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I've had two 'day jobs' in my life, always while playing music on the weekend. I tried out the straight life, tried to become a fine, outstanding, productive citizen, but it didn't work out. Being a musician is not what I do, it's what I am.
My first real job was as a telephone installer-repairman. This was before cell phones when everybody was wired to a telephone cable, mostly on poles in the easement.
When you climb a pole, you have little spikes strapped to your legs, and perhaps an eight of an inch stuck into a sometimes rotting pole is all that keeps gravity from slamming you to the ground (what song is as dreadful as that?) -- plus some things under the poles between you and the ground can hurt you more than the ground does if you land on them.
So one day I have to climb this pole. Four chain link fences meet at one corner of the pole, just the kind of thing that if you landed on could be much worse than lawn. Plus empty trash cans in one yard and a few other potentially deadly things to land on. (what song is as dangerous as this?)
So I climb the pole, and open the telephone terminal. A couple of hundred wasps had built their nest in the terminal, and weren't very happy at all about having the cover removed.
So I'm on the pole, with wasps darting around, and if I do something quickly and stupid, I could fall and perhaps land stradling one of those fences. With heart pounding, I quickly instantly decide the wasps were the lesser of the two perils, and I slowly and carefully make my way down the pole. Luckily I didn't get stung, as I usually have a more severe than normal reaction to a wasp sting.
We had a quick evaporating contact cleaner that I used to kill the wasps, (trichlorotrifluoroethane), it freezes them instantly, and evaporates in seconds. That was before we knew about CFCs destroying the ozone. But every now and then another wasp would come home, sometimes carrying a stunned caterpiller to feed to the larvae, and wonder what happened to it's home.
Now tell me, compared to that, what song is dreadful??????
A bad day playing music is better than a good day at any real job I can think of
No arguments..just your own personal "dreadful" tunes that you still normally play. No margarittaville or BEG responses. They're too easy.
-Livin on a Prayer
-Stuck in the Middle
The big thing with me is whether the crowd's into it. Margaritaville and BEG are some of my favorite's if the crowd is singing along with the Sha-La-La's and doing the "Salt, Salt, Salt" bit on Margaritaville. It's more dreadful to me when I play something that's the wrong fit for the crowd, and it seems like that three minute song lasts forever.
Honestly, I don't do that many songs that I don't like. The times I find things to be "dreadful" to play are when I'm doing songs that I think are outside of my normal wheelhouse - trying to force myself into something that I'm not.
I have a list of songs I refuse to play ever again (unless I get paid extremely well
these are songs either I never liked anyway, but had to play, or played so many times in so many bands/duos that I just don't give a $#!+ if I ever do them again; Iwon't even go into the songs I refuse to even learn
Aside from BEG...
House of The Rising Sun
Black Magic Woman [I actually had to do this one last week on my blues jam house band gig, and deferred all the solos to the other guitarist, and just played rhythm]
Bell Bottom Blues
Johnny B. Goode [Some people apparently think this is the only song Chuck Berry wrote]
New York, New York
I've Got My Mojo Workin'
all told here used to be about 75-100 songs, now there are more...
Yeah, I would much rather play Margaritaville and BEG over and over every night if it meant that I didn't have to endure another conference call or have to stress out about Mt market share report is a half percent off this month.
For me, there could only be two conditions that would make any song 'dreadful' to play.
1) the audience wasn't enjoying it.
2) I don't like playing the song so much that I no longer care about #1.
And if both of those conditions exist, there's no reason to do the song at all, so I never play anything that feels dreadful to me.
While there are some songs I absolutely love and love playing, I don't think any songs exist that I actually despise. It's just melody, lyrics and rhythm. The worst any song can be for me is dreadfully tired. If I never play BEG again as long as I live, I certainly won't be bothered by this. But if the dancefloor is packed with people having a great time to it, then it's no longer dreadfully tired. It's as fun and fresh for me as it (as it at least appears to be) for them. I'm in the music-entertainment business. My job is to entertain people using music and my talents as a musician. Which tools I use aren't particularly relevant except that they are the right tools for the job.
I deem a tune dreadful, if while I'm playing it, I feel like I'm doing something horribly wrong. So... Wonderful World, which used to be a tune I liked is now off limits to me. And Stuck In The Middle is another tune that I used to like that I just dread playing now. And if for some reason I do play SITM, people kind of look at me as if to say - hey you're ruining our song... stop that!
So I try to steer clear of tunes that I can't manage anymore. That way everyone is happier.
BTW I've had a few WASP moments in my life. One was installing lights on the ceiling of this huge nightclub. I'm on scaffolding bolting on lights that don't want to be bolted on, hating every minute of it. And I look around and see other guys doing the same thing with big smiles on their faces. That's when I decided I was going to be a full time performer versus a full time tech.
Luckily, most truly dreadful songs never became popular, so we're spared them. Most over-exposed songs are actually pretty good songs that I'd be glad enough to play except for the useless baggage they carry.
So, next time someone asks me for BEG I'll be happy happy happy they didn't ask for "Pineapple Princess."