In 2003, the Foo Fighters recorded a cover of the Prince song “Darling Nikki,” which they included as a B-side on the Australian version of their “Have It All” single.
Though their version was never officially released as a single, it surprisingly found success at American Modern Rock radio, peaking at #15. Prince was less than pleased, telling Entertainment Weekly that he didn’t appreciate the Foos (or anyone else) covering his work, and that Dave Grohl and company should “write [their] own tunes.”
Taylor Hawkins said,
“We wanted to put it out here in the States, but Prince wouldn’t let us, I heard that he didn’t like our version. Or maybe he just didn’t like us doing it.”
On February 4, 2007 Prince got his revenge on the Foos by covered their song “Best of You” at Super Bowl XLI. Hawkins said,
“Dude, I have no idea why he did it, but I’d love to find out,” he laughed. “I mean, the thought went through my head that maybe he was doing it as a sort of ‘F— you’ to us, or maybe he really likes the song. Either way, it was pretty amazing to have a guy like Prince covering one of our songs — and actually doing it better than we did.”
Hawkins said he was clueless about Prince’s plans to work “Best of You” into his Super Bowl set. Hawkins said,
“I was watching the game at our producer Nick Raskulinecz’s house, and since he’s doing the new Rush album, all the guys from the band were there, I mean, I’m outside smoking a cigarette with Neil Peart and someone sticks their head outside and goes, ‘Uh, dude, Prince is doing your song.’ “
Hawkins said he hasn’t heard from anyone in Prince’s camp about the cover but said the entire band is thrilled. Grohl has also claimed that the check they royalty check they received from the Prince cover was the biggest single check the band has ever received.