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  • Could we all be wrong?

    Deep thoughts...(cover band related, not originals)

     

    Back in the 80's when bands ruled and the hairspray industry sold enough to create holes in the ozone, bands were insanely popular.  We didn't vomit up songs like Brown eyed girl, mustang sally, or wild thing.. and if we did, we did it like Sam Kinison would do it, balls to the wall and **************** anyone who didn't get it.

    So here we are today, playing the same songs we played 2 years ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago.. ad neaseum.  We go into bars armed with play-lists engineered to maximize girls asses on dancefloors, because we're wired to believe that success has a path, and that path simply must traverse into "danceable" common songs.  Sure, we pull out the occasional "rare gem", but even that is chosen with precise scrutiny on how well it will "go over".

    I keep thinking back to what was different when local music thrived.  And it hit me.  What we didn't do in the 80's was pander to the "dance" crowd.  That was an entirely different genre.  That's what DJ's were for.  That was beneath us.  

    And sure, the chicks danced, but those chicks were gonna dance anyways, unless of course the band sucked.. then they would just wait for the next band, or go somewhere else.  And that's the crux of today-  I've seen chicks dance to ozzy, maiden, and even drowning pool, tool, and godsmack.  I've seen them dance to any and every slow song I've ever played live.  We don't HAVE to play "every rose" because we want to maximize danceyness on the floor.  People used to come to SEE bands, not dance.  I recall very little actual dancing from all the bars and bands I had encountered in the 80's, and even 90's for that matter.

    Maybe the problem isn't that the local market changed, but that WE changed.  We changed the expectations of the customers.  What happened to the days when we picked our genre and played the songs that we wanted (that were interesting?).. If you ever heard the song before, chances are it is worth playing.  Of course there are exceptions, but hey.. look at us now- traversing 5 different genres trying to make everyone happy.. why not just go back to what worked?

    I know the counter-argument is "but times changed".. but not really.  Most cover bands still play Jesse's girl and jenny jenny and amercan girl and summer of 69... gahhhhh have times really changed?  Or have we all just taken cues from bad ideas and expanded on them, and all got it wrong?

     

    These are just random thoughts, not arguments, but I would LOVE to see some real debate on it!

    Sig Fail

  • #2
    On one hand, I agree that just about any song can "Go Over" if played with passion and gusto. In my last band, some of our biggest hits were rocked out covers of centuries old Irish tunes. They worked because A. We rocked the **************** out of them and B. we made the Irish drinking thing (Shamrock in the logo, Dropkick Murphy's shirts, snap brim caps, Jameson shots, pints of Guinness) a big part of our identity as a band, and as a brand. In other words, we owned it. Also, it took some time before people caught on to it, there were always people that dug what we were doing but it didn't have mass appeal, especially at first. It took time for the word of mouth to spread but eventually we could count on a good sized following in our home area that knew what we did and came specifically for it. The tough thing was that every time we played in a new town we had to repeat this process!

    In my new band we play mostly funk and hip hop, with some classic rock thrown in. It's a lot more accessible to the casual patron and will pretty much work anywhere, but I have found it more difficult to build a following because it is not as unique as the last project. I am trying to figure out how to bring that sense of ownership to the new group, I think that's the key really, but it can be tough with a more standard list...

    Comment


    • toober
      toober commented
      Editing a comment

      sweatpat wrote:
       In other words, we owned it. 

      ^^ This.  Bands back then didn't go out on stage and mellow their way through the night. They were energized. A greater percentage of bands put on more of a 'show' as compared to the same percentage today. As far as generation differences, there are many....

       

      Back Then
         
      Now
         
      people use to 'listen' to records   mom, whats a cd?
         
      bulky cassette tapes you had to buy   mp3/video players w/downloads at home
         
      movies on cable or theater if you were rich   netflix
         
      few entertainment options   coffee bars, fun parks, downtown events,
         
      less bars   bar on each corner
         
      fewer bands   dad bands, teen idols without bands who should be in school

  • #3

    It's really pretty simple if you want to compare between then and now.

    1). We're old. If you can remember the 80s, then how you compare what you did then to what you're trying to do now? I don't remember any 50 something guys playing the hot clubs then, do you? Regardless of the material. We didnt pander to the crowd because we WERE the crowd. We didn't look down at the stupid songs the crowd liked because we liked the same stupid songs.

    B). Live music was still a fairly hip and fresh format being presented in a hip and fresh manner back then. There was nothing about what was going on on stage that had much at all common with previous generations. Now the stages are populated largely by old guys hoping they'll connect with some young kids who might be into Led Zeppelin. Gee, I wonder why it isn't working like it used to?

    _________________________________________________
    band websites:
    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

    Comment


    • Kramerguy
      Kramerguy commented
      Editing a comment

      guido61 wrote:
      It's really pretty simple if you want to compare between then and now.

      1). We're old. If you can remember the 80s, then how you compare what you did then to what you're trying to do now? I don't remember any 50 something guys playing the hot clubs then, do you? Regardless of th material. We didnt pander to the crowd because we WERE the crowd. We did look down at the stupid songs the crowd liked because we likes the same stupid songs

      B). Live music was still a fairly hip and fresh format being prsented in a hip and fresh manner back then. There was nothing about what was going on on stage that had much at all common with previous generations. Now the stages are populated largely by old guys hoping they'll connect with some young kids who are into Led Zeppelin. Gee, I wonder why it isn't working like it used to?

      But that's part of the point-  Think about it.  You said it yourself- that back then we we're the crowd, we listened to the same music..

      In no way was I suggesting we go back to the 80's.  My thought process is fairly chaotic at times, so bear with me when I try to make points-

      So going back to what you said, we aren't the young crowd anymore, you are also correct, but back in the 80's I don't remember 40 year old dad bands rolling out and playing a lot of beatles and elvis.  They played motley crue, ozzy, or huey lewis, or whatever.  They were in tune with the current rock.  They also, noted by my original post, stayed within their desired genre, they didn't play ozzy and huey back to back, it was unheard of.

       

      So while we're all here bitching about connecting to audences while playing sweet home alabama, pour sugar on me, and man in the box in the same set, my brain starts firing off and telling me that maybe.. just maybe.. we need to think about that.  We're all at odds as to why the "scene" is sucking, and we tell ourselves oh it's regional, its the economy, it's bob's wifes cousins birthday and everyone is out of town, but historically none of those things have affected live music long term, so again I ask, could it be possible that the problem is us?  What the other poster said about selling it has a lot to do with that too, but I'm outta time.

      Keep it comin


  • #4

    Totally disagree. The 80s were a different time, not only in music.. but in people's attitudes.

    As I've said before, there are two major things that hurt us more than anything. First off.. people have the world at their fingertips. You can access any song, movie, game, or opinion you want to, right now. There are a million different things to do, with new things to do popping up on a daily basis. Going to see a live band is just one of thousands of options of what to do with your Friday night.


    Secondly, people do not appreciate talent or ability anymore. Most all of us are guilty of this.. but the average person will watch a Super Bowl and think "Damn.. with a few months of work, I could do that". Everything is easy to everyone. Everyone believes that not only can they do anything, but they can do anything with only a slight bit of work. Why would anyone be impressed with Joe Satriani if Guitar Hero tells them that they can almost do the same thing?


    The difference in then and now is all about supply and demand. Back then.. people had respect for talent, and people had less options for entertainment. Now, those people have no respect for talent, no attention span, and thousands of options for entertainment. The idea of ignoring them and just doing what you want to do probably isn't the best path to success.

    Comment


    • Potts
      Potts commented
      Editing a comment

      Blackbird 13 wrote:

        
      Secondly, people do not appreciate talent or ability anymore. 


       

      This is the second time this has come up in two days. Sorry- IMO it's such a bull**************** statement. 


  • #5

    I don't think it was ever really much more about respect for talent. Girls went to the rock clubs because those were the hip, cool sexy places and the bands reflected and sold that. They were dangerous. The musicians were dangerous as well. They were filled with young girls who changed into clothes in the car that their parents would never let them wear out. The guys went where the girls were. Sure, certain guys might have bla bla blahed about how great of a guitarist Eddie van Halen was, but the band was popular because they sold sex and danger.

    Hard to sell that same excitement today when it's "daddy, I'm gonna go out to see some guys older than you play Jessie's Girl", doncha think?

    The rock scene died when A) rock music stopped being sexy. B) All The Young Dudes abandoned the scene and left it to the dad bands and their music. C). All the other entertainment options encroached

    It could return someday. But you and I won't be a part of it if it does. So don't worry about it. Remember the fun past and move forward.

    _________________________________________________
    band websites:
    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

    Comment


    • #6

      Kramerguy wrote:

       but hey.. look at us now- traversing 5 different genres trying to make everyone happy.. why not just go back to what worked?

       



      Before you ask yourself that question, you need to ask yourself "why did we ever leave what worked in the first place"?

      Seems to me the only reason that would have happened could have only been if it wasn't working anymore.   And if it stopped working, then why? 

      All the bands stopped doing "what worked" for a reason, didn't they? 

      _________________________________________________
      band websites:
      http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
      https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
      https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
      http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

      Comment


      • #7
        40 something's were doing it back in the 80s? Really? And yeah, embrace the music of the times, but isn't that part of your complaint? That you DON'T want to play Lady Gaga or whatever?
        _________________________________________________
        band websites:
        http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
        https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
        https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
        http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

        Comment


        • #8
          not a fan of most 80s stuff, especially the fluff-metal/schlock-rock genre. Much more a fan of more organic stuff late 60s-early 70s and a ton of 90s stuff.
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="mailto:tlbonehead@yahoo.com">tlbonehead@yaho o.com</a><br />
          <a href="http://www.myspace.com/tbone_tommy" target="_blank">www.myspace.com/tbone_tommy</a><br />
          -For Sale: <br />
          -set of GFS Dream 90s- gold and black pearl- $40 shipped in the cont. US<br />
          -(2) Celestion G12M-70 16 ohm guitar speakers in good condition $40 ea. + shipping.<br />
          - Vox VT15 Valvetronix very clean - $85 + shipping<br />
          - Hughes Kettner Edition Tube 20 (the early Voxy sounding one) Sounds &amp; looks good. $250 + shipping. <b>SOLD</b><br />
          - Crate Palomino V8 - 10&quot; Celestion - Very clean - on Ebay (sold)</div>

          Comment


          • #9
            As long as music continues to "get me off" Im gonna keep booking gigs in venues that will have me. Of course for me, a big part o the buzz is seeing the crowd get off as well. I imagine that when the day comes that the crowd at the local bar ceases to enjoy my thing not only will I look for greener pastures elsewhere, but I imagine the local bar will cease paying me to play at their establishment.

            Comment


            • #10
              Your point wasn't that Dylan succeeded at being unique in a way many others thought was wrong? What was it then?
              _________________________________________________
              band websites:
              http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
              https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
              https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
              http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

              Comment


              • tlbonehead
                tlbonehead commented
                Editing a comment

                guido61 wrote:
                Your point wasn't that Dylan succeeded at being unique in a way many others thought was wrong? What was it then?

                part of my point is that many of the biggest names were not big names until they were. They made bold decisions instead of just being happy where they were. Should Sheryl have just been satisfied as a backup singer to Michael Jackson, etc? Was SRV selfish for wanting more control on his music instead of just being Bowie's guitarist? Should Carol King have listened to her bosses who always told her she wasn't a singer/performer, her place was in the 10x10 room pumping out hits for others? The SMART people told Dylan that going electric was going to kill his career.


            • #11
              Wow. I so agree with all that. I've said much of the same many times before here. Bands need to look forward. To put the show and the fresh and the attitude back into live music. It may not even involve guitars at all. Maybe it'll just be guys playing iPads. I dunno. The instruments don't matter. The style of music doesn't matter. The attitude and the fun and the sex and the danger all do.

              And I'm not the one to do it. I'm over 50. I can't even get my wife to come out see me play much anymore. It needs to be the young kids to do it. If they do it well, then maybe there will be some scraps left over for the rest of us. I'll be fine with that. I had my day of creating the scene. Time to turn that over to the next generation.
              _________________________________________________
              band websites:
              http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
              https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
              https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
              http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

              Comment


              • #12
                The ultimate one upper? I'm not even sure what that means. I just think its BS to claim that someone saying "to me that's embarrassing" means he speaking of anyone besides himself. Saying "for me" would have changed the statement? Really? Who's being the one upper here?
                _________________________________________________
                band websites:
                http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

                Comment


                • #13
                  It wasn't accurate. There's nothing in the phrase "to me" that implies a broader sense than had he said "for me" or when tlbonehead slagged on Seniors gig a couple of weeks ago by say "not me". What about the word "to" puts the criticism into a broader context? Nothing

                  _________________________________________________
                  band websites:
                  http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                  https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                  https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                  http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    We've aged gracefully out of the bars and into private events. I provide sound at a few venues and events. The main bar where I provide mentions now and then that my band should play there. I always gracefully decline and remind them that I'm the youngest at 43, and we just would NOT fit in with their clientele that is between 18 - 29(maybe)

                    They do bring in a lit of bands and 80% are original. The rest will have an original CD, &amp; the ability to pad the rest of the night with covers. It works out really well, mainly because the bands are the same age as the crowd. The crowd is really open to original bands, in fact they prefer it. One guy said to me "when there's a band, I want to see what the band can do. I hate covers, if they play covers, I might as well stay home and watch MTV"

                    So for our little neck of the woods there's a healthy live scene. It's not every weekend, but when there's bands there's usually a pretty good turnout. With original bands, there will be 2 or 3 on the bill. Each doing a set of originals.

                    http://youtu.be/MVguQTagB8I

                    http://youtu.be/6DdbvbyuO_0

                    http://youtu.be/EWqE5c-gt2I

                    This was on a Wednesday
                    http://youtu.be/LaR4R1yeFBE

                    http://youtu.be/bXNqus2JDY8
                    NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

                    Comment


                    • tlbonehead
                      tlbonehead commented
                      Editing a comment

                      StratGuy22 wrote:
                      We've aged gracefully out of the bars and into private events. I provide sound at a few venues and events. The main bar where I provide mentions now and then that my band should play there. I always gracefully decline and remind them that I'm the youngest at 43, and we just would NOT fit in with their clientele that is between 18 - 29(maybe)

                      They do bring in a lit of bands and 80% are original. The rest will have an original CD, &amp; the ability to pad the rest of the night with covers. It works out really well, mainly because the bands are the same age as the crowd. The crowd is really open to original bands, in fact they prefer it. One guy said to me "when there's a band, I want to see what the band can do. I hate covers, if they play covers, I might as well stay home and watch MTV"

                      So for our little neck of the woods there's a healthy live scene. It's not every weekend, but when there's bands there's usually a pretty good turnout. With original bands, there will be 2 or 3 on the bill. Each doing a set of originals.

                      http://youtu.be/MVguQTagB8I

                      http://youtu.be/6DdbvbyuO_0

                      http://youtu.be/EWqE5c-gt2I

                      This was on a Wednesday
                      http://youtu.be/LaR4R1yeFBE

                      http://youtu.be/bXNqus2JDY8

                      sounds like a great scene! Its always fun when someone comes up and says, I know you can play covers, lets hear one of your own songs, or better yet, requests one of your originals.


                  • #15

                    Although I have been a regularly working musician since the late 1970s I have only rarely, even when I was in my twenties, played in the hip happening places where all the kids went.  I almost always played with cats who were a decade or more older than me.  In the 1980s I seemed to alternate between playing music in honky tonks in northwest Florida/southeast Alabama and in motel lounges, military base lounges, and dance halls/honky tonks that had the same band five and six nights a week.  The lounge gigs were mostly regional- Panama City, Pensacola, Eglin AFB, Montgomery, Biloxi.  And some were further away in Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, and up into Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Montana.  The road bands in the motel and miltary base lounges played pop hits of the 1950s to the then present time.  The honky tonk gigs were country- then current hits and hits of the the 1960s and 1970s.  Most of the honky tonk gigs were five and six hour gigs.  Occasionally I played some seven and eight hour gigs.

                    The big difference between playing gigs in the 1980s and gigs from the 1990s to the present is that in the 1980s I mostly played at least two nights in a row in the same bar.  Since the 1990s I have mostly played one nighters, except for a house gig from 1999 to 2004.  Most of the 1990s until just a few years ago I mostly played blues gigs.  Except for the house gig, where I played for about a year until four in the morning and for the rest of the time until two in the morning, most of the gigs I have played since the 1990s have only been four hour gigs as well as a fair number of two and three hour gigs.

                    I am a much more skilled and experienced musician now in my fifties than I was in the 1980s in my twenties.  I get called on to play a much wider variety of music now than I did then.  And most of the musicians I play music with now are much more skilled and experienced than the musicians I played with then.  I only occasionally play music in regular bars.  Most are restaurants.  I also play music in theaters and at festivals.  I sometimes play house concerts and in coffee houses.  The one thing that hasn't changed is that I was a working musician then and I am a working musician now.  I also still usually play with musicians who are older than I am.

                    I just keep doing what I do.  As long as there are gigs for me to play I will continue playing them.  But I also just try and keep myself musically occupied and my brain musically engaged.  Besides playing gigs I am a fairly avid record collector.  I have also been learning how to make hip hop beats and learning more about recording.  One thing I have now that I didn't have then is recording equipment.  There are times when spending hours in my basement recording and working on my own stuff is much more musically fulfilling than playing gigs.  And I try to spend at least as much time recording and experimenting as I do playing gigs and going to band practice.  One thing I don't want to find myself doing is playing dad rock and blues rock in sports bars.  Not that there is anything wrong with it.  But it would be a few steps backwards for me.

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