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Music

The bizarre moment Foo Fighters and Jack Black teamed up for 'Low'

The partnership between Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters and Jack Black has been a fruitful one. Proceedings were first kicked off when Black and Tenacious D partner Kyle Gass appeared in the iconic video for 1999 single, ‘Learn to Fly’. Memorably, the Tenacious D pair starred as a pair of airline mechanics who smuggle and hide their narcotics, branded as “World Domination brand ‘Erotic’ Sleeping Powder” in the coffee machine of the aeroplane. 

The most memorable convergence of the two came a couple of years later in 2001, for Tenacious D’s beloved single ‘Tribute’. Famously, as Black and Gass walk down the mysterious “long, lonesome road”, a demon appears in the middle of the road, played by Dave Grohl. He challenges the band to deliver “the greatest song in the world”, which they do, eventually defeating him.

I don’t think anybody will forget Grohl as the demon suggestively licking up his guitar neck when performing the solo in the video. In 2006, Grohl would revisit his role, but this time as Satan in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, as a lewder, and sexually charged version of the demon we had seen five years prior. 

What a lot of people tend to forget, however, is that Jack Black and Dave Grohl teamed up again the years between his two stints with Tenacious D. 

In 2003, Foo Fighters released ‘Low’, the third single from their album One by One. Grohl described the track as “the kind of song that you pray would be a single. (…) It’s the one that everybody likes, but there’s just no way ’cause it’s too weird.” Writing for the song took place at Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins’ home in Topanga, California, in the days following 2002’s Coachella music festival, and at the time, I don’t think anybody foresaw what would happen with the music video. 

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The video stars Grohl and Black as two ‘rednecks’ visiting a motel. Black’s character, who has a remarkably deep voice says to Grohl’s character, “Hey what’s up Lester?”, before he responds in his affected southern drawl “What’s up Cole? You ready to do this?” to which Cole replies, “You know I am”. They check on the beers and then head into the motel room, where the camera switches to camcorder footage.

Then what ensues is one of the most surreal moments either Black or Grohl have had. The song fades in, and we see Black doing some of his trademark goofy dancing. Then, we witness the pair arm wrestling, drinking, watching TV, and Black crawling to the toilet with a portion of his intergluteal cleft on show, which the camera promptly zooms in on. Afterwards, the pair put makeup on and don dresses, ramping the heat up before it cuts to night vision, and it all ends with Black throwing up in the toilet. The duo emerge in the sunlight, fist bump, and then go their separate ways. 

Initially, Grohl wanted only Black in the video, dancing in drag for four minutes without any edits, however, director Jesse Peretz convinced him otherwise and created a loose storyline about the two rednecks in lingerie at a motel room. Showing just how much times have changed, the video was even banned by MTV for its content. Whilst it might not be suitable today, and many of the themes in the video may have aged badly, it remains one of the most bizarre things that Grohl and Black have ever appeared in.

Prepare to cringe and laugh in equal measure. Remember, 2003 was a long time ago.

Watch the video for ‘Low’ below.