Monday, June 29, 2009

TDA Covers: 20 Years of Accordion-Fueled Rock 'n' Roll

Those Darn Accordions has covered some pretty varied musical terrain over the past two decades. The originals and polkas are one thing -- we've tossed plenty of tunes into the genre blender and pushed frappe repeatedly. We tried not to make too much of a mess.

But, as you can tell by this long (and probably incomplete) list of rock 'n' roll songs we've played over the years, we've taken the accordion to some pretty strange places in our never-ending pursuit of the ultimate squeezebox rock cover songs. Some of these covers became staples of TDA shows and even made it on to our recordings; others disappeared from the set list almost immediately, for whatever reason.

As we pull together set lists for our 20-city tour, we've been thinking a lot about what we should play. We've been getting a kick out of the whole "trip down memory lane" thing, and we'd like to take you with us.

So let us know: Which of these covers would you like to hear? Which ones should be banished forever? And which ones have we forgotten entirely? Let us know in the comments section below.

Whole Lotta Love/ Black Dog -- Led Zeppelin
Magic Carpet Ride -- Steppenwolf
Low Rider -- War
Frankenstein -- The Edgar Winter Group
We're an Accordion Band -- Grand Funk Railroad
The Devil Went Down to Georgia -- The Charlie Daniels Band
Back in Black -- AC/DC
Baba O'Riley -- The Who
Radar Love -- Golden Earring
Pump It Up -- Elvis Costello
Making Our Dreams Come True -- "Laverne and Shirley" theme song
Godzilla -- Blue Oyster Cult
I Melt With You -- Modern English
Moondance -- Van Morrison
Party Hard -- Andrew W.K.
Shine Your Light -- The Mavericks
Aqualung -- Jethro Tull
Stairway to Heaven -- Led Zeppelin
Uncontrollable Urge -- Devo
Fire -- Jimi Hendrix
Surrender -- Cheap Trick
(Keep Feeling) Fascination -- The Human League
Proud Mary -- Ike and Tina Turner
It's Now or Never -- Elvis Presley
Play That Funky Music -- Wild Cherry
Viva Las Vegas -- Elvis Presley
It's Not Unusual -- Tom Jones
Our House -- Madness
Da Ya Think I'm Sexy -- Rod Stewart
Sleep Walk -- Santo & Johnny.
Walk Don't Run -- the Ventures
Pick up the Pieces -- Average White Band
Tear the Roof off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk) -- Parliament
Dancing Queen -- ABBA
Dance to the Music -- Sly and the Family Stone
Walk This Way -- Aerosmith



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always had a soft spot for "Pump It Up" and "Radar Love." But "Frankenstein" just blows me away every time I hear it.

*Bill in Milwaukee

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although not on the list, I always thought an accordion version of The Stones "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" would work really nicely.

Something about that Richards guitar in the opening...

*Bill in Milwaukee

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder list.

I had forgotten some of the best covers. I vote for:

* GODZILLA with a segue into MOTHRA!!!
* Baba O'... (which you play better than The Who)
* Aqualung
* Viva Las Vegas
* Stairway to Heaven
* And the natural: We're An Accordion Band

More importantly, I hereby challenge you to learn Hocus Pocus by Focus, possibly substituting a squeezebox soloist for the yodeling.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Aqualung - Snot is running down his nose. Daah-DaDa-Da

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Docloch said...

Accordion Band, Stairway, Baba O'Riley, Frankenstein, but I would retire "Do You Think I'm Sexy?" after Clyde's passing. He made that song, as well as "Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire" into precious sweet memories for many of us!

6:42 PM  
Blogger ArtTv said...

The theme from Perry Mason, An Accordion Band, Frankenstein, Baba O'Riley, Stairway to Heaven, Pump It Up. Bill use to do a excellent version of singing Low Rider.

7:09 PM  
Blogger sven said...

great covers:
Frankenstein -- The Edgar Winter Group
The Devil Went Down to Georgia -- The Charlie Daniels Band

7:44 PM  
Blogger Sarah Thompson said...

My most memorable are (all from the first time I saw y'all in SF 1993):

a) The Devil Went Down to Georgia
b) Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire
c) We're an Accordion Band

And I agree w/ the "retiring" of Clyde songs... they were his and he made them what they were.

LOVE LOVE LOVE you all, and thanks so much for the music!

8:57 PM  
Blogger Lewis said...

I absolutely agree that "Fire" and "Sexy" should be retired. Nobody could do them like Clyde. But who listens to the bass player?

And "Hocus Pocus" sure brings back some wild memories of high school, rocking out in the orchestra room.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I think Surrender, Vivia Las Vegas and Moondance would sound great accordion style.

So, when are you guys going to tackle Pink Floyd?? Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Wish You Were Here....tons of others that might sound interesting with accordions.

You guys are great!! Love your music.

M.S. in Illinois (Go ahead start with the Blagojevich jokes) :)

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As many as possible when you play Oshkosh, but gotta have the Zep Medley, Devil, and Accordion Band. Would also vote for Frankenstein and Baba. Haven't heard you do Aqualung but love the song - have to think Paul would sing rather than one of the gals??

3:49 AM  
Blogger John said...

TDA's rock covers are great, although my favorite tunes are all TDA originals! Anyway, the covers that stand out for me include:
* Pump It Up - so natural, equal to the great original
* We're an Accordion Band - big improvement over the orginial
* The Devil Went Down to Georgia - big LOL, hey the Devil's solo is the *real winner*
* Uncontrollable Urge - unlikely as it is funny (and Paul deserves a rest)
*Magic Carpet Ride - the love shines through

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's time to break out that Michael Jackson tribute you've been working on. Susie could be my Dirty Diana anytime. Can't wait to see you at the High Noon in Madison

Tom from Oregon

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely keep GODZILLA, FRANKENSTEIN, Magic Carpet Ride, Low Rider, and Uncontrollable Urge. I agree that NO ONE croons FIRE or DO YA THINK I'M SEXY like Clyde did. He is very much missed.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I like Surrender which I last heard at Reed St. Station in Milwaukee in '01. I agree to drop Clyde's songs out of respect. Baba O'Riley is one you should never get rid of and I too want to see you do Hocus Pocus. See you at the High Noon Saloon in Madison

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want you to banish anything, ever! I love you guys!
Especially not Mr. Slagle and Hamster Man, and Those Hippies Was Right, and Now or Never, or Hotsie Totsie Girl...
Keep it all!

Maybe cover Purple Haze and Foxy Lady...

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankenstein is the greatest, but would like to hear your rendition of some Black Sabbath such as Paranoid or Iron Man

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Do You Think I'm Sexy" will never be same without Clyde. (RIP) You played "Surrender" at Beloit's (WI) Riverfest and I suggested Kiss' "Rock & Roll All Night" with the lyrics "I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night - and Polka Ev-ery Day!"

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear all of them. How about making a CD of just covers?

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"bob" says
lowrider and surrender for sure

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascination totally gets my vote.

That should be on your guys' next album! Was it a rights issue?


12:00 AM  
Anonymous sam grey said...

I think you should do covers that are not easily available on youtube, CDs, etc. So, in that vein, I vote for:

Keep Feelin' Fascination
Tear the Roof Off the Sucker
Our House
Dancing Queen

Not in any particular order.

I would also suggest that any performance of these have a nice long 15-minute jam session inserted in the middle of any of 'em.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eugene, OR, would love to hear Aqualung for the first time.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We used to have an accordion version of "Don't Pull Your Love" on the radio at work. We LOVED it. IF anyone knows where I can find a version of that song to download that would be great too!! But you should definately think of playing that song!

10:07 PM  

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