This song features a vocal and piano contribution from Elton John. The Pulse Of Radio asked Queens frontman Josh Homme how he snagged the English legend to play on the record. "It actually stemmed from an old roommate of mine, who drives really high-end folks around now, and Elton was in the car listening to Them Crooked Vultures, I guess," he said. "And his assistant was saying, 'Oh, you've got to hear Queens, the other band of this guy,' you know. And because my old roommate was driving the car, it was like, 'Do you want to talk to him?' And I just got a phone call at my house on a Sunday. You know, he said, 'The only thing missing from your band is an actual queen,' and I said, 'Honey, you have no idea.'"
Elton John told MTV News that the nature of the collaboration came at a weird time. "Engelbert Humperdinck had written me a very sweet letter and asked me to sing a duet with him," he explained. "He is part of my history and I couldn't say no so I went and recorded a song with him. Then I drove three blocks and went from Engelbert to Queens Of The Stone Age."
Homme recalled to MTV News: "I think he assumed we'd have some ballad that was already recorded that he would play on, but what was great was the realization 'Oh, we're going to play a rock song, we're going to track it live and it's going to happen.'
"We worked together, and so what you get is this performance.," he continued "And that was nice to have that experience together. And then he was gracious enough to say 'I'll come back and sing.'"
Homme recalled Elton's contribution to NME: "We gave him 'Fairweather Friends', which is not an easy song to learn. All the piano is him. He started by playing nothing but the root of the song, which is so amazing and respectful and experienced. Then, after about 20 minutes he was just like, (Puts English accent on), 'I'm gonna start flowering it out a little bit.' To watch him do that was just f---ing badass. We played for three-and a half hours. That's how long it took to get it."
A fairweather friend is somebody who is loyal when you are flourishing but desert as soon as your fortunes change. John Cale, Johnny Gill and Vanessa Carlton have all recorded songs with the same title.