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A Not-so-Brief History of Foo Fighters' Obsession With Queen

The '70s British rock band has long been an influence on Dave Grohl + Co. See how far down the rabbit hole they go

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ABC NEWS - ABC News covers the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte NC, 9/5/12, airing on the ABC Television Netw
Travis Bell

When Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Chris Shiflett covered Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure" recently at a California show for Foo side project Chevy Metal, it was just the latest in a long history of the band's Queen obsession. We've compiled 13 years' worth of covers, collaborations and Hall of Fame inductions to show just how deep the band's obsession runs.

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May 9, 2000: Foo Fighters + Brian May Team Up for Pink Floyd Cover

The Foos had already covered Pink Floyd's classic song "Have a Cigar" as the B-side to "Learn to Fly" in 1999. A new version, which retained Taylor Hawkins' vocals and added Queen's Brian May on guitar, first appeared on the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack. In 2011, the group released the track in limited-edition vinyl form as part of their all-covers Medium Rare album for Record Store Day.

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March 19, 2001: Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins Induct Queen Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

"From ragtime to space-rock, opera to funk, punk rock to arena rock, there were no boundaries to what Queen could do," Grohl said, opening his induction ceremony speech for the band. Added Hawkins: "Queen were my first live concert and every concert since has been a bit of a letdown." The pair would later join their idols onstage for Queen's "Tie your Mother Down."

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October 22, 2002: Brian May Appears on Foo Fighters' "Tired of You"

May would reunite with Grohl + Co. for this track from the Foos' fourth album One by One. Many of the original tracks for the album were scrapped, but this one remained.

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May 25, 2006: Foo Fighters Join Queen for 'VH1 Rock Honors'

Foo Fighters opened the first 'VH1 Rock Honors' with a frenetic version of Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down," joined later by May and drummer Roger Taylor. Grohl and Hawkins would later join the band and former Bad Company vocalist (and current Queen singer) Paul Rodgers for "We Will Rock You" (above).

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May 25, 2006: The Band Gush More Over Queen

"I never really was a huge Queen fan until I joined Foo Fighters," admitted guitarist Chris Shiflett. "But I don't think you can be around Taylor without having that rub off on you." This video's worth watching to see Dave Grohl speechless just thinking of "Bohemian Rhapsody".

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July 7, 2007: Hawkins, Taylor and 40 Other Drummers Team Up for Charity

At Live Earth concert, Hawkins, Taylor and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith joined 40 other drummers as the SOS Allstars to open the massive show. The group performed a track written by Taylor and ended with the "We Will Rock You" drum solo.

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November 17, 2007: Foo Fighters Perform Queen's "'39" in London

"We usually do something special every time we come to London," said Grohl before bringing Taylor and May onstage. "We do something that we've never really done before." The band performed Queen's "'39" from 1975's A Night at the Opera for the first time. 

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November, 2009: Roger Taylor Hints at Tour With Taylor Hawkins

In an interview with BBC 6, Taylor said he was hoping to embark on a mini-tour with Hawkins. "I've been thinking about doing a tour next year—a very quick tour—with Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters," he told the radio station. "He's like one of my best blood brothers! So we might do that. That sounds like fun." The tour never materialized, but Taylor did appear on "Your Shoes," a track from Red Light Fever, Hawkins' second album as Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders.

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April 20, 2010: Brian May, Roger Taylor Appear on Taylor Hawkins' Second Album

For Red Light Fever, Hawkins also recruited May to play guitar on "Way Down" and "Don't Have to Speak." Grohl and the Cars' Elliot Easton also appear on the album, recorded at Foo Fighters' Studio 606.

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August 28, 2011: Foos Release NSFW Tour Promo Using Queen's "Body Language"

We've already included this as part of Dave Grohl's 10 Funniest Moments, but it bears repeating here. As a promo vid for their 2011 North American tour, the band transform into homoerotic truckers showering to the tune of Queen's 1982 track "Body Language."

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Apr 2: Basket-Bros

Currently on his 'The Man of the Woods' tourJustin Timberlake brought out a special guest for his Cleveland show. LeBron James surprised concertgoers by showing up alongside Timberlake and taking a shot on stage. On Friday, the singer was also seen cheering on LeBron during the Pelicans and Cavaliers game. James gave a shout out on Instagram, "My brother @justintimberlake showed up and showed out last night at the Q! One of the greatest to ever do it in my lifetime and still going strong."