The Hanukkah Sessions celebrate the music of Jewish artists, like Rush’s Geddy Lee: The bassist’s family were Holocaust survivors — including his Poland-born mother who had been at Auschwitz — before moving to Canada.
“From a very early age, I knew that my parents were Holocaust survivors. In fact, I knew that almost all my family were Holocaust survivors,” Lee told Grohl in an episode of the latter’s From Cradle to Stage docuseries. “Most survivors don’t discuss it, but I felt lucky in a way because it wasn’t a mystery in my house.” Lee’s mother Mary Weinrib, who appeared with him on the episode, died in July 2021 at the age of 95.
“Geddy Lee’s mother was so proud of her son that she put Rush posters up all over their family store and gave away Rush albums to kids who didn’t have money to buy them,” Grohl and Kurstin wrote in the YouTube caption for the performance. “In tribute to that proud Jewish mother, we give you — free of charge—’The Spirit Of Radio’ featuring Jack Black!”
Grohl (and the late Taylor Hawkins) had a long history with Rush, culminating with the Foo Fighters duo inducting the prog-rock wizards into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Grohl even managed to get the surviving members of Rush to reunite post-Neil Peart’s death for the Hawkins tribute concerts earlier this year.
The 2022 Hanukkah Sessions, like Hanukkah itself, will end tonight on the eighth night of the Festival of Lights. This year’s sessions, recorded live at Los Angeles’ Largo on Dec. 5, have featured Grohl and Kurstin performing Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll” with Karen O, Beck’s “E-Pro” with Beck himself, Grohl’s daughter Violet covering Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen” and Inara George performing 10cc’s “The Things We Do For Love” alongside Tenacious D.