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Do 60's bands do well?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Grissle, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    eg., Weddings, Corporate, Pubs etc.? Or would a 60's to current do a lot better?
  2. My '60s SOUL band does great. I personally think you're better off these days if you have a niche, rather than "we play a little bit of everything." Your call, obviously.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Well, here's what I would do. If you want to bill yourself as a 60's band, soul music will get you the most mileage. In other words, doing a bunch of Henrix and Doors probably won't get you very far in the private/corporate scene. But Motown and the like will take you pretty far depending on where you are. That being said, there are quite a few wedding band "standards" that aren't from the 60s. I would practice some of them and have them ready if you need them. "Brick House" comes to mind first. But there are plenty more.

    That being said, if you aren't in a major metro area, being a "variety" band will probably net you more gigs. But in a larger city, I agree with Pet Sounds. Carve out a specialty that sets you apart from other bands competing for the same shows. Even if you stray from the 60s in your actual shows, at least BILL yourself as a 60s band. But that will probably do better for the corporate scene as well as anniversary parties, class reunions etc. Weddings? Not so much. Why? Most people getting married are young. Do you think a 21-26 year old girl wants to dance the night away with her college buddies to the Beatles and Motown? I understand that her dad is writing the check. But if he books a band that HE likes, rather than one his DAUGHTER likes, he's a jerk. Not to mention, even some of their DADS are only in their 40s. Many of THEM are too young for 60s music.
  4. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    At least around here, the casinos LOVE 60's bands.

    Not so much the 60s soul/Motown stuff though... white-bread stuff like Beatles, Association, Turtles, etc. Vocal-driven tunes that the retirees remember from their younger days.
  5. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Instead of "a little bit of everything"---- play a lot of everything. A band can never know too many tunes.
    It's not about memorizing stuff---- it's a matter of being able to play your instrument.
  6. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    As with anything, there are several approaches and viewpoints and to hat works for one band does not necessarily work for another band. My band covers 6 decades of party songs and we have a huge song list that we can fine tune based on the type of show, audience, venue, event, and also take requests on the fly if we know them and that works well for us. Some gigs require more of an oldies format of 50s, 60s, and 70s, some more classic rock, some more 80s on up, and some a mixture of many things.

    As far as 60s songs, some examples are that we do a variety of British Invasion tunes (Beatles, Yardbirds, Kinks, Edison Lighthouse, Cream, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Them, Zombies), pop songs (Louie Louie, Monkees, Turtles, Tommy James & The Shondells, The Byrds, Wooly Bully, CCR, Johnny Rivers, The Ventures), but we don't do R&B since we are a 3 piece band (except we play Mustang Sally)
  7. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Soul, pop, bubblegum, Brit Invasion, Woodstock -- whatever the repertoire, I'd bet that a successful 60s band is a 60s band that gets people dancing (and, in a bar, drinking).
  8. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    Every type of band will do well as long as you know your audience and the correct places to play.
  9. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I am glad you mentioned that. Whenever we play a 60s song like Hanky Panky, Wooly Bully, Down On The Corner, Memphis, All Day And All Of The Night, Happy Together, Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes and many others, the dance floor gets packed and everybody sings along no matter what age they are.
  10. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Just one caution ... if your audience is as old as the music be prepared. When the ladies throw their underwear at ya it looks like the 101st Airborne invading Normandy. You have been warned!
  11. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I always joke that they start throwing Depends at the band. :D
  12. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Thanks everyone, great information!!
  13. I'd have a hard time w/ 60's stuff because I'd want to do The Stooges, ? and the Mysterians, The Seeds, Shadows of Knight, Count 5, Standells... Stuff that the average schmo doesn't care much about, but I love. I'd maybe walk the line, but getting too far outside of the garage sorta stuff would bore me.
  14. My current cover band can play any rock / pop genre however 80's to current is working best for us. We do mix in some 70's rock chestnuts and even fewer 60's nuggets. I don't see a 60's only group getting much traction in the places we normally gig. Most of our competition are modern dance bands with hot chick singers in short skirts and 80's only bands in silly wigs and suedo nuwave clothing. If your really good however then there may be a market for it.
  15. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    I was up until a couple of months ago in two bands, one of which pretty much specialized in 60-70's soul/Motown. We did pretty well. That band recently broke up and the other band is still going along.

    The band that is still together focused on 60's pop both British stuff and American stuff. However, in recent times I came to the conclusion that most folks that like that sort of music are well into their 60's and don't go out much or stay out very late. Accordingly, we've started adding a bunch of dance stuff from the 80's (not exactly current but 30 years old instead of 50-60 years old) to much success. We've added a couple of even newer tunes from the 90's and relatively new Amy Winehouse tunes, etc. We still do quite a few Motown tunes and pop/rock tunes from the 60's but we try to schedule those earlier in the evening and save the edgier stuff for later on in the evening. We are still experimenting but that has been the recent approach.
  16. fenderbassman40


    Apr 7, 2011
    I play in a 50s/60s Elvis, Sam Cook, Dion, 1 hit wonder rockabilly band that plays race tracks, VFW halls, Eagles, Moose Clubs, bars, and private parties. We are booked every weekend and make $100 a person for 3-4 sets a night.

    Playing this type of music gets a crowd out who likes to drink and dance. It's a good move to form this kind of band if u want to work.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Depends... where are you located and how much are you trying to make?
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    When you're doing Weddings, Corporate, Pubs etc. it's typically not about you and what you want to play. It's about what will get you paid.

    I work with a few bands like this and the music we play isn't the music I'd listen to but we keep people on the dance floor/partying non-stop and that equals references and call-backs aka more work/more money.

    I wouldn't want to do a niche as narrow as the 60's, rather a strong mix of that and any other decade after that.

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