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Last night I was asked "How can you live with yourself?"


jeff42

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I hear what you're saying, BUT... The same argument could be made for picking "easy" songs (ie can't miss songs, Pour Some Sugar, SHA, etc....). It can be just another way to "get by".

 

 

I agree with that. I think I've said here many times that I think it isn't the material you play nearly as much as it is what you do with it. There ARE bands who get by just by pulling out Sugar. And then there are the bands who do something cooler with it, whether it's the arrangement, the show they put around it, stick it in a good medley, etc.

 

 

IMO there's two reason to utilize anything like wigs, hats, lights, show, song selection, etc... The first is to enhance and already very good band. The second is to cover up for deficiencies and inferior musicianship. The key is making sure you're in the first group and not the second.

 

 

Yep.

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No, you'd just be a silent snob. It works both ways.....you are still looking down on them, even though you don't say it.

No, I only said I'd be more APT to.

 

I personally just find it a bigger waste of talent for a great player to not play at all than to "sell out" in a gimmick band. Just my personal view. If that's silent snobbery, so be it.

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No, I only said I'd be more APT to.


I personally just find it a bigger waste of talent for a great player to not play at all than to "sell out" in a gimmick band. Just my personal view. If that's silent snobbery, so be it.

 

 

Ha ha! So it's better for a Dali to paint houses than not paint at all? You do realize that for someone like Dali, painting houses is not just another type of painting. It simply wouldn't have been art to him. That's the same way I feel about playing stuff I hate in a way I'd hate it even more. Not all painting is art, and neither is all performing of music. Not only would I rather go do something else if the gigs I want to do aren't there, I often do these days. To quote Kurt Vonnegut in "Breakfast of Champions": Just because you have some talent to do something doesn't mean you have to use it.

 

If somoene likes dressing up in funny hats and wigs and creating a party atmosphere, that's perfectly fine, but I think the idea that artists should do that if it means that or nothing at all is sort of silly. Nothing at all is preferable for lots of people.

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Ha ha! So it's better for a Dali to paint houses than not paint at all? You do realize that for someone like Dali, painting houses is not just another type of painting. It simply wouldn't have been art to him.

 

I know what you're trying to get it, but it's a rather poor analogy since painting houses offers no opportunity for artistic expression or performance on any level. A more apt analogy would probably be something like to say I'm suggesting it's better for Dali to paint Christmas decorations in store front windows than not paint at all.

 

And even further, not Dali, but a Dali-like painter who never-made-it. Nobody would likely want to see Dali himself do anything other than be Dali. Since we are all familiar with Dali's art, it's hard to picture HIM as anything but. But let's say it's some kick ass artist I might know who never had any real success? Yes. I would find it more a waste of his talent that he completely give it up because he can't do it on his terms and go work at 7-11 rather than take some schlocky gig where he still gets not only small opportunities to express himself but can use his talents to be, on many levels, better at that schlocky gig than most others would be.

 

Again, just my personal view.

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I know what you're trying to get it, but it's a rather poor analogy since painting houses offers no opportunity for artistic expression or performance on any level.

 

For me, neither does playing a Lady Gaga song no matter what I was wearing.

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I think it's a case by case thing. Take a guy who could play like say, George Benson-incredible jazz player, and put him in one of those gold suits with a wig playing brick house? That's not a waste because he's "playing" ? For a guy who can play like that, playing brick house ain't playin IMO. Of course, it's "his" opinion that counts. I think a lot of guys like that would say no to the party band no matter the dough. Personally, i'd have a real hard time doing that gig, in fact, I think I can say no way I'd do it, and I'm not in the same universe, much less league, as Benson. If that makes me a snob, oh well, but I didn't spend all those years learning to play to put on a shiny gold suit and comp a 9th chord. But, if that was the only way I knew how to make dough, bring it on. Not carping on guys who do the party band thing-I'm sure it can br fun, but there is also a place for dignity in music performance. Everyone makes their own bed.

No, I only said I'd be more APT to.


I personally just find it a bigger waste of talent for a great player to not play at all than to "sell out" in a gimmick band. Just my personal view. If that's silent snobbery, so be it.

 

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Having lived in Nevada most of my life, I know a lot of great players who, after not "making" it, have taken gigs playing in schlocky casino bands. In my view, that's one of the most souless, unartistic gigs there is. I say that speaking from personal experience because I did it for a year myself. These guys may not put on a wig and a hat (and some might), but it's just one small step above it, at best. Still, I'd rather see them playing and putting their talent to good use (and money in their pocket) then hang it up completely.

And I know some that have hung it up completely as well. I don't look down on them for that. It's their choice. And as long as they are happy with their choice, I'm happy for them. Usually it's the guys who have gone on to really good careers though that have hung it up completely. Not the 7-11 types.

About a dozen years or so ago, though, Earl Slick was living up here in Tahoe selling timeshares. He was going by his real name, which I don't remember (Frank something-or-other, I think), but it's a small town so word spread quickly. From what I understand he was pretty successful at it as well. I met him once during this period and he seemed like a nice enough guy. Didn't ask him any "so what's the deal?" questions as I figured that's probably the last thing he wanted to be asked by a stranger. So I just pretended like I didn't know who he "really" was. I don't know what his story was---if he was tired of the music scene and thought he'd give having a "straight" job a try or what. It didn't last too long though. He's been back out playing again for the last several years. Apparently being a timeshare salesman wasn't making him that happy.

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I think it's a case by case thing. Take a guy who could play like say, George Benson-incredible jazz player, and put him in one of those gold suits with a wig playing brick house? That's not a waste because he's "playing" ? For a guy who can play like that, playing brick house ain't playin IMO.

 

 

Again, it ain't the songs, IMO. It's what you do with it. I've played Brick House with some guys who have played some monster solos during that song. I imagine Benson, or pretty much anyone of that caliber, would be able to do some VERY nice stuff with that song and probably even really enjoy playing it. Whether in a gold suit with a wig or not.

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I dunno. I'd say---add in the 2nd verse to "Don't You Want Me", put a wig on the singer right then and have him do a duet with himself...
:lol:



hahaha Good one! But nah we were going to have our guitar player do the female vox in the 2nd verse but we nixed the idea before we played it in front of a crowd. We thought that Don't You Want Me was an iffy song choice but DAMN does it go over well with our crowd. We heavy it up a little too. that helps.

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hahaha Good one! But nah we were going to have our guitar player do the female vox in the 2nd verse but we nixed the idea before we played it in front of a crowd. We thought that Don't You Want Me was an iffy song choice but DAMN does it go over well with our crowd. We heavy it up a little too. that helps.



Yeah, that's probably one we're going to be adding soon too. I think we'd kill with it for our crowds as well. I might even steal the "Bad Romance" medley idea... :lol:

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Yeah, that's probably one we're going to be adding soon too. I think we'd kill with it for our crowds as well. I might even steal the "Bad Romance" medley idea...
:lol:



The main reason I come here is to share ideas.

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Surprised to hear you feel that way, Pat. I would think a player of your caliber could find an avenue for artistic expression in almost ANY song.



No, I really don't like every kind of music. Most pop music is just fluff to me. It's not a question of could for me. Could I do something with it? probably, as could most anyone, but if the material doesn't move me to begin with, well...I've never heard a Lady Gaga song yet that made me want to listen to it all the way through, let alone listen to it again, and certainly not to play it. :idk:

I admit it, I'm getting old and more set in my ways, I suppose. I realize I have maybe 20 good years left, and for me, time is just too short to play stuff that doesn't move me. When I do my solo gig, I don't play a single song I don't really like. Mostly it's that way with my own band, too, and I at least like the stuff I play if not really like it. Know what I mean? Even one of the cover bands I play with I like most of it. I really like the stuff I do with the young singer/songwriter gal. The one other band with the girl singer (the crazy one) I probably won't stay with simply because there's too much stuff that I just go through the motions on. It's a big band (6 piece) and it doesn't pay a lot, and to play a bunch of stuff that means nothing to me only makes it worse. Playing stuff I don't care for is no better than assembly line factory work for me. I'm just wired that way. :wave:

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Know what I mean?



Yeah I know what you mean. I just also know that I've lived long enough and played long enough to know that there's a lot more to pretty much every song than any particular recorded version. Lady Gaga songs, like so many others I've played in my life, are much more interesting and fun to play than they are to listen to. I find once I get to sink my own teeth into something, I can usually have a good time with just about anything. So I try to not limit myself to "that song didn't grab me when it came on the radio" or "I think she looks dumb in the outfit, so I'm not interested in the music".

Performing music is, for me, about finding my OWN connection with the music via performing it. Not about connecting with somebody else's version of it. :idk:

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Playing stuff I don't care for is no better than assembly line factory work for me. I'm just wired that way.
:wave:

 

This is pretty much the way I feel. Life is too short for me to play music I have no feelings towards. I'd rather play stuff that moves me personally, excites me, makes me happy. That vibe comes across on stage, rather than a "when is this set over" vibe.

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I'm with you jeff42. Your band sounds fun. I like the glasses and wig thing on the Lady Gaga song. If you decide to quit, can you give them my phone number so I can audition?

 

To me, playing any song with a tight band that gets people dancing and partying etc, is my favorite song. Any song I'm playing where people yawn through it, no matter how well we play it or I like it, it's not nearly as much fun.

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No, I really don't like every kind of music. Most pop music is just fluff to me. It's not a question of
could
for me.
Could
I do something with it? probably, as could most anyone, but if the material doesn't move me to begin with, well...I've never heard a Lady Gaga song yet that made me want to listen to it all the way through, let alone listen to it again, and certainly not to play it.
:idk:

I admit it, I'm getting old and more set in my ways, I suppose. I realize I have maybe 20 good years left, and for me, time is just too short to play stuff that doesn't move me. When I do my solo gig, I don't play a single song I don't really like. Mostly it's that way with my own band, too, and I at least like the stuff I play if not
really
like it. Know what I mean? Even one of the cover bands I play with I like most of it. I really like the stuff I do with the young singer/songwriter gal. The one other band with the girl singer (the crazy one) I probably won't stay with simply because there's too much stuff that I just go through the motions on. It's a big band (6 piece) and it doesn't pay a lot, and to play a bunch of stuff that means nothing to me only makes it worse. Playing stuff I don't care for is no better than assembly line factory work for me. I'm just wired that way.
:wave:



I'm the same. My duo and band may suggest some tunes that I absolutely abhor, especially old disco {censored} that has been overdone ( Funky music white boy ! ) I could give a {censored} if they get up and dance for that. There are so many better songs to choose from that will do that. I do like obscure old blues tunes that have a fundamental groove and a message beyond merely stupid. I don't do Credence, disco, or most pop, with the exception of a pop tune that also happens to be a great song , that we can pull off with conviction . Playing covers is one thing, Making them YOURS is something else. How many bad renditions of "Tore Down" have you heard ? Too many, I'm sure. Me too ! Give me an old Jimmy Reed tune or some of the older, obscure jump jive tunes to sink my teeth into, rather than some dumbass, banal disco/pop sheet. That stuff, you have to play sorta like the record to make it work. With classic tunes, you can make them your own. I do a fast, instrumental samba version version of " Black Orpheus". Totally different than the original ( Manha De Carnaval ) which is done as a bossa. It's tunes like that where one can express their individual style. There are many other examples. Try doing that with Brick House or Billie Jean ( and those are some of the better pop dance tunes ).

I guess it depends on your location. Oddly enough, venues for cover bands are dying in the SF Bay Area. What the popular venues want are world music ( calypso, reggae, latin, cajun, irish, bluegrass, etc. ), original folk stylings, jazz and original rock, blues, a little country, and so on. It's gotten very eclectric and eccentric in the SF Bay area. The only places pop dance bands do well at are corporate and wedding gigs. There are few clubs that will even hire a "Top 40" cover band. IMO, this is encouraging and healthy. As it appears folks around here don't want a live juke box but want to hear something fresh and different. As a musician in the later years of my life here on earth, I don't have the time or inclination to play those tired old top 40 tunes, unless you can bring them on in a brand new way.

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Again, it ain't the songs, IMO. It's what you do with it. I've played Brick House with some guys who have played some monster solos during that song. I imagine Benson, or pretty much anyone of that caliber, would be able to do some VERY nice stuff with that song and probably even really enjoy playing it. Whether in a gold suit with a wig or not.

 

 

George Benson's doesn't have to play Lady Gaga or Brickhouse. He can hold an audience on his own merits playing what he likes.

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