What do you do if a bandmate keeps suggesting multiple covers by the same artist?

ReverendRevolver

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A few times. He indicates that he agrees in the moment, and then out comes another Dylan song mid-gig. He has developed this tendency to kick off a song at a gig without any warning or discussion and look at us like, “Omg, look at what my hands are doing, I guess we have to play this song now.” I’ve thought about just sitting out and not playing when he does that but I feel like it looks unprofessional of me.

.......

Totally a different situation but.......

My alt rock band was playing a gig at a bar in 2010/11ish. Second time we'd played there, and we'd gotten a strong reaction on a shorter set the previous time. It was a place the drummer and bass player frequented, so we wanted to leave a memorable impression.

We had plenty of good covers(30ish?), like 5 originals, and maybe a dozen "in progress " or shelved covers. "Ended" on a strong one that had everyone moving.

Then I start Into 99 red balloons (which we had shelved). Rythm player throws his guitar down and storms out the fire exit behind the stage. As he's walking out, bass player sits the bass down and the drummer throws his sticks and both storm towards the door. Bass player unplugged me from the amp on his way by, and I chase after them, dragging the cable from the guitar, and yelling stuff in thier direction. (Then we walked back in through the front laughing when we heard the audience still laughing...).


So, maybe do that but FOR REAL. Plan it out with the other guys. He starts into a Dylan song, you give the nod and walk away, bass player drops bass, follows, drummer throws sticks and storms off.....

I'd say make sure you "sell it", but sounds like you're all pretty sick of the Dylan songs, so shouldn't be hard to look convincing.

:)

I try to do no more than 2 covers of ANY band in any band. Currently, my band covers 2 Nekromantix songs and 2 Misfits songs (we scrapped a Misfits song with odd timing the drummer struggled with and replaced it with a second Nekromantix song, then added another "second" Misfits song).

I'm ABSOLUTELY certain we covered 5+ songs by the same artist in the grunge band (because when you show up in flannel, people wanted Nirvana and Alice in Chains).

But you need to have one more conversation about acceptable amounts of Dylan covers.


Once he pulls his thing again, do that thing I just told you about.

Then tell me what he happens.

Good Luck!
 

pippoman

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I've been with my current band for 7 years (we may be on our last legs together but who knows, the last 1.5 years have been touch and go). The bandleader often calls out for covers (sometimes mid-gig, which can be irritating to be blindsided but we usually muddle through an ad hoc on-the-spot arrangement) but he really loves covering Bob Dylan.

We've done practices where every song (or every other song) is yet another Bob Dylan cover. If he starts playing a new song, I'm correct 95% of the time if I guess the songwriter is Dylan.

Don't get me wrong, I like Dylan. Wouldn't say I'm a "fan" per se, but I do appreciate his songwriting and what he has brought to folk and popular music forms. I own a few albums and I've even had a few Dylan cover ideas of my own, although these seem to be from some of his less acclaimed/popular albums (Slow Train Coming, Infidels) so they don't end up being worked up much. I appreciate that his songs are open to many interpretations so it's not like we're stuck with imitating one sound/style. However, I'm starting to fear that we're just going to become a Dylan cover band if this keeps going unchecked (especially since some of us are into other non-Dylan singer-songwriters and are also writing our own material).

As a Paul Simon and Stones fan, I'm mindful of this too. I have suggested Simon and Stones covers to the band but when I introduce a new cover idea, it either becomes a replacement for another or one that can sub in and out. I particularly love Simon, but I don't want to be a Simon cover band. My attempts to do so would come up short (ok, ok, that was in poor taste).

Any idea of how to address this with my bandmate without upsetting him and his love of Dylan?
We have had that situation and the suggestions are usually pretty good. But we remind him we’re not a tribute band and need to cover more artists.

What gets me annoyed is when that same member starts massively sending out his own song suggestions whenever I or another member makes a suggestion, basically drowning out anyone else’s suggestions. He’s a nice guy, but that seems a little selfish to me.
 

pippoman

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Totally a different situation but.......

My alt rock band was playing a gig at a bar in 2010/11ish. Second time we'd played there, and we'd gotten a strong reaction on a shorter set the previous time. It was a place the drummer and bass player frequented, so we wanted to leave a memorable impression.

We had plenty of good covers(30ish?), like 5 originals, and maybe a dozen "in progress " or shelved covers. "Ended" on a strong one that had everyone moving.

Then I start Into 99 red balloons (which we had shelved). Rythm player throws his guitar down and storms out the fire exit behind the stage. As he's walking out, bass player sits the bass down and the drummer throws his sticks and both storm towards the door. Bass player unplugged me from the amp on his way by, and I chase after them, dragging the cable from the guitar, and yelling stuff in thier direction. (Then we walked back in through the front laughing when we heard the audience still laughing...).


So, maybe do that but FOR REAL. Plan it out with the other guys. He starts into a Dylan song, you give the nod and walk away, bass player drops bass, follows, drummer throws sticks and storms off.....

I'd say make sure you "sell it", but sounds like you're all pretty sick of the Dylan songs, so shouldn't be hard to look convincing.

:)

I try to do no more than 2 covers of ANY band in any band. Currently, my band covers 2 Nekromantix songs and 2 Misfits songs (we scrapped a Misfits song with odd timing the drummer struggled with and replaced it with a second Nekromantix song, then added another "second" Misfits song).

I'm ABSOLUTELY certain we covered 5+ songs by the same artist in the grunge band (because when you show up in flannel, people wanted Nirvana and Alice in Chains).

But you need to have one more conversation about acceptable amounts of Dylan covers.


Once he pulls his thing again, do that thing I just told you about.

Then tell me what he happens.

Good Luck!
You had me going for a minute man!
 

ReverendRevolver

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You had me going for a minute man!
We really did do that.

We didn't have enough covers to fill the last 20 minutes, and the bass player was trying to impress his guitarist brother who had driven down to see us play.

Not something I'd want to.be known exclusively for, but it was fun when it happened.
 

pippoman

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We really did do that.

We didn't have enough covers to fill the last 20 minutes, and the bass player was trying to impress his guitarist brother who had driven down to see us play.

Not something I'd want to.be known exclusively for, but it was fun when it happened.
I knew it happened, but I didn’t realize what was really happening until I read the part where the band came back in the front door. Sounds like it was fun, and being known as a a band who plays a few gags wouldn’t be a bad thing. They’ll likely remember you.
Several years ago we played a small venue that was packed. Through the front window I saw somebody about to walk in, so I asked the audience to remain quiet until they walked in, then start clapping for them once they set foot inside. They were totally caught off guard - I wish I had a picture.
 

archtop_fjk

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I can relate to the OP. The leader of the country rock band I’m insists on doing a lot of cover songs by James Intveld and the band Reckless Kelly. The songs are good and I enjoy playing them but almost no one has heard of these artists. But the minute we start playing “Sweet Home Alabama” or “Mustang Sally” everybody starts dancing! 😄
 

Frank Roberts

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“We aren’t a tribute band!.. no more than one per set.”

I do love Dylan though, and he’s got the largest catalog of quality songs of anyone. You can always do them in your own way. Think “All Along the Watchtower” by Hendrix.
 

AAT65

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I reckon we’ve now got enough Beatles and Eagles songs that we could play a set of each then a set of mixed stuff to follow. Inevitably someone suggested we’d then have to change the band name to The Beagles…🙄
 

Happy Enchilada

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I've been with my current band for 7 years (we may be on our last legs together but who knows, the last 1.5 years have been touch and go). The bandleader often calls out for covers (sometimes mid-gig, which can be irritating to be blindsided but we usually muddle through an ad hoc on-the-spot arrangement) but he really loves covering Bob Dylan.

We've done practices where every song (or every other song) is yet another Bob Dylan cover. If he starts playing a new song, I'm correct 95% of the time if I guess the songwriter is Dylan.

Don't get me wrong, I like Dylan. Wouldn't say I'm a "fan" per se, but I do appreciate his songwriting and what he has brought to folk and popular music forms. I own a few albums and I've even had a few Dylan cover ideas of my own, although these seem to be from some of his less acclaimed/popular albums (Slow Train Coming, Infidels) so they don't end up being worked up much. I appreciate that his songs are open to many interpretations so it's not like we're stuck with imitating one sound/style. However, I'm starting to fear that we're just going to become a Dylan cover band if this keeps going unchecked (especially since some of us are into other non-Dylan singer-songwriters and are also writing our own material).

As a Paul Simon and Stones fan, I'm mindful of this too. I have suggested Simon and Stones covers to the band but when I introduce a new cover idea, it either becomes a replacement for another or one that can sub in and out. I particularly love Simon, but I don't want to be a Simon cover band. My attempts to do so would come up short (ok, ok, that was in poor taste).

Any idea of how to address this with my bandmate without upsetting him and his love of Dylan?

Reminds me of a lyric:

I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment I could be you
Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is to see you…

Substitute "hear" for "see" in the last line ...
 

Happy Enchilada

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I don’t like to play covers very much, but I’ve always thought it would be fun to cover the entire Stones “Let It Bleed” album and the entire ZZ Top album “Rio Grande Mud”

Right before the pandemic, we put together an entire set about rain…Texas Flood, an original called Rainy Tuesday Morn, The Sky is Crying, etc…it was kinda cool, but the gig we had to perform it got cancelled

Did you include "Rainy Days and Mondays" by the Carpenters?
 

Charlie Bernstein

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I don’t like to play covers very much, but I’ve always thought it would be fun to cover the entire Stones “Let It Bleed” album and the entire ZZ Top album “Rio Grande Mud”

Right before the pandemic, we put together an entire set about rain…Texas Flood, an original called Rainy Tuesday Morn, The Sky is Crying, etc…it was kinda cool, but the gig we had to perform it got cancelled
Rained out, of course.

You were asking for itr.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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In what respect is this guy “bandleader?” Does he own the van and PA? 7 years you’ve put up with this dude? Sounds like an egomaniac. Don’t you think you deserve to be in a more musically equitable and collaborative situation?
Wow. Sounds like you're talking about a band I'm in.

Egomaniac and bad musician for a leader, and he's not a collaborator, either.

I'm dialing it down.
 




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