Saturday, December 26, 2009

Covers is Bad for Business

Your Weekend Listening • 12.26.09
I Won't Back Down • May, 2008

Here's something strange and vaguely pointless - my multi-tracked solo acoustic version of Tom Petty's mid-career hit. A song I don't particularly even like, although I do have a begrudging respect for Petty's ability to build songs out of thin air and not much else.

The backstory, as far as it goes, is that a childhood friend of Yesenia's (José) was learning how to play guitar. To that end, he was taking classes at some New York guitar school (on 30th Street). At the end of the semester, the students would give a solo performance, and José asked me to join him on a couple of numbers. The Petty was one of them, and I think Desperado was another, so you can see the general area of material.

At any rate, when we played, it turned out that the original key was a little out of Jose's vocal range, so I transposed it and very quickly threw together a Garageband version - literally sitting on the porch in about the time it takes to listen (not, of course, counting the overdubs).

The cover itself is pretty disposable as well, but when I stumbled upon it in my iTunes the other day, I found that I liked the way my low-energy playing and nearly tremulous vocals give the song an air of desperation that the original never had - Petty doesn't sound much like backing down is even an option, but the above version sounds like I'm bleeding on the mat, weakly waving off the referee.

I make no claim for greatness with this, but sometimes, I like the sound of confident half-assedness that comes with experience, and I'm pleased that I have enough ability at this point to convey that.


PS: Apologies for the return to the embedded QT MP3 player instead of the SWF. For some reason, the SWF decided to stop working - indeed, all previous Ramblers with the SWF MP3 player now feature nothing, so I'm using this temporarily until that gets back up and running. I'd be tempted to blame Blogger, but it always seems to be some weird thing with my host, so we'll see.


Christine said...

The school on 30th street that you mentioned is EXACTLY the same school Greg's band happened through.

Dave Kopperman said...

Yeah, I'd figured.