“California Callling” (The Beach Boys cover)

Originally posted 2014-09-10 22:00:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco!  Today I go back to my ol’ stomping grounds to give you another Beach Boys cover song.

“California Calling” is from their self-titled album from 1985.  It’s the only track on the whole album that features real drums…and as an added bonus, they’re played by Ringo Starr!  Of course, Dennis Wilson, the band’s drummer since they began, passed away in 1983.  I think Ringo is just about the only drummer fitting enough to be the first person to play drums on a Beach Boys song after Dennis’ passing.  And the drumming on “California Calling” is very similar to what Dennis would’ve played.  I like to think they did that as a tribute to Dennis.  Supposedly, the sequenced drum track on the hit “Getcha Back” was done in the style of Dennis Wilson as a tribute.  I hope that’s true because it would be a great tribute.

To be honest, this really wasn’t one of my favorite songs on the album for many years.  I think I was just irked by the fact that it’s another Love/Jardine “Don’t F with the formula” song that didn’t fit in with the rest of the album.  But I’ve changed my mind on that recently.  I mean, when you’re looking for a Beach Boys song, you’re looking for a song just like “California Calling”!  Plus, it’s a good tune and I’m a sucker for that classic Beach Boys sound.

Onto some personal business: “The Easy Ways”, my new album, is coming out very, very soon- on September 20th, in fact!  It’s an album full of 16 original songs that are assembled into a true “album” instead of just a collection of songs.  You’ll just have to check back soon and grab a copy of the album on CD or digitally to hear what I mean!  I’ve been practicing non-stop for my album release party, so I hope everyone in the Connecticut area will come check it out!  It’s at 5:30 on Saturday, September 20th at Silver City Restaurant in Meriden, CT.

I’ll be back next week with another original song in anticipation of my new album’s release.  I hope everyone enjoys tonight’s Laptop Sessions cover song music video of The Beach Boys’ “California Calling”!



“And Then I Kissed Her” (Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2007-11-02 00:52:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco

Here’s a great Beach Boys cover song originally done by The Crystals as “And Then He Kissed Me”. Brian Wilson loves Phil Spector’s music and re-did this tune (with Al Jardine on great lead vocals) with a Beach Boys touch. Of course, my version is stripped-down and it’s just me, but it’s a fun song to play and I think it sort of represents my project. Brian Wilson covered a song from his idol, and I cover songs from my favorite musicians here on the Laptop Sessions!

In 2013, Brian Wilson toured with Al Jardine and Al sang this song in concert.  You wouldn’t believe it, but Al (in his 70s) still sings this song great!  His voice is largely unchanged and he sings and plays it just like he did in the 60s.  It’s great to see him out there with his white Fender Stratocaster, just like he did so many years ago.  It’s actually a stark contrast from Brian Wilson himself.  I guess it just goes to show you that if you take care of yourself, you’ll still look and sound great later in life.  Paul McCartney seems to be that way, as does Ringo Starr.  But, guys like Ozzy Osbourne and Keith Richards choce the rockstar lifestyle back in the day.  Sure, they lived it up, but you can only stay that way for so long.  Their talent is still there, but it’s masked under a cloud of slurred speech and horribly wrinkled skin!

One thing about the Beach Boys is that they always did amazing cover songs.  From “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” to “Cottonfields” and beyond, they always took songs and gave it the Beach Boys’ treatment.  Take “Sloop John B”, for example.  That was an old traditional song that Al Jardine brought to Brian Wilson’s attention.  Brian turned it into a pop song and it became a Top 5 hit!  The Beach Boys also had a Top 5 hit with their cover of Chuck Berry’s “Rock’n’roll Music” in the 70s, though that version isn’t too far of a departure from the original version back in the 50s.  Later on in the 80s, the Beach Boys collaborated with Roger McGuinn (formerly of the Byrds) to do a cover of the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin'”.  That version is a lot different from the original, mostly because of McGuinn’s amazing 12-string electric guitar (Rickenbacker) playing throughout.

So, sit back, relax, and watch my cover song version of the Beach Boys’ “And Then I Kissed Her” here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog.  I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for more!


“Soulful Old Man Sunshine” (Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2008-03-10 14:14:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to my Beach Boys Session for this week! Today, this song goes out by request, but I probably would’ve done it eventually, anyway.

This is a technically unreleased song called “Soulful Old Man Sunshine” that was only released on a compilation a few years ago.

I truly think the only reason the Beach Boys never released it is because of Carl’s “shun-shine” gaff in the middle 8.

I figured out this song’s chords by myself and even though I took some liberties, I think it stays true to the original.

Also, I think this is one of the few over-produced Beach Boys songs. That’s why I was so excited to strip all that excess out and just make an acoustic version. You’ll notice that I even sing a bit of it like Brian Wilson did in the original demo of the song, also included on that compilation. I love that version, too- it’s a bit more jazzy.

Thank you for making this ongoing series so incredibly popular! We’re doing a Session a day in 2008, so make sure to check back EVERY DAY you go on the computer for fresh, new material at http://laptopsessions.com. Don’t forget to RATE the songs, too!



“That’s Not Me” (The Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2008-06-29 22:04:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

“That’s Not Me” is track three of the pivotal album, “Pet Sounds” from 1966. My family got into the Beach Boys back in 1990 or 1991 because of this album. Of course, we listened to the greatest hits, but we were more interested in this well-crafted, deeper music that “Pet Sounds” brought to the table. Seventeen years later, “Pet Sounds” doesn’t stand as my favorite Beach Boys album- that title goes to a couple of others, including “Holland”, “Sunflower”, and “The Beach Boys (1985)”. But, I still love every single track off of “Pet Sounds”. One of the reasons I like those other albums better is because of the contributions from the other band members. On “Pet Sounds”, it’s really a Brian Wilson solo album, featuring Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson on backing vocals.

But, then you get songs like “God Only Knows” that clearly benefited from Carl’s lead vocals and “That’s Not Me”, which benefited from Mike Love’s great lyrics and singing. This song is a great one to play on acoustic guitar and do a cover of because I didn’t have that feeling of stripping too much away from the song. This is a very personal-sounding song and I think it works great as an intimate cover music video. Of course, I plan on doing pretty much every song from “Pet Sounds”, but I arrived at this choice now because it’s the track that still hung on to that Brian Wilson/Mike Love writing tandem that put them on top in the early 60s.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s Laptop Session acoustic cover song and I hope you’ll come back to see another great cover music video from Chris Moore tomorrow!