Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Beatles "Nowhere Man Cover Challenge" - the Peppered Version

Well, what happens when a bunch of indie songwriters all get bored and in a rut at the same time ? Yep, it must time to do the impossible and issue a general challenge to cover the “uncoverable song”

Sydney, Australia 5th May 2008 – I can’t really recall how it happened. Hanging out with like minded people on the internet is similar to a vague resemblance of oneself, at some point in time, either today, yesterday, or perhaps even in the future. Topics of conversation, are cut and diced, copied and spliced, and generally end up getting stuffed away in the recesses of the brain, rather than being filed neatly away for future reference.

The topic of conversation stemmed from an opinion that, in general, cover songs are not much good in aiding ones career in the song writing field. They are better left to those who perform live, and can slip their own songs in between the hits, and maybe somehow, the originals will be noticed just as much as the beloved hits played to the same audience. Some agreed, some disagreed, but one thing was certain, a challenge would have to be put out to prove or disprove the theory.

The folks at Just Plain Folks are an eclectic bunch. From all over the globe, with varying ages and opinions, it just might be a bit of fun to cover an uncoverable song. After much wrangling, it was decided that the prime candidate was The Beatles “Nowhere Man”, a very fitting song with perversely ironic lyrics to a bunch of lowly singer song writers, who in most instances are relegated to sitting at the bottom of the musical dung heap. Coincidently, it couldn't have hurt the decision making process, having downed a couple of beers with one of the origional members of The Beatnix , ( one of the hardest working and long lasting tribute bands around ) a few weeks earlier.

With the decision made, each wandered off to have a warble and a re-write, and in some cases make a total hash out of a song which some purists would say would be better left alone. It was decided that some form of impartial judging would be required, so enter Ourstage , a great place for road testing new material, and an audience so large and diverse that vote rigging is practically impossible. Some did well, some not so well, ( ones own version ended up at No 442 out of 553 entries in the general cover songs channel for the month ) . Others like singer song writer Mark Kaufman’s ended up at a very respectable No 2 , and was awarded the grand prize of an IOU for a warm, flat, bottle of beer and a soggy pack of chips.

Some liked the cover versions, some detested them. Others were simply perplexed as to why there were so many cover versions of one song in one contest for the month. ( Anecdotal evidence suggests the Ourstage team found the whole process quite amusing ) So the next time you’re feeling a little bored and restless, try a cover tune. It can’t do any harm, and may even bring a smile to the most jaded of listeners’.

A free download is available here for those who may like their Beatles with a little Pepper.

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