A cover version of “Come Together” is on the charts, nearly 50 years after the Beatles’ original release, and it couldn’t have come at better time.
Gary Clark Jr. is the voice and guitarist behind the new rendition of the Fab Four’s 1969 hit, which is part of the soundtrack for the superhero film “Justice League.” The track is climbing up the rock radio charts, marking Clark Jr.’s highest-charting single yet. The Austin, Texas, native said the song’s chorus, and its message about unity, appears to be resonating with listeners.
“I think to hear that now, with everything that’s going on, it feels right,” he told HuffPost about Junkie XL-produced track. “Whether I was involved in this project or not, I think the more messages like that and the more ideas of coming together ― that’s really good. And it’s inspiring for me individually, and hopefully for everyone else. For people I talk to, the conversation always leads to: We need some sort of change. We need to come together.”
It didn’t take long for Clark Jr. to decide to take on the project, as he’s a longtime Beatles fan.
“My mom had a huge crush on Paul McCartney,” he said. “‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ was my introduction. ‘Come Together’ was a song I really loved growing up. ‘The White Album’ was my whole take on what music was, along with [Jimi] Hendrix and that whole era. I was really inspired by [the Beatles’] songwriting.”
Clark Jr. said he doesn’t think the two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, have heard his rendition of their song yet. But he does have an idea of what it would be like to meet them.
“If I ran into them, I probably wouldn’t bring it up. If they said something to me and they said that they dug it, I would think that that was cool,” he said. “And if they didn’t say anything to me, I would probably assume that they didn’t [like it]. So we would go on about our business and be cool hopefully.”
Although he hasn’t met McCartney or Starr, Clark Jr. did get to attend the star-studded premiere of “Justice League,” which opens Friday and features Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Henry Cavill, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck and Amber Heard.
“The movie was incredible. It also helped that I happened to be sitting next to [rapper] Ludacris,” he said. “The dude is funny, so his commentary throughout the entire thing was funny. I don’t know if he was talking to me directly. But he would say these little things and I’d be cracking up.”
Clark Jr., meanwhile, is hard at work on a follow-up album to 2015’s “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim.”
“I’m in the beginning of stages. I’m in the studio trying to get it together,” he said. “I’m in this creative flow, kind of no filters. Putting everything out and then [I’ll] figure out what we’re going to do with it.”
When he’s not in the studio or performing, Clark Jr. is busy with his growing family. He and his wife, Nicole Trunfio, are expecting a second child. They’re already parents to son Zion, who turns 3 in January ― and by the sound of it, Clark Jr. enjoys being a dad.
“Just his imagination and the things he says, I’m constantly laughing. He’s fearless and I’m a little bit freaked out,” he said of his son. “I’m a little bit more cautious than he is. My anxiety level is a little bit high.”
One thing Clark Jr. and his son have in common is a love for “Come Together.”
“It’s like his favorite song. He just wants to listen to that and watch the video,” he said. “He thinks I’m friends with Batman and all these guys. So he thinks I’m really cool right now.”