Sunday, October 04, 2009

A List of Cover Songs That Should Never Be Played Again

I was at a local October Art Festival today, bypassing all of the art for the food(chicken and black bean burrito=fart-tastical bliss!) when I came across what a bitter, sort of professional rock musician like myself would call background music. Yes, it was a cover band set up on a street corner doing their best to get the LCDs to sweat to the oldies.  The band was a rainbow coalition of weekend warriors with a maximum case of tin ear bleeding out of the speakers(on poles) into a puddle of godawful in front of the stage...

(on a side note, do you ever notice that guys in cover bands always have exquisite equipment, gold top Les Pauls, 4 thousand dollar Paul Reed Smiths, Fender Jazz Basses, Marshall or Mesa amps w/o a scratch, puncture or crease that still smell like the inside of a Guitar Center? never been dropped or spit on, cases adorned with nary a sticker except for maybe a Free Tibet one, ughhhhhh-Fuck Me! Why is it that the gear says Gibson when the talent says Peavey?)

Anyhow, The song that Cheesy Danish and the Hot Pockets or whatever the fuck they were called were playing was "I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles. Man it hit me right where my burrito was making its way home and everything on this fine October day turned to sour sour cream. Now, I've done my time in cover bands for more years than I care to mention: Blue Coolies,Commotion, Tainted Love, Sex Type Thing, Blitz Band) I've had fun, I have worn red leather pants...I have sung I saw Her Standing There... and I do believe there is a time and place for well balanced tribute/cover bands(weddings:  45 minutes post open bar, proms:because anything's better than a DJ, and nestled between purgatory and the seventh level of hell somewhere or at an arena bar in between the 2nd and 3rd period of a Flyers games because...well, those zombie folks are easy to pleasebeautiful losers well watered down and radio ready) . I also think learning other people's stuff is a great way to cut your teeth, woodshed and find your style as a young budding musician.

But man, I get so nauseous when I hear a cover song that should never be played again by a band that has no business attempting it. There are songs that get wrung out so badly in public by bad bands all up and down the tri- state area.( and I'm talking the cover band capitol of the world known as Jersey,Pennsylvania,Delaware). It's like the Bermuda Triangle of music because players go in and are never seen or heard from again. And by all means, if you are in a cover band and make your living doing it, I say Hell Yeah! That means you're good enough to keep getting booked and probably have the good sense to NEVER play the songs on this list, songs that have been beaten to death by "great" cover bands and have trickled down like bloody tears to the setlists of the weekend warriors over the last decades only to be stripped of all melody and rhythm and left to die while the crowd claps out of sync and drinks their Coors Light. I banish these songs to the same place I'll probably end up hearing them in eternity: somewhere between purgatory and the seventh level of hell....... the last ones on this list are the ones that should be driving terrorists out of Afghani rat holes or stopping hostage situations nationwide.

A List Of Cover Songs That Should Never Be Played Again
The first 5 are from an album called Beat the Beatles....
1) I Saw Her Standing There
2) Get Back
3) Back In the USSR
4) Day Tripper
5) Ticket to Ride
6) No Matter What-Badfinger
7) Twist and Shout-enough already
8)Down On the Corner
9) Bad Moon Rising
10) Looking Out My Back Door
11)Rock and Roll-Led Zep- 99 % of bands worldwide who attempt this will butcher it. Turns out its anything but Rock and Roll.
12) Whole Lotta Love-Christ,I don't even wanna hear Led Zeppelin do this song.
13)Brick House-the fact that it gets a bunch of rotund cougars on the floor is not an asset to the set.
14) Mustang Sally- do I really have to tell you why?
15)Margaritaville- feels like underwear sand when I hear it.
16) Walkin' On Sunshine
17) Oye Como Va- matarme, por favor.
18) Crazy Bitch-Buckcherry- The guy who actually sings this has six pack abs with "Chaos" tattooed on it. Everybody else has an innertube that hangs over their acid washed jeans.
19) Rock and Roll All Night- always at 2/3 of the tempo and makes one wish the cover band had make- up on as well.
20) Play That Funky Music- White boys, leave it to the black boys please.
21) I Want You To Want Me
22) Sunshine of Your Love
23) Crossroads-one of the most painful...should have been banned on cover circuits in 1969.
24) You Give Love a Bad Name
25) Livin' On a Prayer- like a plague, you will get hit by this even outside of the afformentioned  "Bermuda Triangle of Music", and you might feel better doing the backstroke thru a Jersey landfill.
26) Sultans of Swing
27) Hard to Handle-exactly.
28) Laid-James-won't.....get......
29) Man in the Box-Alice in Chains: if you don't have the pipes, don't try to hit that note. Wildlife will die. Shot glasses will shatter.
30) Sweet Home Alabama-because most kids and their young mothers think this is a Kid Rock song.
31) All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun- and I will as soon as I leave this bar.
32)Some Kind Of Wonderful
33)Any Song Steve Miller Has Ever Written
34) Any Song Bob Seger Has Ever Written
35)Beast Of Burden
36) Honky Tonk Woman-I believe this song has caused more DWI's in women 45-55 than any other.
37) My Own Worst Enemy-yes you are.
38) 3am-Matchbox 20- burning down the house every night.
39) Suck My Kiss
40) You May Be Right-wrong again.
41) Crazy Little Thing Called Love
42) 867-5309(Jenny Jenny)-  call 911 instead.
43) Are You Gonna Go My Way- Is your way towards the EXIT?
44) You Shook Me All Night Long- one of the most difficult songs to sing of all time. There are no breaths in this song, except for the one you use to resuscitate yourself after hearing Buster Hymen and the Penetrators do it.

and rounding out the absolute bottom....

46) American Girl
47) Brown Eyed Girl- any female who relates to these songs is no longer a girl...the band fails to realize this.
48) Shout- you know you make me wanna....bash my head in and...slit my wrists and uh, come on now....
49) Born To Be Wild-get your walker walkin', shuffle down the hallway, looking for the lunchroom or whatever comes my way.....
50) What I Like About You- you have arrived in hell, please leave your jacket at the door and dive straight into the infinitely burning sea of  forever.  Have you ever seen a picture of The Romantics since 1985?  That's how embarrassed they are.

Please send your hate mail or your additions to this list to Seano at Circle of Fits. I am available for children's birthday parties, Right to Life Conventions, Nascar afterparties and Magic: The gathering gatherings.                            Thank you and be sure to tip your bartender.



  1. Brick House - rotund cougars? Are you talkin to ME? Seriously - great list. There are probably a lot more but I think you got the good ones. I do have a dance routine to Brick House. I think I'll make a youtube video of myself performing it, its too good not to share.

  2. Barb, be proud of your dance routine. I just hope the bad cover band can keep up with you....sean

  3. "Why is it that the gear says Gibson when the talent says Peavey?"

    Hahahaha...I nearly filled my Depends. Brilliant line. Right on target with the tunes.

    Know what's even worse than some of the cover band carnage you've described? Serving drinks at wedding receptions and watching "Drunky Unky Charlie" get his freak on to the "Macarena", weaving all over the dance floor and managing to master not one single move (except pissing his pants). And how 'bout when the white folks break out "The Bird Dance"? Now, THAT'S entertainment. I could go on, but memories like this make me drop to the fetal position and shiver.

  4. My band is guilty of violating #33. Take the Money and Run. Might have to let that one go now. At least (unlike so many other cover bands), we have no delusions about our skill level. We butcher GOOD tunes.

    Great post!

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