Before they wrote the greatest song in the world — then forgot it, then wrote a tribute to it — Tenacious D tried their hand at a breakup ballad.
Jack Black and Kyle Gass reflect on their songwriting origins and rise to stardom in Tenacious D: The Road to Redunktion, the latest installment in Audible’s Words + Music series. The nearly two-hour episode also features seven newly recorded catalog songs from the comedy-rock duo.
Both artists revisit their inauspicious beginnings in an exclusive excerpt from The Road to Redunktion, which you can hear below. “I feel like the first real song we wrote was ‘Tribute,'” Black says. “But you’re right, before that there was a song, before we knew that we were funny, or that we were going to try to be funny. This was about a breakup.”
Over a breezy, melancholy chord progression, Black sings: “At one time I could advise / But now I’m lost in my own pain / The habits that captured me / And now I feel the rain / So easy to call you / So easy to die another death / I can’t seem to fall through / Won’t you heat me with your breath?”
Listen to an Excerpt From ‘Tenacious D: The Road to Redunktion’
Soon, he abruptly halts. “Stop. I can’t even finish the song. I hate it so much,” Black says as Gass wheezes with laughter. “We wrote that song, and we worked on it for many hours. I didn’t like it but I thought, ‘If we play it enough times, we’ll get that perfect version, and it will be great.’ And it never got there.”
Black and Gass quickly abandoned the lovesick lament and began writing their future classic “Tribute,” a stone-cold rock anthem based around an absurd, meta concept. “There was something so funny about that concept, that we wrote the greatest song in the world but then we forgot it,” Black explains. “We weren’t taping. So what we did is we wrote this song as a tribute to that song that we forgot.”
You can listen to the full episode of Tenacious D: The Road to Redunktion on Audible now.
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