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Jay

SONGS TOM SHOULD COVER

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The pile of imaginable titles is so freaking high and staggering that it's not even funny! I can't see the end of it. It will tumble over and bury me alive any day now.. I seriously don't know where to start. Over the years I've been toying with the idea of everything from Sweet Child of Mine, to One More Cup of Coffee, to Do Re Mi, to Kicks, to.. It's never ending and that's kinda the point, I suppose. Them bringing along whatever different stuff they feel like trying, would make my day. Or my year. As far as I'm concerned, so far they never disappointed, whenever a new pick was brought to the table. In short, I trust their taste and skill in these matters more than I trust my own. It's just that I don't trust their judgement regarding what slots can be opened in the set to make more of just about everything possible, is all. Sorry, I can't give you a specific title. I like your's though.

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^ agreed, Shelter! I was thinking there are so many they would kick ass on. But as soon as I read "Kicks", I said yeah!!

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None and I'll tell ya why.

 

This isn't an original point, but something I read somewhere, most likely a Pearl Jam forum but I can't say for sure...however, I think it's true.

 

Tom and the band are the only ones that can play their music with their touch, the unique phrasing, the timing, the chemistry between them; sure yes, I often enjoy when others cover Tom's music, heck there are a lot of covers that I enjoy more than the originals. But there's a window of time when TPATH can perform TPATH songs, why waste those moments on covers? 

 

My impression though is that Tom loves playing covers, they all do.

 

So...to answer your question with something positive following the negative:

 

Spoonman or the Day I tried to Live by Soundgarden

 

I Walk The Line by Johnny Cash 

 

Bad Brain by the Ramones

 

Blue Jay Way, Sgt. Pepper (fast version) by some four piece from England, whose name I can't recall, maybe someone on here will recognize one of these.

 

Fearless Doctor Killers by Mudhoney.

 

Closer to the Heart by Rush.

 

Sinnerman by Nina Simone.

 

cheers

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Just a few that spontaneously come to my mind:

 

Chestnut Mare (The Byrds)

Tomorrow Never Knows (The Beatles)

Tomorrow Never Knows (Bruce Springsteen)

Two Halves (My Morning Jacket)

Golden (My Morning Jacket)

Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again (Bob Dylan)

Black River Killer OR Evening Star (Blitzen Trapper)

Hazy Shade of Winter (Simon & Garfunkel)

Say Goodbye To Hollywood (Billy Joel)

The Weight (The Band)

Laredo (Band of Horses)

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I wasn't gonna... but, seriously.. those are some downright fantastic suggestions!!!!!

 

How about "Little Black Egg" by The Nightcrawlers?

Spoonman by Soundgarden

Sinnerman by Nina Simone.

Chestnut Mare (The Byrds)

The Weight (The Band)

Freaking YES to all that! Althought I'd rahter save The Weight for Mudcrutch.

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None and I'll tell ya why......

I guess there is a point to all that. We do want more originals. Still though.. There's two side to that coin. No denying that. When you say what you say, I seriously don't think you understand what playing music is all about. At least what it always used to be about, before it became a product-by-design, made for the copy right only. That is real music as a mouth to mouth way to tell stories and share kicks and thrills. Whatever stars put on the sky was your to take down if you have something to say about it. (It is not by chance that TP likes playing covers - that's what makes him a genuine musician, a true artist, part of a universal context and a beautiful song writer in his own right. He understands the organics and dynamics of it, the heart and the soul.)

Sure, often times there's an extra dimension coming from the person who wrote a certain song performing it. But not always. A lot of times that person get stuck and blind on his or her own stuff. Sometimes he or she doesn't even give fascinating original material a go (right?!). Sometimes people who penned eternal stuff go dead on us. And sometimes you can, no matter how and why, add your own exciting angle or experience onto someone else's words and music.. That's the roots, man.. folk music.. music that tells you something, that is felt in the bones. Nothing else matters. It's all just music, really. You like some, some you don't. But it's all part of one big feed, one big cosmic mind in a way. What you personally have a good grip on for listening or telling, you have a good grip on, that's all. Play along, then! Find new passages, new paths. That said, I know you and I agree that TP should let lose a lot more of his own stuff live as well. A whole lot more. But at the end of the day, these things does not have to be exclusive, one does not preclude the other. All in good spirit. Now, move along. :)

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sure yes, I often enjoy when others cover Tom's music, heck there are a lot of covers that I enjoy more than the originals.

See, this is what I'm talking about.

Generally speaking I DON'T like when others cover TP. But that's not cause they are others or cause they cover TP. (No, thus far I'm all for it, naturally!) No, it's because almost all attempts at it that I've heard so far really stinks. I have to sanitize my stereo every time. Sometimes get new speakers. The few TP Tribute albums out there are for most parts packed with pointless crap, artists that don't add anything to the songs, not owning them in any way, or even understanding them from what it seems.

Then we have the exceptions, that makes the rule of what I said above what it is. That shows that it's about quality and taste, rather than origin. Case in point: "Southern Accent". To me Cash's version is an even better and more realized recording than the original.

Or the other way around - for more obvious examples: TP kicked live *ss with a song like Down Home Girl. Far better than the Stones, if such a thing is possible. Same thing with the much superior Mudcrutch version of "Lover of The Bayou". Not to mention what TP's done to every single JJ Cale song he took a bite at. He bettered them all! TP is more JJ than JJ himself in a way.

And speaking of covers with potential for the TP touch, I have a feeling TP would do wonders with a cool selection of Warren Zevon stuff. I'd love if next time I see them, they'd kick off the encore with "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me".

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I guess there is a point to all that. We do want more originals. Still though.. There's two side to that coin. No denying that. When you say what you say, I seriously don't think you understand what playing music is all about. 

 That's erroneous. 

 

I understand why covers are performed. Since Tom makes sure to play a majority of hits in concert and a pittance from his newest album, that only leaves a few open slots. Seeing those go to covers, no matter the connection/storytelling/personal meaning/connection from various artists through the years motivations, is a shame.

 

 Yes, I like the song Not Fade Away. But it's going to be performed for years to come from other artists, from bands that are just starting out, from tribute groups and so on...but what about When The Time Comes? Or What Are you Doing in my Life? Or Luna? You and I Will Post About Set Lists Again?

 

It's fine Tom likes 13 Days, it's a good cruisin' along song, a nice change of pace in a concert but damn, play one of your own friggin' songs. The worst is when Tom acts like it's something special, "Well...we got something special tonight for you..." which is played every night. Or when he says something like how Mike really wants to play this instrumental.

 

Anyway. At this point, I'd probably prefer inspired covers to the same ole hits, (your position) though both fall far behind the coveted deep cuts.

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See, this is what I'm talking about.

 

 

 I should've written this clearer:

 

sure yes, I often enjoy when others cover Tom's music, heck there are a lot of covers that I enjoy more than the originals.

 

    sure yes, I often enjoy when others cover Tom's music, heck there are a lot of covers in general that I enjoy more than the originals.

 

Case in point, I much prefer Pearl Jam's Rockin' in the Free World to Neil Young's. 

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Still, I'd prefer to hear a Pj original, but since they usually play anywhere between 2hs and 50 minutes to over three hours with set lists filled with 30+ songs, a couple of covers seem fine.

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Q: If Pearl Jam did an album of PJ Proby covers, would they call it..

 

A1: PJ vs PJ ?

 

A2: Party in my PJs! ?

 

 

And - to get back to the matter at hand - I do get your point. Still I have a feeling we're in slightly different corners on the what-is-music issue, though. But that's fine, it's all good, all in good fun! 

 

Besides - expanding on the concept of variation - we DO agree on what's really important here, the main thing: the importance of set variation. If anything, I agree that variation is somewhat of a precondition for my somewhat.. eh, cosmic.. stand on how music works. When a decent level of variation is achieved, the point in maintaining an air tight lock between covers and originals gets blurred, we can safely leave the bickering of the copy right dimension, how many people did Not Fade Away and all that jazz, and instead enter the realm of just music, of quality and intensity, no further questions asked.

(Of course, you know your own stuff best, perhaps feel most for it, the people that buys your records and come to shows like it and so on. Thus your own stuff - that is not to say always the same stuff - will and should, for all intents and purposes, constitute the bulk of your shows - I agree, that makes the most sense! Still.. the distinction itself should not be important once your approach is to play music rather than being a preprogrammed jukebox. Why make it so hard for me to tell you from the computer sequenced lights above your head? That is to say - I rather have someone adjust the lights according to what you feel like doing on stage in real time, than adopting your "show" after what the lights been programmed to do. That is real music vs product music, right there. Huge side note, sorry! :) )

Point being: variation is key to what I find most odd with the overly cemented set lists of recent decades. I say odd (rather than annoying, unimaginative, apathetic, silly, wasteful or other words that also apply), since TP's great love, knowledge in and understanding of music is abound and plain to see in most everything he does - his choice of covers, what he plays on BT, what he frequently talks about since 40 years back or more, the number of people he worked with, the way he writes, performs and records, it all screams of passion and integrity - except for when it comes to his take on what he's supposed to use his live shows for. Then and there - generally speaking, although there are exceptions - he strangely dwarfs to the likes of Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Springsteen, Dylan and many others.. and to me this is madness and such a sad sad waste. This is my main problem, the very core of the issue we have so often discussed in past. It simply does not compute. I don't understand this inconsistency, neither in terms of integrity nor professionalism. The concept of "perfectionism" that many seem to stick on TP, does not even begin to explain it away, I'm sorry. Because at the end of the day.. what's the point in perfectly limiting yourself to a perfectly preproduced package, that's so common in today's business, if your heart and intergrity seems to be and is said to be elsewhere. So each time TP acts up to what I find to be TP character, by bringing a little variation to the table - being it by a new cover or a rarely played original - I am most grateful. That's all I'm saying, not that I'd prefer covers over originals, mind you.

It kinda goes together as I see it. As part of being aware of what the whole thing is about. That is, what would make all the forgotten deep cuts a chance in the set, would also give plenty of covers a chance. To me it's about the approach, about the places they travel musically and mentally over the the scope of a whole tour, rather than stuffing each show full with obscure stuff. There's no need. We've been over this, I'm sure. Many times. Obviously four hour shows are better than 90 minutes shows - creates lots of possibilities, at least for artists that are so inclined as to fancy variation - but let's be realistic. At this point, I think TP rarely will touch the other side of two hours, but to me there is plenty of rooms within 90 minutes, even within half an hour, to touch ground with a varied mix of hits, deep cuts and interesting covers from night to night. Again, one of those types does not preclude the other. Again, it's about the approach. It's the variation. Variation is key, no matter how big or small the room or how vast or narrow and time frame. Everything seems to suggest TP knows this and whole heartedly agrees. But apparently he doesn't. Bottom line, each tiny example of them breaking stalemate, moving towards variation, is most welcome. It's not about how they do this, as far as I'm concerned. It's about them doing it at all, and if covers breaks the ice, so be it.

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Interesting question, Nurk.  They've covered a bunch of Stones songs over the years, but I can't think of an original Beatles song that our guys have covered.  I'm sure there must be other artist's songs that both the Beatles and the Heartbreakers have done.  Probably a Chuck Berry song or 2. 

 

I know a lot of people that grew up with the 'British Invasion' that like either the Stones or the Beatles, but not really both.  It seems Tom is in the Stones camp.  That and maybe since he was so close to George, he's avoided doing Beatles tunes.  Plus Paul is still out there doing them.  

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I grew up with the British Invasion, and I loved The Beatles, but also the Stones. Actually I loved most of the British bands of that time. We found it quite easy to play Stones, Kinks, Yardbirds and all the other groups, BUT The Beatles were another thing. Their simplicity was complex in a way and no one could copy it. We had a 4 piece band like the Beatles, but just couldn't cut the mustard! That all ended when we found another lead guitar player and asked him to join and make it a 5 piece band. He had a Vox Super Beatle amp, Gretch country Gent, Strat and a RIC 12 string. Our lead guitarist had a Gibson Barney Kessel and played Stones, Kinks, The Who and others fantastic, but with this 2nd lead guitarist, that just opened everything up. He could play Beatles and Byrds inside out!! We started adding Byrds and Beatles to our shows and it was fantastic, we made the big time....LOL. We played for many hours each night and finally had to insert a full set each night dedicated to the RIC 12 string which was The Byrds and The Beatles songs. Looking back, it was a great time in my life, and even though there were ups and downs, it was a learning experience I'll never forget. It made us tougher (we got in a lot of fights).

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Has Tom ever covered a Beatles song? I know Mike and the Dirty Knobs have covered quite a few.

Taxman, right?

And thanks for the thinking back, btw! I always love it when people share things like that!

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^  I love sharing my experiences and I think all of us should. We, that never made the big time have stories to tell that are interesting. If we don't tell them now, they will be gone forever and no one will ever know. My daughter doesn't even know all the stories about my youth and madness, and maybe it's time to tell her. I don't want to fade away without a trace of anything known!!!!

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Glad to hear it. I for one think that everyone that knows how, should type or tell their memories, for their own pleasure and for the afterworld. That goes for people in general - life is more strange, exciting and fascinating than some care to think - and it goes for people who love rock'n'roll, and/or been part of the golden era, in particular:) . Write a book, write some songs, just tell stories! That's not just nostalgia, it is living. Everything is stories. Besides.. everyone I know goes away in the end, to qoute a phrase.

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I think it would be an interesting thread as well: Tom Petty songs covered by other artists.

I've got an album of bluegrass covers of TP and Heartbreakers songs.

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I've got an album of bluegrass covers of TP and Heartbreakers songs.

I had it too - have to guess it's the same one. For the better parts of an afternoon. Or if it was the lesser parts.. :D Cause, once again.. nah! I think it's pretty bad. To me it wasn't a keeper.

But since all that is another thread now.. Getting back to covers that would be fun to hear TP do, I think there are many great picks to be made on the Them and Them Again albums. Not that they haven't already done one or two of them in the past, and not that it wasn't me growing sick and tired of what they did to Gloria eventually.. that one really did outstay its' welcome by a wide margin. But there are so many better songs on those albums to rip out for a few shows, stuff I don't think they have done. (And even if they should decide to pick another long term keeper, most of those songs could hold up a really long time.. Not that I would encourage any such behaviour, but still.. )

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