For as long as he can remember, Jeremy Fury has dined at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day. In 2018, he changed up his tradition a little by having Craig Bon, his Jeremy & the Harlequins bandmate, join him at a choice New York establishment.
“Almost everyone we knew had plans that night except us, and my mind was set on it,” Fury says.
Fury arrived first and put in for a table, and Bon arrived about an hour later, by which time Fury’s name had been called and he had the idea for “A Chinese Restaurant on Christmas.”
“The actual song didn’t come to me until a few months later,” explains singer Fury. “We were on tour in the U.K. in March, and after the tour ended, I went to Budapest for a week. It was about a day before I was heading back to New York, and I remember being at my Airbnb in the Jewish Quarter and the song just hit me. I recorded the melody for it into my iPhone recorder at the Airbnb pretty instantaneously. When I got back to New York, I finished writing the lyrics.”
He’s especially proud of the line “The waiter shouts, ‘Order now! I’ll have the broken-heart Kung Pao.’ ”
“It’s totally absurd,” says Fury, “but I think everyone knows exactly what it means.”
Jeremy & the Harlequins did the bulk of the recording for “A Chinese Restaurant on Christmas” along with a version of the classic “White Christmas” in May at NY Hed in Manhattan, with additional tracking and mixing done the following month in Los Angeles.
“We had to buy jingle bells, which are surprisingly hard to find in music stores even when it isn’t the Christmas season,” Fury says.
Christmas Special, which pairs “A Chinese Restaurant on Christmas” with “White Christmas,” arrives December 6 via Yep Roc. As for a follow-up to 2018’s Remember This, Fury says recording will commence in early 2020, with new music being released late next year.
“We have nearly 20 songs written for it, and we are really excited about the direction we are headed in,” he says.
— By Chris M. Junior