The Bird and the Bee — the duo of singer Inara George and producer Greg Kurstin — have teamed up with Beck for a striking cover of Van Halen’s ‘Hot for Teacher.’ The track will appear on The Bird and the Bee’s upcoming covers album, Interpreting the Masters: A Tribute to Van Halen, which is due out on 8 August.
The Bird and the Bee’s version of ‘Hot for Teacher’ cleverly flips the metal anthem into a hot jazz tune, with Eddie Van Halen’s iconic guitar riff swapped for a rollicking organ rumble while George croons the tune as if she’s on stage at a smoky lounge bar. The duo also remove David Lee Roth’s delightfully juvenile spoken word part, but in place of “I dropped my pencil!” it’s Beck playing a substitute teacher named Mr. Goodbody who comes to class with a very specific lesson plan: “We’ll be reviewing the text from Moby Dick, so please turn now to page… 69.” You can check the track out below.
Beck – who worked with Kurstin on his 2017 album Colors – said of the unlikely collaboration, “The Bird and The Bee bring unforeseen angles to the Van Halen song book. Makes sense because, like Eddie Van Halen, Greg is a kind of musical wunderkind in his own right and Inara’s vocals bring a cool counterpart to Diamond Dave’s pyrotechnics. Making a cameo on their version of ‘Hot For Teacher’ felt like an extension of the kind of riffing and fooling around we do in the studio on a normal session.”
The Bird and the Bee’s version of ‘Hot for Teacher’ follows previously released covers of ‘Panama’ and ‘Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love.’ The duo will also embark on a 15-date tour later this year, starting with a special show in Los Angeles on 2 August that will feature Dave Grohl on drums and Justin Meldal-Johnsen on bass. George will then continue the tour with a backing band on 11 August in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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