It started as a joke.
Mary Klym, a 15-year-old West Sider, was riffing with friends about the perfect song for power-pop veterans Weezer to cover. Klym had gotten into the group two years before, when she started teaching herself quirky nuggets such as “The Good Life” on acoustic guitar. That day in December 2017, Klym suggested Weezer play explosive ’80s cheese masterpiece “Africa” by Toto. The idea delighted her so much she created the Twitter account @weezerafrica just for laughs.
Klym started by steadily replying to band members’ tweets with rewrites of the song’s lyrics, telling frontman Rivers Cuomo, “It’s about time you bless the rains down in Africa.” Her cause got a boost from a Noisey article published that December, after which hundreds of users started retweeting her quippy requests.
Drummer Patrick Wilson replied that one of her tweets made him laugh, but Klym still didn’t hear much from the band.
Then on May 26, everything changed.
Weezer took part in some good-natured trolling when it released a Toto cover — of “Rosanna,” the group’s other big hit.
But two days later, Klym logged onto Twitter, and there it was — Weezer’s “Africa,” with the image of Klym’s “Bless The Rains” tweet serving as the cover art. Within hours, Today, NPR, NBC Nightly News and more picked up Klym’s story. The cover climbed to No. 1 on the iTunes singles chart. She even got a video message from Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and Ringo Starr.
“It definitely shows fans can have a big impact,” says Klym, who’s going to Weezer’s July 11 gig at Blossom Music Center. “It shows that bands can bring people together to support a singular cause, even if it’s something as silly as them covering ‘Africa.’ ”