After all the Bob Dylan songs I’ve covered, there are still so many essential tracks left to be recorded, and this is one of them. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” originally recorded by Dylan (with Roger McGuinn of the Byrds) for the Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid soundtrack, has been re-recorded so many times that it’s ridiculous. There are countless live versions, cover versions, and yes, even parodies that are available out there.
And, now there’s a Laptop Session of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”!
This is one of the earliest songs I learned to play on guitar — how can you go wrong with G, D, C and Am? — and it’s one of the first songs I worked out a specific harmonica part for. I haven’t played it in about a year, but it came right back to me. I hope you enjoy it!
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for another great session from Jeff on LaptopSessions.com!
Welcome to your Monday, Monday edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!
If you take a look at the last few posts, you’ll notice all the work I’ve been doing over the past 24 hours. I’ve managed to mix, master, and put online three concerts worth of material. The last one has 35 songs! Then, I finally posted my photos from our TNA Wrestling show back in May. Finally, I went through and backed-up literally 100 gb of data that was clogging up my laptop’s harddrive. I put all of it on DVDs, which meant that I needed to complete everything before I backed it up and deleted it from my hard drive.
This is the first time in about nine months that the coffee table is clear of five spindles of DVDs.
Today, I bring you a song that Chris, Becky, and I have been playing since the beginning. Back in late high school, I fell in love with the music of Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, and Chris Hillman. I mean, I was already a fan of the Byrds, but we had recentely gotten this album called “McGuinn, Clark, and Hillman”. It was recorded in the mid-seventies, long after the original Byrds broke up and reformed.
A few tracks on this album, including the first track (which Jeff did as a Laptop Session- Click HERE to view it!) meant a lot to me at the time. I was with my first girlfriend (and so proud that I had a CD player in the car- my 1990 Camaro) and the way we got together was a little weird. We kinda had a thing going a year or so earlier, but then something happened to make us not talk for a long time. I’m being vague not because I want to be, but because I honestly don’t remember. That’s why I wrote in a journal every single day, I guess. I’ll have to go back and read up on it. Anyway, when we finally made it happen, I just thought the song “Long Long Time” was perfect for it. I hope you’ll listen closely to the words in Jeff’s version and you’ll see what I mean.
“Surrender To Me” is a great song for a couple of reasons- mostly because of McGuinn’s incredible guitar work. I actually based our live version half on the album version and half on the acoustic demo with Hillman and McGuinn. Having Chris there to play the rhythm guitar (back when we first started playing live, he had a ton of trouble doing harmony parts while playing), Becky singing with me, and me playing a guitar solo I could actually handle, this was a prime choice. I just wish more people had heard of it. But, that’s okay- most people probably think it’s an original, which is major points for me!
Actually, this song is a cover itself. Neither McGuinn, Clark, or Hillman wrote this tune. But I still think it’s a great one and a standout track on the album. Coming up on my next Session starts my suite of videos recorded in the great outdoors. These videos are part of what the Laptop Sessions is all about, coupled with those Jeff did while on vacation- they’re LAPTOP Sessions! We can record them anywhere and bring them to you from whereever you may be. Enjoy today’s Session and make sure to come back tomorrow for Chris’ video, Wednesday for Jeff’s Original Wednesday (which I hope he comes through and plays us his new song), and to download all the new concerts!
Welcome, welcome to yet another Jim Fusco Tuesday here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog. Actually, tonight, you get two for the price of one: I have Chris Moore with me to record this session! And boy, did it come out great. If your connection can handle it, click the “HQ” button and listen to the better audio feed of this one. It’s in full stereo (I LOVE my microphone) and the levels are perfect!
And tonight debuts my brand new 12-string electric guitar! And what a way to bring it in. I knew I had to do a Byrds song. No, it’s not a Rickenbacher. Who can justify spending literally 8 times more for the same essential thing. My version is from Dean and I love it. It looks great and plays even better. The sound is there, too- just like all my favorite 12-string songs. Look for more in the future. I can’t wait to bust out my new lap steel guitar, as well. In a couple weeks, I’ll be getting an HD cam, so all my Laptop Sessions will be in high definition. How cool is that? At that point, I’ll be able to start my new mini-series entitled “Jim’s Guitars”- stay tuned.
Gene Clark wrote tonight’s song and it was off of the Byrds first album, “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Now, this isn’t the greatest album, but it really could have been. That is, if half the album weren’t Bob Dylan covers and other cover songs. Not to knock cover songs, but the songwriting of Gene Clark (and in the future, the rest of the band) was so far ahead of its time and his songs are simply timeless. This song takes me back to when I was at Wesleyan for 5 weeks in the summer of 2000. I was at a program called “CCY”, the Center for Creative Youth. Good fit, eh? 🙂
Anyway, those five weeks seemed like a whole lifetime at the time- everything that happened in one day seemed like a year. So, even not seeing someone for two days made it seem like you were living “here without you”. Needless to say, this song was all I listened to when I got back that summer.
I have to keep tonight’s post short because of my marathon video editing job last night. I need to catch up and this is my only opportunity. So, without further ado, I hope you enjoy the great effort put out by Chris and myself tonight on the Byrds’ classic song, “Here Without You”. You won’t be here without us for too long, as Jeff will be back on Thursday for another great cover song music video. Until next week!!
Tuesday…what a day. Not enough to be mid-week, and not far enough away from the past weekend to let you forget about it. At least Chris got the day off today, so he texted me updates on his (nothing) day every half hour. If only I didn’t only have 200 texts a month…and if only Chris were home every day.
Onto tonight’s video- actually posted before midnight for once!
I told you that you’d get a twin-spin with The Turtles, and here it is. “You Showed Me” is a song I’ve known for most of my 24 years, hearing it on the oldies radio station 102.9 “Big D 103” here in Connecticut. But I got to revisit the song after my family and I got into the Byrds. We listened to every single released (and unreleased, for that matter) Byrds song and loved every minute…except for David Crosby’s “Mind Garden”, my vote for the ABSOLUTE worst song of all time. Go ahead- go search for it and tell me it isn’t. I dare you.
So, how do the Byrds fit in here? Well, we came across this song again on the Byrds “Preflyte” sessions box set, which is awesome, by the way. It’s a collection of all of their songs before they ever recorded their first album with Columbia Records. It’s a great collection, especially because the band wrote most of the songs. The lead singer and songwriter at that time was Gene Clark. He wrote some of the world’s best songs and it’s been a pleasure to cover his songs on multiple occasions here on the best music video blog on the internet!
Gene Clark and Roger McGuinn (Jim at the time) of the Byrds wrote “You Showed Me”. They recorded mutliple versions of this song with the Byrds during the “Preflyte” sessions, but the song never showed up on an official Byrds album. Instead, they gave it (or maybe Columbia gave it- I’ll have to check that out) to The Turtles to turn into a HUGE hit. Well, I’m glad it became a hit either way and it’s just another example of Gene Clark’s amazing songwriting abilities. It makes it all the more sad that he barely ever got recognition for it.
I hope you enjoy tonight’s video, as I gear up for yet another “new” band to the Laptop Sessions on Friday. Which one? Well, let me give you a hint. This man was (and I think may actually be getting back) with one of the most famous “stoner” bands of all time. You know, ridiculously long concerts, etc. Which band? Which man? You’ll just have to wait until Friday to find out! Thankfully we have Chris and Jeff posting their great videos in between to tide us over! See you then.