I have a book out on book shelves called 'One Way or Another - the story of a girl who loved rock-stars' and now those bubbly, gorgeous little 'One Direction' boys have recorded a song with the same title. Never have I felt so worshiped and adored.
Oh, that's right...it's not my title but the title of a Blondie song from the seventies.
I borrowed it (there is no copyright on titles) because the lyrics summed up my voracious obsession, (a focus in one direction only, you might say) to collect rock-star lovers ......while the world's current most scream-worthy boy band are actually 'covering' Blondie's old hit. Yep, breaking news. They really are!!
That brings me to tributes and covers. Most bands cut their teeth playing popular covers in dingy pubs while barflies and yobbos warble drunkenly along.
Covers have their place. Done well, they are a great tribute to the original song-writer and/or artist. Done badly....they can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
A girls' night out is always a top idea for a tribute band because after a gallon of Chardonnay they'll think you ARE the original band...
When I picked up my first guitar, I jumped straight in and began composing my own songs. My family promptly bought me a handful of sheet music to popular tunes and suggested I start by playing something familiar. So I strummed out the chords to 'Streets of London' and a host of Neil Diamond numbers. My pocket money went on 'Choir Girl' by Cold Chisel which I learned to play on the piano....
The boys at school tried to assemble bands which were tributes to KISS, Rolling Stones, Van Halen and The Doors. Some were awful but some made us feel that we were experiencing a pseudo live concert by the bands we worshiped.
Some artists can pull it off with aplomb - Tom Jones with Prince's 'Kiss.' The Foo Fighters with Prince's 'Darling Nikki' (bias there!). Prince is clearly one artist whose work manages to contort into many shapes and styles.
But Madonna did not pull off 'American Pie' and Michael Bolton's 'Dock of the Bay' was electric-chair bad. 'Feel like Making Love,' by Kid Rock??? Making love...that's f#@@ing. ridiculous....there was no buying that one. Kid Rock makes love.....no-one ever said!
But what of covers by famous artists? It's one thing for garage bands and play-for-drinks pub bands to regurgitate the rock and roll classics, but when you become a successful artist in your own right, is it just a bit lazy to churn out another artist's hit (guaranteed $$$$)? If it worked once, it'll work again. In theory that's how it works.
Unfortunately my sneaky pilfering of a title did not see my book enjoy quite the same success as Blondie's original tune but hey.... with One Direction on board - we're talking about a whole new generation of kids to be exposed to this incredibly cool song. You cannot help but dance up and down on the spot while screaming the lyrics at the top of your voice....even in a supermarket aisle as the radio spills overhead from covert speakers (as I have done....recently).
I was once asked in an interview who was the 'best' rock star lover I ever had and I (jokingly) said Harry from 'One Direction'. I mean, of course I was joking....I'm a middle aged woman...old enough to be his mother (or really big sister) .....I'm not even sure I'd know him if I fell over him in the street!
....but I am seriously going to tell my nine year old daughter that her favourite band 'One Direction' have just put out a song describing how they desperately want to meet the author of the BOOK - 'One Way or Another'.....ME! Call it poetic license. It'll make her day.
'One way, or another, I 'm gonna getcha, I'm gonna getcha, getcha, getcha....'
I can't wait to hear this new version to see how the boy-wonders pull it off!!!!