had the electronic duo The Moog Cookbook record this version; he had called on their services before when he had them create an alternate version of "Big Me
" for the "Monkey Wrench