See Dave Grohl and Dave Kurstin Cover the Clash’s ‘Train in Vain’
"Michael Geoffrey Jones, born to Russian Jewish mother Renee Zagansky, would come to be known as punk rock legend Mick Jones, co-founder of the Clash," the duo explain in the caption section of the cover's YouTube video. "It’s London calling Jerusalem as we take a 'Train In Vain.'"
The poppy breakup song was such a last-minute addition to the Clash's 1979 masterpiece London Calling that its title wasn't included on original pressings of the cover art. Released as the album's third single, "Train in Vain" reached No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100, second only to "Rock the Casbah" as the band's biggest U.S. hit.
"Train in Vain" is the penultimate song in Grohl and Kurstin's YouTube series, following a kazoo-led take on Billy Joel's "Big Shot," a cover of Amy Winehouse's "Take the Box" featuring Grohl's daughter Violet, a keytar-heavy rendition of Van Halen’s “Jump,” a metal version of Lisa Loeb’s 1994 folk-rock tune “Stay (I Missed You),” a faithful take on the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” and an intentionally cheesed-up edition of Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana.”
Their project will end on Sunday, Dec. 4, the final night of Hanukkah.
This is the second year of "Hanukkah Sessions,” with Grohl and Kurstin saluting a different Jewish musician each evening of the holiday. That year’s kickoff included tributes to Bob Dylan, the Knack, the Velvet Underground, Beastie Boys, Mountain, Drake, Peaches and Elastica.
On the final day of their 2020 installment, Grohl wrote in the video caption about how the collaboration brought him joy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As 2020 comes to a close and another Hanukkah ends (my first!) I am reminded of the two things that have gotten me through this year: music and hope,” he explained. “This project, which initially began as a silly idea, grew to represent something much more important to me. 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.”