Cover and Beyond

My previous post was generated in part by conversations with my brothers and my son about music and about cover tunes.  Here’s a cover that undresses and redresses the original, discovering something in it, something warm and real, that Van Halen could not have discovered. (The guitar solo at the end is done, I am convinced, with Roddy Frame’s guitar pick firmly in his cheek.)

4 responses

  1. Interested that you find yourself interested in covers. I have been wondering if there were a bit of a philosophy in the subject (and something more than all philosophy are covers of Plato). A first thought is one can only appreciate a cover (and cover well) if one already knows the original well. At best otherwise the cover is not a cover at all, but seems rather original. No very developed thoughts here, though certainly an appreciation of the genre. Best, Wm.

    • Yes, covers (and the related ideas of variation, improvisation, etc.) are fascinating. I’ve been reading *Thinking in Jazz* and been provoked by the book into a new set of reflections about my own work, especially in the classroom, where so often something like ‘covers’ of ‘standards’, and variation and improvosation, play central roles. One of the difficulties in the classroom is that almost always students do not know the original well, and that constricts the space in which certain kinds of activity can take place.

      • they don’t know ~our~ originals –

        but if we would let ourselves start out from ordinary language, instead of book learnin, maybe they could.

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