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the problem is that every band everywhere has played that song to death. At one point the drummer in our blues band insisted we add it to our playlist...he's no longer with us. It isn't the song's fault, per se, it is, well... I blame society. Mustang Sally, Proud Mary, HOTRS, Stand By Me (sadly), My Girl (also sadly)...they have just been done so many times they have become, well ...trite, and to me playing them seems obsequious. Anyone who spent years in cover bands, especially playing 5 night strips for years, knows where I am coming from. There are songs you just don't want to ever have to play ever again.
"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminent period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'
And there's the thing--Van wrote probably a dozen, maybe more, REALLY GREAT songs. And while all-but-one of those are generally tolerated, one is, apparently, required. Some of us don't think songs should be required.
I still like playing it and it always seems to go over. Almost any time during the night - no matter what set. It is "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" that I can't stomach anymore. But, whenever we drop it from the list it ends up getting requested. Ug!
I find it's a great song, as long as it's well played. The impact of the first few seconds of that song, make or break it IMO. You gotta be able to pull off the licks, and it's so much better when you have a good bass-player. If it's just strummed solo,,,, nah.