Watch One Man Perform Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer’ All by Himself
It takes all three members of Rush to perform their classic "Tom Sawyer." One-man-band Dominic Fragman can play the song all by himself.
The musician behind the cover of Rush's 1981 song explained how it all came about – and how he managed to deliver vocals, guitar and drums all at once. Fragman first grabbed attention with his poly-instrumental performance of Black Sabbath’s "War Pigs" two years ago, and his “Solo Trio” YouTube channel now features his singular takes on songs like Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick” and the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy."
“It began with just drums and guitar together, around the age of 10," Fragman told TeamRock. "When I started, I had no idea what it would develop into. I just wanted to play, a lot. Initially, I operated the guitar with both hands, with the right foot on the bass drum and the left on the hi-hat. Many folks for many years have done variations on this. Eventually I got comfortable enough to grab a stick and a pick with the right hand, and it went from there.”
Fragman first pulled out his "War Pigs" cover to keep a crowd entertained during a gap at a concert a while back. The response encouraged him to take the Solo Trio more seriously. “The trick is to not think of it as two or three different things – it’s all one thing,” he said. “All one instrument, all one sound, all one endeavor.”
He chose “Tom Sawyer” from Rush's classic album Moving Pictures because it’s a personal favorite. “Things just fell into place. Don’t get me wrong, I spent time on it," he said. "The general consensus is that the tune itself is epic, and it’s viewed as a musically difficult task. To see one guy do it all, which is also viewed as a difficult task, was exponentially difficult.”
Fragman hasn’t heard from anyone in Rush so far, but his fingers are crossed. “That would be amazing and very humbling,” he said. “I wonder how they would feel about it. Maybe it will make it to Rush – that would be rad!”
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