Originals vs Covers - mellowinman edition!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by mellowinman, Feb 14, 2014.


?

Mellowinman is Better as a

  1. Original Musician

    3 vote(s)
    6.4%
  2. Cover Player

    5 vote(s)
    10.6%
  3. Equally Talented at Both

    6 vote(s)
    12.8%
  4. Carrot

    33 vote(s)
    70.2%
  1. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    OK, we've had endless conversations about originals vs covers. But let's do it in a highly personal way; let's look at my own musical trajectory, and gain one perspective, from my point of view.

    We'll start simple.

    Original song:



    I joke sometimes on this forum about humility, etc. Let me be clear. I have no doubt in my mind that I have exceptional talent as a singer, songwriter, and musician.
  2. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Playing covers is better than not playing at all.
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Now let's talk about covers. I had been married for a few years. My wife and I played a few acoustic shows. I did about half and half; some originals, some covers. I didn't much care for playing acoustic with her. She tended to pick acoustic versions of eighties hair metal songs, and I didn't think they lent themselves well to the format.

    At some point, she decided to put one of her old bands, Forced Entry, back together, and I said I'd help out. My plan was to help run sound, maybe sing some backing vocals from back at the sound desk, and maybe do a guest performance now and again.

    While she was putting the band together, I sat in as vocalist, just so they could rehearse the songs she wouldn't be singing on. In the process, I kind of got the bug, and decided to be in. That made the original drummer want out. Then the guitarist wanted out. So we auditioned guitar players and drummers, and that's when Arthur showed up on our door.

    Arthur had more of a 70's sound than an 80's sound, and he liked jamming on Zeppelin, and Hendrix, and the Beatles. This got me very excited, as I didn't think I'd ever have the chance to play music like that.

    Here we are doing Sweet Emotion back in 2010 at Vinnie's in Decatur, Indiana.



    Our drummer wasn't very good; we hadn't really gelled as a band yet, but we did all right.
  4. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    My experience is, playing your own music is far easier than copping the style of others. That experience will be different for other players.

    One thing that surprised me, at the age of 47, was that due to singing a lot, I had found a little MORE range, at a time when you would expect to find less. There is a lot wrong with this version of Long Tall Sally/Whole Lotta Love, but I sure was proud of this video.



    If you are going to be critical of Arthur playing the solo wrong when he comes back in, he had changed it to a live version, in an attempt to make it easier on our drummer, who missed his queue every single time doing it the more conventional way.

    Arthur was far from the weak link on this performance. I thought he was fantastic!
  5. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    So anyway, back when I was writing a lot of songs, my bread and butter was pretty simple, straightforward chord progressions; you know; I wrote a lot on the acoustic guitar, and that tends to make you write a certain way.

    But I did have a love for kind of a jazz/r&b feel; and I did one that people said was like a mix of Steely Dan and the Allman Brothers.

    Now, this video is EMBARRASSING. I was trying to get my groove on, but I had nowhere near enough confidence to pull it off. I was shooting in a public park, and you can see how self-conscious I am. I really should shoot another one, but this was an important moment in time, probably shot in 1995 or 1996:



    You guys are supposed to be musicians, so quit laughing at the stupid video, and pay attention to the music. I was always real proud of this song. It's proof that I wasn't just writing G major and A minor 4/4 time straight up ballads.

    James Walsh, the keyboard player of the legendary Minneapolis band Gypsy, helped me with the feel of this, and played keyboards on it. The reggae style rhythm guitar was a huge help, played by a guy named Ken Wilson; a session player in Minneapolis.

    But they were inspired to play all this based on my demo, which was just me, a drum machine, and Mike Ascher on lead guitar.
  6. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Here was my take on kind of a blues thing, and the idea was, instead of blues about how sad I was about a lost love, it was about how happy I was to be rid of it.



    The footage is mostly from a stupid TV show we used to make, and just stuff of us clowning around. Mike made the video. I always liked it.
  7. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    and the polls are in!

    you sir are clearly a carrot
  8. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    i just watched the careless abandon video

    congratulations on the poofy shirt
  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    But I don't wanna be a pirate!
  10. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Check THIS out:

    [​IMG]
    Around 1994
    I doubt I was up to 130 pounds
    (I'm more like 180 these days)
  11. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    In the days between Careless Abandon and Dirty Lixx, I was more about doing mellowish ballads. Some of them were good!

  12. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    My first YouTube was a cover of Skeeter Davis' End of the World



    Yes, I am sitting on a toilet.
  13. ggunn

    ggunn

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    In my experience with doing both, playing covers is more lucrative while playing originals is more fun.
  14. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    And I'm not done with this yet!

    In the eighties, and very early nineties, we used to record in Ascher's basement, using a 4-Track Fostex unit.

    Here are three songs I did using that unit.

    The first was a case of using a poem Mike had written as my lyrics, and just winging it:



    I don't know where there would be a market for songs such as these. This was a case of using music to express ourselves, more than trying to be a certain genre, or finding an audience.

    So I feel I have really run the gamut, from sheer art and expression, to trying to make some money. And if you put a little effort into it, I believe you can always find some artistic integrity, whether playing covers, or anything.
  15. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Well, the poll is pretty equal, other than a majority thinking I am a better carrot.

    I hope some of you can see this from an angle you didn't see it from before. When I was in Careless Abandon, I was proud that we never played a single cover. (we did some in rehearsal; "Hypnotized" by Fleetwood Mac, which I felt we didn't really do justice; "Godzilla" by Blue Oyster Cult, which I always felt no band should play; and now and again our bass player would sing "Roadhouse Blues," but I was not involved in that-they would jump up on stage and do that at other bands' shows)

    We opened for Little River Band without having played a single cover. I was, and am proud of the material I've written, and who knows, I may still write more.

    But I was very surprised with the difficulty involved in learning cover material, and playing it WELL. I am just as proud of putting a quality product out there in a cover band as I ever was to be a singer/songwriter.
  16. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    You know, I've kind of put myself out there for this. I've definitely opened up the floor for discussion, and presented some less than stellar examples of my work.

    You can drag a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead.
  17. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I cover Going to California, using a crappy camera:

  18. Gaolee

    Gaolee The Fat Violin Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    This is great! Let it all hang out there for the world - and the carrots are outstanding. Thing is, I couldn't write a decent song even if it would get the groupies to think I was the lead guitarist! So, anybody who does originals has my respect. But, there's a huge amount of joy in playing songs in your own style even if they were written by somebody else. Doing covers faithfully is tough, because you have to be somebody else, more or less. Carrots all the way, baby!
  19. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    Lol. That was freaking awesome in a really cheesy kind of way. I couldn't help laughing through the whole thing.

    I like your vocals, and oh the lyrics! The music isn't bad but predictable. Firmly rooted in the blues rock cliché. If I tuned in on a radio station playing this, I wouldn't switch channels though. So that means something.
  20. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    Newport News, VA via NYC
    Disclosures:
    Kohlman Bassworks
    First, I applaud you for being you! You do what you do and don't give a rats arse about anyone's opinions. I voted Cover because I consider myself a certified cover band musician. Having said that, I have been in a few originals band (one of which had a lot of potential save for the horrible lead vocalist/BL) and I have also written quite a lot of music myself. As for me, I do what I want. I love covers. Below are a few samples of my original stuff.

    Original song 1 https://soundcloud.com/dwalmz/soca-gruv-with-bass
    Original song 2 https://soundcloud.com/dwalmz/afro-cuban-groove
    Original song 3 (unfinished demo) https://soundcloud.com/dwalmz/cold-fusion-demo

    I have craploads more on cassettes stored away somewhere.

Share This Page