By Jim Fusco:
Welcome once again to a brand-new edition of The Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco! It’s been quite a while- since this past Christmas, in fact, and I’m finally back with a set of new videos. Since my last video about four months ago was an Elton John cover song, I figured it was appropriate to come back with another one! This one is non holiday-themed, however, in “Elderberry Wine”.
“Elderberry Wine” is off of the “Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player” album. I have been in such an Elton John phase lately and have listened to many of his early albums. I have plenty of favorites and plan on bringing more to you, too. I always had a different view of Elton John: I only knew the hits and they were taken out of context. In a way, I wasn’t a big fan because some of Elton’s big hits are kind of dated at this point. But, I also didn’t hear them overplayed when they came out, which is similar to how much I loved Wings when I first listened to their Best Of in 2002. I hear these songs that most other people already know (like “Elderberry Wine”, for instance) and I fall in love with them. They just don’t come with the same stigma as they did in the 70s when they first came out. I used to love “Another Day” by Wings. Of course, even I can admit that it’s not that great of a song, but again, I didn’t hear it on the radio in the early 70s with all of my friends telling me how much it sucked. 🙂 The same goes for many Elton John songs, including “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” and “Rocket Man”- those are GREAT songs! Even “Benny & the Jets” is an amazing song, especially considering how innovative it was for the time. That beat and the sounds he used may be dated now, but when I hear it, I hear innovation.
So, I’ve been really into early Elton John albums, my favorite being “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. That album is amazing and has everything. But “Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player” is pretty good, too! Fun fact: the title of the album was actually a quip from Elton John to none other than Groucho Marx! That’s why there’s a movie poster on the cover of the album from the Marx Brothers’ “Go West”.
This song isn’t exactly the hardest song to play, but it certainly took me plenty of takes. I must’ve been rusty. I really wanted to make this comeback a memorable one, so I kept trying to get the perfect take. Sometimes I wonder if anyone knows how much effort goes into each one of these videos- I really don’t just sit down and produce them for the heck of it. I want to make something I’m consistently proud of. Remember the old “Laptop Sessions” mantra: “We put an end to bad cover songs forever!” Well, at least I’m trying to…
Finally, you’ll notice my new surroundings. Part of the reason why I’ve been absent is because we had a 400 square foot addition put into our house by finishing our above-ground basement. It came out GREAT and is a man cave for the ages, complete with all of my guitars, drums, a 58″ tv, and a computer room, which I’m sitting in during this video. It’s been a lot of work over the past few months, but it’s so rewarding to see it all done now.
I hope you enjoy tonight’s video of “Elderberry Wine” by Elton John and come back in two weeks for another new edition of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco!