Playing tired, old, worn out songs...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jakelly, Jul 25, 2013.

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  1. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    [Now you sound like your grandparents :p

    put a sock in it, Matlocks on ;)
  2. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    I used the Ramones as a comparison to Wilson Pickett.
    None of their tunes will have the track life of Mustang Sally.

    Seriously.....Do you think that Wake me when September ends will be played in bars in 50 years?
  3. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    what about rock n roll high school..........thats pretty catchy
  4. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    San Francisco
    bands will be covering Ramones in 20 years, for sure.
    I Wanna Be Sedated
    Sheena is a Punk Rocker
    Rockaway Beach

    and several others will still be in the set list of kids full of angst learning how to play guitars in their garage parties long after we are all gone.
  5. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    This topic's going off on lots of interesting tangents.
    Well, I haven't really mastered much, but I have played quite a few recent hits at a totally amateur level, so I can say this much: getting the vocals right is enough to make people really, really happy, and getting a good drum beat going is the second most important thing for making them dance. The rest is really just gravy, pretty much for my own satisfaction. Nobody really expects you to sound like the original version.

    I mean, I've played "Danza Kuduro" possibly more times than anyone else on TB, but never even did the accordion hook properly - none of the guitarists or pianists ever bothered or had the time to learn it, so either it went completely missing I played it more or less inaudibly on bass. It would be good, and I eventually got around to sequencing it, but haven't actually played the song live since then. But what does make a difference is including the Pitbull verse from totally unpopular English remix called "Throw Your Hands Up".
  6. lbbc


    Sep 25, 2007
    Seaford , DE
    I've played all the anthems and standards for years....but if that's what they want....that's what they'll hear. I don't like playing many of them, but play it with a smile on my face and we always got asked back for multiple gigs...usually for more money.

    We throw in stuff we like, that's challenging to us (1 or 2 a night) and that keeps the creative juices flowing. So, it's a compromise
  7. PluckyThump

    PluckyThump Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    The Hammer
    I may be digressing here...Green Day's breakthrough album, and still their most popular I think, was Dookie, which was released in 1994. It will be 20 years old next year. It's as old now as the first Beatles album was in 1983. In my experience The Beatles go over better with the under-25 crowd than does Green Day; many young people like classic rock. More important, so do most bar managers. Makes no sense to me as a 43 year old; I mean the music I play in bands now is the same stuff that I saw bands playing 20 years ago and the music was old then. In my case it's probably a regional thing. It is what it is, you play what gets you booked and puts cash in your wallet at the end of the night.
  8. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Mozart, Beethoven and Bach have written pieces of music that have traversed centuries, are you playing them at shows because they have more lasting power? What about some Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman or Perry Como?

    I would love for everything Green Day ever did to disappear into oblivion, but seeing how as for some unknown reason they have been selling albums for almost 20 years now, they might be a relevant choice for someone looking for some newer covers.
  9. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I just threw Green Day out there as an example.
    Until you try a new cover do you know how its going to go?

    If you are playing to the audience, maybe instead of Mustang Sally a cover of Goo Goo Doll's Iris or Lifehouse's Hanging by a Moment. Chicks really seem to dig those songs. For some inexplicable reason women of my generation also have a thing for Every Rose Has its Thorn, even with women that hate metal and Poison. Not the newest songs in the world, but again at least more relevant.
    Another odd one is Baby's Got Back. Chicks, especially curvy ones like my wife, love the hell out of that song. Do a good arrangement of that one and you will be super popular at weddings.
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I'm with a lot of you guys here on the general state of music, what passes for talent, bar band pay being stagnant, etc.

    Nowdays, any goofball with a computer can program "beats", talk smack over it and young people call it music and think they're talented. Any fool can set up some flashing lights, jump around while playing mp3's and call themselves a DJ and people enjoy it and think they're talented. "That is a good DJ" someone will say. "What's the difference?" I say. What would make a bad DJ, do their records skip?

    Young people have ever shorter attention spans, ever greater expectations of instant gratification, and ever less appreciation for actual instruments and talented people playing them, it seems. At least in popular, high volume selling so-called music.

    Bar patronage is down. Due to tough DWI laws, MADD and other such do-gooders, a tough economy at least for common folks as well as the tech revolution, giant TV's and so many ways to bring forms of entertainment into your living room it's easy for people to just sit on their ass and not go anywhere to be entertained.

    I started playing bars and clubs with my parents in our family band at age 13, circa 1985. At that time I was making $50 a night. Nowdays, your neighborhood bar will still expect to pay the same $50. We are regulars at a couple places that are better, bringing home $100 a night or more, but that isn't all that common and we drive a ways to play these places. Such is the life of a weekend warrior.

    As for being tired of songs, you play for the audience, not yourself, you can do that at home. If somebody wants to hear Mustang Sally for the umpteenth time, that's what you play. The young'uns would rather hear electronic blips and "beats".

    A bit of a crumudgeon?...yup. And certainly all kids aren't like that. When I was that age I would listen to anything from the 16th century up to what was current. It just amazes me what passes for "music" now.

    Hey, at least if you're a washed up '80's hairband guitar player you can still find work doing "modern country". :D
  11. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Hey, at least if you're a washed up '80's hairband guitar player you can still find work doing "modern country". :D[/QUOTE]

    I knew there was a connection in there somewhere :D

    skipping record = Bad DJ :D
  12. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    If it's a bar band, the sooner you get used to the idea that you are not a band and are in fact nothing more than beer sales people, playing those tired old songs is not such a problem.

    The ONLY goal for a bar band is to generate a situation where people ask other people to dance in a time honored pre sex ritual almost as old as mankind.

    If the music is not telling the bar patrons to get off their azz and jam, it's a total failure in a bar band situation.

    If that fact fails to dovetail with your artistic sensibility, seek musical employment elsewhere.

    It was a devastating blow to my brother once the reality of a bar band's place in the food chain hit home. He went from avid to never again virtually overnight.
  13. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Look, I can't say it enough. You have to play songs that you care about, and you have to infuse them with LIFE. Any tired old song is no longer tired when it gets some proper love. You play YOUR setlist, using YOUR sensibility, and you find YOUR audience. I'm not playing music to be somebody's court jester. I can always find people who love what I play, and I love what I play. I made some compromises, YES. I took the vast amount of songs I loved, and then I picked the ones that I believe audiences would enjoy, and I had some faith that I'm not AN IDIOT. I allowed my bandmates to do the same; we had some degree of communication about it, and we continued to let the audience feedback guide us, to some degree.

    But I will never be all things to all people, and I am not looking to be THE BIGGEST BAR BAND EVER. I AM, however, looking to continue working.

    It's all about what you want, and what I want is to put on a show I am PROUD of, and that goes over with the punters.
  14. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    At the end of the day, I can deal with old tired songs,I have to play Cocaine.

    Right now, when your in this local blues rock business, the only time to complain is when your band is out of work

  15. Mossmatic

    Mossmatic Compulsive Modder

    Jul 19, 2012
    Ugh... Mustang Sally is in my top ten (probably more like my top 3) of cover songs that I absolutely LOATHE playing. In the last cover band I was in, one of our guitarists insisted that we simply MUST play Mustang Sally (like there would be a town-wide riot if we didn't play it).

    I don't get it. There's nothing particularly special about that song... Did people dance to it? Sure. But they would have danced to any other dance-able, generic cover song that we could have replace it with. It wasn't our "signature" song... Nobody ever requested it... Nor did anyone ever get overtly excited when we did play it. I don't recall anybody ever saying "OMG!! They're playing Mustang Sally!! Nobody EVER plays that song!! They must be the greatest generic cover band in the world!!!" So the whole "play what the people want to hear" argument didn't really hold water.

    There's not much you can do to "spice up" that bass line, either... Not without making it sound like a completely different song (I tried).
  16. Mossmatic

    Mossmatic Compulsive Modder

    Jul 19, 2012
    100% agree...
  17. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Some of you people take this way too seriously, loosen your nutcup and have some fun. Your audience, as well as the people signing your pay checks will both appreciate it.
  18. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Loosening my nutcup! (slaps forehead) I KNEW I forgot to do something.

    (please hold)

    Ah........... that's better.
  19. will33


    May 22, 2006
    You do know that your audience and the people ultimately signing your checks are one and the same right?:eek:

    What a concept.:rollno:
  20. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I was just being funny big guy. I am always loose and fun at gigs. Maybe YOU should lighten up a tiny bit, eh? You can't use a word like "nutcup" in the middle of a post about having fun and then get all pissy if someone cracks a joke.
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