By Jim Fusco:
Welcome everyone to another edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco! It feels like these two-week spans between my acoustic cover song music videos fly-by each time. It’s already the second week of December and Christmastime is going by like a shot. This year, I’ll be bringing you one Christmas song music video that I recorded on piano. But, that will have to wait until next time.
Tonight, I bring you the second in my two-part series of songs titled, “I Need You”. The first was the cover video I did two weeks ago, “I Need You” by the Beatles. I’ve always loved that George Harrison song and it’s about time I got to make an acoustic video version of it here for the music blog. As I mentioned on that post, I think the band America, and specifically Gerry Beckley- the writer of today’s song- were heavily influenced by the Beatles. In fact, in each concert performance (and I’ve seen them about 15 times now) they play a Beatles song. They say that it was the music that made them want to become rock musicians and songwriters.
Now, I’ve also hypothesized that Gerry Beckley made a nod to George Harrison’s “I Need You” in his song by the same title. I can hear a similarity in the chord progression, especially at the end of the song when it goes to that minor chord. It’s such an interesting change and both songs feature it (though Harrison’s goes to an F#m and Beckley’s goes to an Em7). It would be such an honor if Gerry Beckley himself ever read this blog post and commented on my theory.
America’s “I Need You”, off of their first (self-titled) album, was one of the songs that got me into the group’s music. Other Beckley songs like “To Each His Own” and “Only In Your Heart” are personal favorites, as well. I always gravitated to Beckley’s songwriting, as I can tell the clear Beatles and Beach Boys influences. After a show of theirs I attended, the band signed autographs. I brought in my copy of Beckley, Lamm, and Wilson’s “Like A Brother” CD and Gerry was surprised that I had it. I loved that album, especially because we got to hear some great Carl Wilson songs. He told me that he spoke at Carl’s funeral and that he was a very, very close friend. To me, that’s amazing- growing up and listening to your favorite group…and then becoming a musician and eventually friends with one of the members. To me, this made sense, as Carl Wilson was the youngest Beach Boy, more Beckley’s age.
In the studio version of “I Need You”, you hear a great acoustic 12-string guitar over the piano. For my Laptop Sessions cover version, I took a rare seat at the piano and stripped this song down to its basic elements. And when you just sit back and listen to the words, you realize how great of a song it really is. Beckley wrote this song right out of high school and you can tell- going away from all of your friends (like he talked about in “To Each His Own”) is really tough, and the emotions that you feel for people in high school feel like they’re SO important. I remember feeling that I’d be alone forever if a relationship didn’t work out back in high school. If only I could give myself some late-20s wisdom.
I hope you enjoy tonight’s “I Need You” piano cover song music video. I’ll be back with a Christmas song music video for you in a couple of weeks, so I hope you’ll stay tuned! In the meantime, get that shopping done (without getting too stressed) and we’ll see you back here on the music blog!