Steven Van Zandt and the Disciples of Soul have a beachside holiday in the new video for their cover of the Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight).”
The clip finds Van Zandt and his 15-piece outfit decked out as Santa, elves and reindeer, playing toy instruments along with their bombastic, horn-fueled rendition of the Ramones’ holiday classic. The video also intersperses this footage with clips from old cartoons and movies, including two seminal Christmas flicks, A Christmas Carol and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
Speaking with Rolling Stone about the cover, Van Zandt noted that he added a third verse to the track, saying, “It’s our tribute to the Ramones. We’re keeping their music alive. We cut it live at a soundcheck in Utrecht, Netherlands, two weeks ago. I needed a third verse so I channeled Joey and wrote what I feel is the third verse he would have written. His brother, Mickey [Leigh], heard the record and gave me his blessing.”
Van Zandt released his new album, Soulfire, in May, marking his first solo effort since 1999’s Born Again Savage. The record features new originals, covers of Etta James and James Brown and several old tunes Van Zandt wrote for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, including one, “Love On the Wrong Side of Town,” co-written with Springsteen.