Foo Fighters mastermind Dave Grohl has been absolutely nailing some choice collaborations and covers lately (such as his rendition of “My Hero” with Billie Eilish). More recently, he and instrumentalist Greg Kurstin were joined by singer Pink to do “Get the Party Started” for the pair’s second 2022 “Hanukkah Sessions” video. Now, Grohl has teamed up with 16-year-old daughter Violet to tackle Janis Ian’s seminal coming-of-age song, “At Seventeen,” for their night four performance.
The footage was filmed in front of a live audience on Monday, Dec. 5, at Los Angeles club Largo at Coronet Theater. As noted by Spin, Violet Grohl opened the show with a cover of Leonard Cohen’s equally formative and often reinterpreted “Hallelujah.” Also, during last year’s “Hanukkah Sessions” concert, she sang Amy Winehouse’s “Take the Box” with her father.
The YouTube caption for “At Seventeen” reads: “Born Janis Eddy Fink, a 23-year-old Janis Ian wrote one of the all time classic coming of age anthems ‘At Seventeen’—here it is as interpreted by Violet Grohl.” Indeed, the track – the second single released from 1975’s Between the Lines – quickly became Ian’s signature tune.
As she told The Guardian in 2018, it was inspired by a New York Times article about “a woman who’d thought her life would change and be perfect when she had her debutante ball. The first line was, ‘I learned the truth at 18.’ Since ‘At Eighteen’ didn’t scan, it became ‘At Seventeen.’ . . . This was the mid-70s, before confessional songs, and I’d never been that honest about feeling ugly and never being asked out.”
It’s no wonder, then, why the song has resonated with countless people since it came out. Likewise, it’s no shock that the Grohls’ version follows a long line of prior adaptations, including renditions by Ed Kilbourne, Celine Dion, Twiggy and Allison Crowe and Band.
This one, however, surely ranks among the best. Backed by her father on drums, Kurstin on piano and a few horn players, Violet Grohl’s sincere singing and light acoustic guitar strums add earnestness to the jazzy rendition. Suitably, she receives a full-bodied ovation once the song is done.
What do you think of the father-daughter duo’s take on “At Seventeen”? Let us know as you watch the full clip below.