“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” Video Premiere
I like Christmas well enough, but what I really love are Christmas songs.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas” rocked my brace-faced, junior high world. I bought the single, and raced home from Tredyffrin-Easttown Middle School every afternoon to catch the video on MTV.
In high school, my brother, Chris, and I used to drive around suburban Philadelphia looking for luminaria-strewn neighborhoods listening to “A Very Special Christmas” at full blast.
That’s Christmas to me. Keep your Berl Ives and Bing Crosby. Give me my yuletide cheer with amplification, distortion, and drums. Give me Sinatra, Elvis, and Aretha. Give me Springsteen, Run DMC, and U2. Heck, I can even get into Bryan Adam’s “Run, Run Rudolph.”
I released my first Christmas EP in 2003. It was the first thing I recorded with Kevin Anthony (who later went on to produce “Almost Home” and “Love & Other Indoor Games”). The a-side was a solo, acoustic performance of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”
Like last year’s “A Family Holiday Benefit,”, “A Holiday Benefit, Vol. II”, is part Band Aid, and part “A Very Special Christmas.” In addition to ten great, rockin’ original and cover tunes, our a-side is an all-star cover of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”
We recorded an all-star singer/songwriter version at Jeffrey Swart and Kyle Paas’ Kingsland Studios a few months ago. Everybody was there: Chris and Casey, Jamie and Tony, Kelley McRae, Brent Shuttleworth, Deena Goodman, and many, many more cool folks. My esteemed colleague and pal, Jonathan Goldner, was there capturing all the fun on DV. And while we were all eating turkey, he was making us a music video. Have a look.
Tonight I come full circle. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is the grand finale of our big charity rock show, “Rebel Spirit Music Presents: A Holiday Benefit, Vol. II.” Hope you’ll come down to Canal Room (285 W Broadway), or pick up a copy of the CD here or on iTunes.
And if you’re interested, here’s my far less interesting version from way back in 2003:[audio:happyxmas.mp3]