Foo Fighters have always put out very entertaining and, at times, hilarious music videos. From the hit “Big Me” off their debut and onward, they never looked back, pushing the envelope and bringing their songs to life on screen. There’s no better example of this than on their video for their fan-favorite single “Everlong”, one of many hit songs off the band’s 1997 sophomore effort, The Colour and The Shape. Though it’s funny to see drummer Taylor Hawkins in drag and the outrageous, gigantic “hand beating” Dave Grohl dishes out, there’s a serious side to this video, as well. The song itself, a timeless 90’s classic, would not have fit well with an over-the-top “Big Me” or “Learn to Fly” concept of humor. Instead, it portrays two dream sequences that eventually become one, and it’s done with elaborate detail, costumes, and imagery. This is the kind of video where you can always find something new you hadn’t seen before, each and every time you watch it.
With a video of this caliber, it only makes sense that director Michel Gondry stepped behind the lens. A French film, commercial, and music video director, Gondry’s feature films, such as The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, work with tremendous, deeply wound images, and, looking back on “Everlong”, it seems plausible that these films are direct descendants of this video. Actually, if you look at the man’s resume, specifically at his work on music videos, “Everlong”‘s influence carries over somewhat. Paul McCartney’s “Dance Tonight” and Steriogram’s “Walkie Talkie Man” share similar styles, especially since the former even includes a secluded cabin, though in “Everlong”, it’s clearly an homage to Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead or Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn. Who wants some?
Referred to as “Handor” by some fans, Grohl’s demented, giant evil hand isn’t the only pop cultural reference here. (In fact, Gondry insists that he had dreams of his hand growing larger as a child.) Take a look at Grohl and Hawkins’ outfits, clearly a throwback to Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Also, if you look at what Nate Mendel and Pat Smear wear, they’re donning a sort of style referred to as Teddy Boys, which typically see youths subscribing to styles from the Edwardian period. Weird, right?
Another fun fact, in order to accommodate the video’s exceeding running time, the final chorus receives a brief interlude, which consists of the last few seconds of the song played backwards, only to be followed by a rousing final, final chorus that drives it all home. There’s something about this added measure that packs an incredibly emotional punch; unfortunately, it’s only on the video version. At the end, you’ll notice that Hawkins is playing drums, after an incredible, quasi-jaw dropping costume change; however, what’s important to note is that Grohl actually played drums on the album, as Hawkins hadn’t joined yet.
Extremely popular on MTV, “Everlong” received heavy rotation, and the track itself is arguably one of the Foo Fighters’ best. While they’ve been performing it acoustic on-stage for the past decade, lately they’ve been tossing out the electric, more traditional version. We’ll see how it sounds this year when they take the show on the road with MotÃ¶rhead and hit up festivals like Hangout Music Festival and Sasquatch.