Nice thoughtful piece here from Pete from what he calls “the land of political unrest”.
Dave, Seeing all these people dying recently that I had never listened to their music and following the blog talking about bands and musicians I had never heard of got me thinking.
Like most bands we had to play what was really considered Top 20 material at our gigs. No real choice since club owners and Party throwers did not want to hear some obscure personal preference material or even originals. Even into the 80s playing Weddings and Country Clubs we ended up playing stuff like Beat it by Michael Jackson and other top 20 material like Careless Whisper (Shudder). It got me to thinking just how many of us never really got to perform the material that we so loved in our personal lives. I know that for us in the early 70s we took a break from the gigs and went and learned a whole evening of David Gates and Bread Material. We just loved learning it and playing it in Rehearsals but actual paid performances we lasted 2 gigs as nobody wanted to hear it and much of it you could not dance to anyway. So all that work went out the window and songs like “Take Comfort” and “Diary”were replaced by “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo” and “Indiana wants me”.
We learned from that experience and never again strayed from a tried and true set list. Phil put a link in his post to Democracy by LC and I wonder just who of our band of weekend warriors would have actually done well performing that at the “Kings Arms” or the “Dog and Duck”. So the question is who really got to perform songs by non mainstream artists and made money out of it?
We had a saying over here in the early 80s about the wedding gigs we were playing. “For 99% of the audience their sense of taste is in their mouths…… The other 1% are musicians on their way to their own gig who snuck in the back to get some free food” In fact no kidding we used to see that a lot.
All the best
Cheers Pete – I have some thoughts but others?