Jack Black remembers ‘fiasco’ when he forgot lyrics during disastrous Elliott Smith cover – watch

Actor/musician played a tribute to the late singer-songwriter in 2013

Jack Black has described his awkward performance at an Elliott Smith tribute concert in Los Angeles in 2013, labelling the incident a “fiasco”.

“One of my favourite musicians of all time was Elliott Smith. He was a genius,” Black told Off Camera host Sam Jones.

“So they were doing this tribute to Elliott Smith a couple of years back. They wanted me to do ‘Say Yes’ so I rehearsed for hours and hours in my car trying to memorise it. I wrote it down, I did everything in my power to get it right.”


He continued: “We got there and it was my turn. And my brain just froze. I got to a line and my mind thought ‘What if I don’t remember the next line?’ and so I beefed it and said ‘Sorry everyone, we’re going to start from the beginning. I know no one else has f**ked up their songs, I f**ked up mine, though. But that’s OK, take it from the top.”


“Elliott Smith’s sister was there, I think he had some other family members there. It was like ‘No, you have to get it right.’ It was almost like a memorial service.”

Black revealed that it took nine attempts and eight failed starts to finally remember the words. “Everyone just erupted with applause and cheering because I made it through. It was such a catastrophe. It was a fiasco.”

Listen to Black recall the incident in full beneath.


Black previously spoke in a radio interview about his love of Elliott Smith, saying that he met the singer-songwriter at a Radiohead gig a few weeks before his death and caught Smith trying to sneak out before the headline band, having only come to see support act Supergrass. Listen to that below.