Little Steven Van Zandt is ending the year on a festive note with his Disciples of Soul band.
The troupe has released a new cover of the Ramones‘ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” along with a video that mixes footage of the group cavorting in holiday garb on a beach in Barcelona with vintage cartoon and film material.
Van Zandt tells us the quick-hit project was a bit of a surprise for the band as well as fans:
“Well, it was just kind of a spontaneous idea, and I wish I had it, like, y’know, a couple months ago. It was just a few weeks, really, end of November. We were gonna do a couple Christmas shows here to end the tour locally…So I said, ‘We should learn a Christmas song or two…I thought, ‘Well, I could do my own song that I…wrote with Darlene Love or I could write something new or I could do something else,’ but I’m kind of conscious of trying to keep the Ramones music alive. So I thought it would be a good idea to do this thing and remind everybody how great the Ramones were and how great a writer Joey Ramone was, so I said, ‘Let’s do that. Let’s rearrange that a little bit, add some horns to it and the girls and we just cut it at a soundcheck, man. We learned it and just cut live at soundcheck.”
The song is available for download purchase at most major online music retailers.
Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul play a final 2017 show on Saturday (December 23) at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, N.J. and are making plans for more performances during 2018.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.