Foo Fighters, David Letterman’s favorite band, will serve as the final musical guest when the late-night host bids farewell to Late Show on Wednesday night. Letterman and Dave Grohl’s band have shared a unique bond the past 15 years. In addition to frequenting the program, Foo Fighters also staged a weeklong residency on Late Show in October 2014 to celebrate their new album/HBO travelogue Sonic Highways.
A representative for Foo Fighters declined to comment on the band’s appearance.
In February 2000, Letterman underwent emergency quintuple bypass surgery following a heart attack. After being sidelined for five weeks, the host asked Foo Fighters to appear on his first post-surgery show to perform “Everlong,” their single that was instrumental in the host’s recovery. Introducing the Foo Fighters for that performance, Letterman said “my favorite band playing my favorite song.”
“When he had his open-heart surgery, he was gone for a while and when he came back he requested the Foo Fighters be the first band to perform for his first week back because he wanted to hear the song ‘Everlong,’” Grohl told the Orange County Register. “Ever since that day, we’ve been in love. I don’t know how many times we’ve played that show, but every time we do and I stand in the Ed Sullivan Theater, I never take that for granted.”
During the Foo Fighters’ star-studded Late Show residency, Letterman shared a poignant story about how one Foo track soundtracked a major moment in his fatherhood. “Years and years and years ago when I became a father, I recognized I was older than most fathers, and so did my son. And so I said I have to find something I can do with my son and we can do it together,” Letterman said. He then took his son skiing in the mountains of Montana, and on the last day of the trip, their ski instructor filmed Letterman and his son skiing down the mountain.
The video arrived on a DVD weeks later, and the song the instructor used as a musical bed was Foo Fighters’ In Your Honor cut “Miracle.” “This is the second song of theirs that will always have great, great meaning for me for the rest of my life,” Letterman said. Grohl and company then performed that song live for Letterman, whose Worldwide Pants co-produced Grohl’s Sonic Highways series. (“Letterman was the first person to get behind this project,” Grohl admitted.)
The final stretch of Letterman performances have seen Tom Waits debut a new song titled “Take One Last Look,” Eddie Vedder performing a solo “Better Man” and Bob Dylan making a rare late-night television appearance on the penultimate episode to play “The Night We Called It a Day.”