Watch: Josh Freese delivers a jaw-dropping version of Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher drum intro at Foo Fighters’ Glasgow gig

Josh Freese, Foo Fighters
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images)

Foo Fighters are currently storming their way through the UK on their first extended dates on these shores since Josh Freese was announced as the drummer chosen to fill the shoes of the late Taylor Hawkins. During Monday’s Glasgow date, Josh Freese treated the Hampden Park audience to a note-perfect rendition of Alex Van Halen’s iconic drum intro from Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher. 

Thankfully, Freese’s solo was captured and he later shared it to his Instagram account, giving us all the chance to check it out. The clip begins at the end of Monkey Wrench, where Taylor Hawkins would traditionally place a drum solo. 

Since joining, Freese has previously dropped into John Bonham’s metre-meddling drum intro from Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll. However, on Monday, when the band dropped out, Freese launched into Alex Van Halen’s unmistakable opening hertas before adding the distinctive double kick/tom pattern then moving into the ride bell accents. As the camera pans round, we catch a glimpse of the rest of the band looking-on in awe.

Finally, Freese finishes with his own solo, ripping some incredibly clean and powerful single-strokes with his hands and feet across the kit. Accompanying his social media post, Freese wrote “Little impromptu ‘Hot For Teacher’ nod last night in Glasgow.”, we think we’d agree, especially when you consider that Monkey Wrench os one of the faster songs in the Foos’ set, and was the 21st song the band played in Glasgow.

Foo Fighters, Justin Hawkins, Josh Freese and Wolfgang Van Halen - Hot for Teacher - YouTube Foo Fighters, Justin Hawkins, Josh Freese and Wolfgang Van Halen - Hot for Teacher - YouTube
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Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Freese nail Hot For Teacher: the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts saw him play the song with Wolfgang Van Halen on guitar, Dave Grohl on bass and The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins on vocals. However, pro-shot footage from the broadcast Wembley concert is scarce, and Freese’s clip gives us an up-close view of him playing, along with clear audio.    

More recently, Freese marked a year since he began playing with Foo Fighters, paying tribute to his friend Taylor Hawkins in the process.  “A year ago today this aired and I got to stop keeping quiet about what had been referred to as “the worst kept secret in the music business” at the time (though I thought we did a pretty good job on our end.) 

"Foo Fighters released an hour long special of us playing some songs at rehearsal. Here’s three clips of the first song. I love the way it came out and am proud of it. I joked that all we really needed was “All My Life” and then move on (because it’s so goddamn good.) 

“That being said, I continue to miss Taylor as does the band, his family, friends and the rest of the world. We also continue to try and make the most of the situation by moving forward and doing what we love doing…playing music, honoring Taylor and staying positive."

Foo Fighters are currently on their UK and European leg of their Everything or Nothing at All tour. For a list of dates click here.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.