Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, like so many of us, was moved by the death of comedic icon and sitcom legend Betty White. The passing of the Golden Girls star, who died in her sleep on New Year’s Eve — just weeks before her 100th birthday — inspired Klinghoffer to pull out his acoustic guitar over the weekend to play a thoughtful cover of the beloved Andrew Gold-penned GG theme song, “Thank You For Being a Friend.”
The soulful, minute-long cover was accompanied by an introspective note from Klinghoffer that included his thoughts about yet another difficult, confusing year. “Outside my window is the last dusk of 2021. Not quite sure what to say about this year. As always, it seems like it just begun and at the same time so much has happened this year, I guess,” he wrote.
“There has been a lot of loss lately, a lot of endings. It’s happening all the time everywhere, but these past few weeks have seen the loss of a few important people in my life,” Klinghoffer said. “I rarely feel like I have any wisdom to share, but the son of the creator of the show I have included the theme song to said this, and I think it’s just brilliant. He said (something like), ‘We are all experts at being exactly who we were the day before.’ As it’s a beginning of sorts, tomorrow, perhaps try and do something differently. Make that call. Start that book. Go and breathe outside. Put an end to that fight. Feel. Try and mend some of the broken things you see around you, inside and out. Live life knowing you don’t have forever as all lives tend toward ending.”
He ended by wishing everyone a happy new year and, of course, thanking them for being a friend, in addition to including the meditative poem “When Death Comes” by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver. Klinghoffer, who played lead guitar for the Chili Peppers from 2009-2019, was invited to open for, and then join Pearl Jam on stage on their pandemic-delayed Gigaton world tour; he’s also a member of singer Eddie Vedder’s new solo all-star backing band, Earthlings.
Check out Klinghoffer’s cover below.