‘You’d Make a Dead Man…’
To cover or not to cover, that is the musical question.
Well personally I think the line above is one of the best lyrics in rock history. I’m sure you know how that line finishes, but just in case you don’t, I’ll let you look it up in The Rolling Stones’ song ‘Start Me Up’. I get to sing this line on occasion and that’s pretty cool by me.
A lot of artists who write their own songs would prefer it if they could make a living out of singing just the songs they have written themselves. I get that! It would be freat to spend your career looking out at audiences singing along to the songs that mean the most to you - the ones that have come hard won from your own experiences or at least the dark recesses of your imagination. Like most things though, I think it's a bout balance. If I didn’t sing covers of other people’s songs at all, look at the literary treasures I would miss out on warbling!
Anyway, there are a lot of arguments about whether it’s a good or bad thing for musicians to perform cover songs. When we spend the whole show on covering just one artist, we like to call it a tribute or a homage. ABC Radio National (Australia) calls the popularity of the tribute Show a 'phenomenon'. They recently interviewed some of my muso mates, including Damien Lovelock, Lloyd Gee, Steve Bull, Tania Murray, Rex Goh and Nick Meredith, and I. Want to know how the legendary Rex Goh dissects a solo? This is a good one for music geeks – you can listen to, and even download, the entire show here: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/intothemusic/stories/2010/3036124.htm
By the way, if you want to catch the real thing (well the real tribute not the real Mick Jagger and co or the real Stevie Nicks and co) I’ve got a whole lot of tribute shows coming up:
And yes, I will get to sing that fabulous piece of poetry: ‘you make a dead man…’