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Music

David Letterman's favourite band of all time

@TylerGolsen

Throughout his four decades of late-night shenanigans, David Letterman rarely ever became sentimental or schlocky. He seemed violently opposed to it, doing everything from bringing on animal trainers and people doing stupid human tricks to dunking himself in increasingly absurd vats of products just to avoid speaking from the heart. Even during some of his most torrid personal setbacks, like his 2000 heart surgery and his early 1990s incidents of being stalked, Letterman was much more comfortable turning things into jokes than putting his own emotions out into the world.

But during the aforementioned heart bypass surgery, Letterman was faced with his first real brush with death. When the surgery was a success and Letterman would famously bring out the crew of doctors and nurses who he credited with saving his life, the late-night host also made sure that he had another special guest on the programme to celebrate his return to the stage: Foo Fighters.

Up to that point, Letterman’s love of Dave Grohl and the American alternative rockers that made up the Foos wasn’t particularly well known. The Foos were less than a decade into their career by 2000 and had only just released their third studio album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose. They were one of the most famous rock bands in the world, but were also far from the established legends that they are today. Nevertheless, Letterman put in a specific request for the Foo Fighters to play ‘Everlong’ on his comeback show, referring to them as “my favourite band, playing my favourite song” on the broadcast.

Letterman had previously invited the Foos to make their television debut on his show back in 1995, with the band returning in 1997 to promote The Colour and the Shape, performing ‘Everlong’ for the first of what would turn out to be many times. When the Foos released Wasting Light in 2011, Letterman let them play an entire mini-concert on the show, with the band decked out in Beatles Ed Sullivan Show suits to commemorate the event. By October of 2014, Letterman invited the band to play on the show for an entire week, which included the host sharing how the Foo Fighters had helped form a bond between him and his young son.

When Letterman finally retired after 22 years on air, there was little doubt as to whom the host wanted as his final musical guest. With one final salute, the Foo Fighters and David Letterman forever solidified their bond with one final performance of ‘Everlong’, set to a montage of Letterman’s greatest television moments. Letterman described them as being “happily ever since joined at the hip,” and clearly had an unmatched love for the Foos as he departed from late night.

Check out some of the Foo Fighters’ most notable appearances on Letterman’s show down below.