Monday, October 17, 2011


At almost every family get-together, my brother and I bring instruments and play songs, to both the delight and chagrin of our captive audience. Among the many familiar covers—David Gray's "Babylon," Paul Simon's "Me and Julio," a myriad of Guster songs—my Dad always requests that we play John Lennon's "Imagine."

The version I play came from a long while back, when I saw a video of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora doing an acoustic version which went directly into the chorus of "Give Peace a Chance." The idea of a mashup was pretty new to me and I thought it was great... so I promptly stole it and arranged it (with the help of my friend Rich Ryan) for my college a cappella group, Much More Chill.

After performing it many times with MMC and many times at home, the most notable performance might have been when Erik Reinhart and I played it for the memorial ceremony for my Dad's close friend, Jim Nowak. I was honored to perform it—Jim had always been a fan of song and of the ideas it represented, and all his close friends and relatives were there in remembrance of him. With Erik by my side, I think we did well to pay tribute to Jim, and to John Lennon's original motives in writing such a simple, beautiful song. By the end, local jazz musician Bill Tiberio had joined in with an improvised saxophone melody, and every person in the room was singing along with the chorus.

With my Dad's 65th birthday approaching, I thought it would be fitting to finally give him a version he could listen to whenever the mood struck him so I recorded this rendition, playing all the parts myself so I could say it was truly from me!

I'm happy to share it with everyone now, but for my Dad as well as for Jim and John listening on in the next world—I hope you enjoy it.

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