The Greatest Getting-To-Know-You Question Of All Time (Actual Results May Be Disastrous)

October 21, 2012

Humor

Many years ago I tried to take a new approach to first dates.  Instead of dancing around the “getting to know you” questions, I tried to come up with some fun questions to just throw right out there.  And, okay, these questions were only field-tested once on an actual “date”, and it was a New-Coke-level failure.  At the end of the evening she asked if she’d “passed my little test” in a tone that did not scream out “call me tomorrow, tee-hee, tee-hee.”  Nevertheless, I stand by my questions!  Even though I’ve forgotten all of them at this point, but one.  Fortunately, it is the greatest “getting to know you” question of all time.  Yes, ever.  For dates, social events, and even Questions of the Week.

The question is this: If you were going to start a cover band, who would you cover and why?

Just ponder that for a moment.  If you need to sit down, I understand.  Take A moment.  Ponder.  Ponder.  You see, no matter how you answer, it’s revealing.

If they keep refusing, you’re supposed to start screaming “Give me my muffin! Give me my muffin!” over and over.

The only qualifiers for the answer are: 1 – You must ultimately commit to one.  2 – You do not have to come up with a name for the band, but if you do, you earn bonus points good for free drinks and muffins at Starbucks (just tell them about this post, and don’t take “what the hell are you talking about?” for an answer!).

Here are just a few reasons it’s so great –

  1. “And The E Street Band?” “Hate them. Only Springsteen himself.”

    The whole “what kind of music do you like,” is, let’s face it, a total waste of a question.  “Oh, lots of different kinds.”  Yawn.  The only way that question would tell you anything is if the respondent said something like, “Bruce Springsteen.”  “Oh, you like sort of heartland, bluesy-rock?”  “No, I didn’t say I like people like Bruce Springsteen; I like Bruce Springsteen.  Period.”  “Oh… “

  2. The “why” element.  Obviously, most people are simply going to answer that it’s because the band is great.  Fair enough.  But those who answer for other reasons are going to really tell you something.  Maybe they choose Lynyrd Skynyrd because everyone would want to see it and it’d be fun.  Maybe they choose Boston or Poison because it’d be hilarious.
  3. Lastly, the question prompts more questions.  Some good (what would you do in this band? Would you dress up?  What songs would you play?) and some bad (Did you get this question from The Byronic Man? And not give him credit?  Because that’s intellectual theft.)

And if I want your answers (which I do), I suppose it’s only fair that I start things off: which band would I cover?

Well, thanks for asking.

X. They’re great. Start with the album Los Angeles and go from there.

There are a lot of tempting ones.  Styx, for example, because how fun would that be?  Plus everyone likes Styx, and the people who don’t like Styx like them most of all.  Or X, because they’re brilliant and cool and you could blow the doors off the bar you’re in, and you’d introduce some people to X.

But ultimately, perhaps, I’d have to go with… A Flock of Seagulls.

Yes, you heard me.

Why?  Not because they’re one of the truly great overlooked rock bands (they’re not).  Not because it’d be kitschy (that’d get old halfway through the first song).

No, it’s because, in part, they did have some songs that were quite good, and that could be really cool with some revamping, adding some power and oomph.  But ultimately, it would be because they need someone on their side.  This would not be an ironic band, it would be a defense.  They’ve become the go-to band for 80’s jokes.  They were certainly not the only one-hit wonders, nor the only ones with dated clothes or hair.  They became the butt of the jokes primarily – I believe – because of the presence of the word “flock,” (and – to a lesser extent – “gull”) which is funny to say.

Flock.  Flock flock flock.

Mike Score was the singer/songwriter for the band. The guy with the hair. See. that’s why he’d want to see my band..

So what does this reveal about me?  Well, probably that I’m a bit of a crusader and idealist.  Probably think too much. Also that my business sense is totally crap, because no one, except maybe me and Mike Score, would want to see a Flock of Seagulls tribute band, so there’d be absolutely no audience for this band anywhere.  But there I’d be, slugging away.  Noble? Quixotic?  Byronic?  Perhaps.

See?  And now we’re just that little bit closer.

So, what about you?

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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87 Comments on “The Greatest Getting-To-Know-You Question Of All Time (Actual Results May Be Disastrous)”

  1. musicblog95 Says:

    Great post, interesting question too!

    I’d probably cover Evanescence, First of all, they are a mostly classical piano driven band, which I find is pretty cool. Second, they’ve got a female vocalist, I’m a sucker for female vocalists. Lastly, they’d be totally fun to play. They’re music is just complicated enough to be challenging. haha

    Reply

  2. Valentine Logar Says:

    I would revive the Pointer Sisters. Great music, great clothes, great shoes and they wore hats! I just love hats and harmony. No doubt about it the early Pointer Sisters were the bomb.

    Of course some of my other idols, it was hard to choose –

    Big Brother and the Holding Company, Janis Joplin
    Rufus, Chaka Khan
    Labelle, Patti Labelle
    Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie
    Pat Benatar

    Hard to choose actually, but at the end of the day had to go with the Pointer Sisters cause they are such fun.

    Reply

  3. speaker7 Says:

    I wanted to choose a band that would make me seem edgy or sophisticated like Grizzly Bear, but my gut reaction is this: Insane Clown Posse. They don’t know how magnets work and neither do I. They have a limited understanding of make-up application. This is me. And it seems easy to mimic something that sounds so, so awful.

    Reply

  4. on thehomefrontandbeyond Says:

    The “Can’t Carry a Tune in a Tin Pail Brigade”. Not a real band, but it should be.

    Reply

  5. She's a Maineiac Says:

    What..no photo of you with the Flock of Seagulls hairdo? I am seriously disappointed.

    What came to my mind was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Then Bananarama and The Bangles. I asked my husband and he didn’t hesistate and answered, Whitesnake.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Those photos exist.

      No, I’m not kidding.

      No, you will never see them.

      Reply

      • Go Jules Go Says:

        Speaking of setting clouds on fire, I won’t forget you said this.

        Reply

      • She's a Maineiac Says:

        Me neither.

        B, to say these things is like putting chocolate covered bacon in front of me, then cruelly taking it away.

        (by the way…you can always email me the photos…I promise I won’t put it in my blog header. Or blow it up, make it into a mask and wear it as my Halloween costume)

        Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Oh, and your husband’s quick response further my contention that this is a great question. Because I think this is something people really think about.

      Reply

      • She's a Maineiac Says:

        I thought the point of a cover band was to cover a fantastically horrible group so you could really camp it up? Not a good group. That is why I chose The Bangles and Bananarama. If I were to give it serious thought and pick a group I liked? Well, Nirvana, naturally. I could wear fuzzy green sweaters and not wash my hair for months.

        Reply

  6. Le Clown Says:

    The Byronic Man,
    As I only have to commit to one band, the band I would cover would be The Flaming Lips… We’d be called something like The Pink Clowns with Satellite Heads in an Ambulance. Why, you ask? Because I say so. And because I would be singing some of the most original psychedelically delicious lyrics, which would be just like a mantra to remain joyful. And think about it, Le Clown with Wayne Coyne’s coif?

    Le Clown would be the lead singer, and wouldn’t have too much trouble channelling the great Coyne as Le Clown cannot sing either. He would wear pink suits, and play with hand clown puppets during the band’s concerts. And as the Flaming Lips cover band, I would not cover the Dark Side of the Moon like Coyne and Co did, oh no I wouldn’t. My Flaming Lips cover band would cover New Order’s Low-Life, and I would hum Elegia, in its entirety.

    Le Clown doesn’t do Starbucks since the day they told him he wasn’t allowed to wear his clown nose when using their WIFI. My tears made their coffee taste better, though.
    Le Wayne Coyne Clown

    Reply

    • JM Randolph Says:

      Le Clown is aware of the Flaming Lips musical, no? In production as we speak. http://www.lajollaplayhouse.org/yoshimi

      Reply

      • Le Clown Says:

        JM Randolph.
        That is news to Le Clown. This will be nothing short of magnificent™. The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi concert in Montreal was the best goddamn concert I have ever seen, that and the show I put on as a dad in my everyday life. Thank you for the link, JM.
        Le Clown

        Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I still have this PTSD reaction to hearing the mention of Flaming Lips after watching Christmas on Mars. I just start rocking back and forth muttering, “What the hell was that? I mean… I mean, what the hell was that?”

      Aside from that, though, I adore them, their story, and their innovation.

      Reply

  7. Katie Says:

    I would pick Foreigner, for the sole reason that “Juke Box Hero” exists. I don’t need any other reason.

    Reply

  8. 1pointperspective Says:

    I’m torn between The Black Keys and The White Stripes. Both bands have the color or lack thereof in the name, and both put out enormous amounts of music with only two band members.

    The thing about cover bands is that they almost always suck. Covering a band of two people with two other people will very quickly show the audience just how much the cover band sucks, and they can all wander over to the bar and ignore them.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      You know what I think the saddest cover band ever was? When David Lee Roth got so desperate that he started a Van Halen cover band.

      Reply

      • 1pointperspective Says:

        Good point….though cover bands are sad by definition. Once saw a Doors cover band outside of Philadelphia, called “The Crystal Ship”. Jim Morrison was pretty well dead before I took any interest in the Doors, so my choices were pretty limited. Anyway, the lead singer was trying to be outrageous and climbed up into the drop ceiling during the show, and ended up falling through it – funny memory. I’m sure Jim Morrison was somewhere in the afterlife wishing for dead Indians to commune with so he wouldn’t have to witnessed that gem.

        Reply

  9. wildramp Says:

    My 18-year-old thinks this is a smart approach LOL

    Reply

  10. Michael Says:

    Flock is a fun word to say. Also spork, marina, wafting, and flugelhorn.

    Reply

  11. JM Randolph Says:

    First, you get points for X. Second, I would totally go see a Flock of Seagulls cover band. If they were playing at the bar that’s in my town so that it was easy for me to get to and I didn’t have to make a night of it. And third, my answer of course is Rush.

    Reply

  12. Marie Says:

    I’m debating over David Bowie or Prince. THESE were the true 80s icons in my mind. Plus, I look great in skinny jeans, and the idea of portraying a man with huge female tendencies would be such fun! I would love to belt it out to Purple Rain, being that I’m beyond horrible at singing would be memorable!

    Reply

  13. mistyslaws Says:

    Hmm, what an interesting question. Was this how you scored Mrs. Byronic? What was HER answer?

    Well, I would love a Pearl Jam cover band, just cuz I love them, but I would feel horrible when I ruined their fabulous songs by trying to sing them. So I think I’ll go with Bon Jovi. I would obviously have to move to Jersey to make any money off of it, but if I grow my hair out really long like 80s Jon Bon Jovi, I think I could make it work!

    Thanks for the idea, B. I was looking for a new career path anyway. And I do love me some Starbucks!

    Reply

  14. Life With The Top Down Says:

    I would have to go with R.E.M because they are weirdly fun and fascinating.

    Reply

  15. Mama Bread Baker Says:

    The Time because who can be depressed, or stay in their seat, or not smile when you’re jamming to that 1980’s rock-infused funk?

    Reply

  16. thefoodandwinehedonist Says:

    I was at a neighbors Christmas party a dozen years ago and I met Matt Walker, original drummer for Filter who eventually toured with Smashing Pumpkins and Garbage. Much to Boom Boom’s (and his wife’s) dismay we spent the night talking about putting together a cover band named Zoom. Some bands j remember- New Order, Psych Furs, Big Audio Dynamite, OMD. Unfortunately it was the beer talking, the band never materialized.

    These days thinking it would be awesome to be in a Snoop Dogg cover band. I cant rap, so I’ll take bass.

    Reply

  17. sj Says:

    What, you mean I can’t just be like Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and cover ALL THE SONGS?

    Okay, fine.

    I’d have a punk (maybe 3rd wave, but probably pop-punk, like The Mister T Experience, The Impossibles or The Ergs!) band that would only cover Neil Diamond.

    We’d call ourselves The Original Artist, so we could have infomercials on late at night and a list of songs would scroll past with the voiceover saying “And all these songs…as done by THE ORIGINAL ARTIST!”

    So people would THINK “Hey, I love that song! Comin’ to America, EFF YEAH!” but then my CD would arrive and it would be too late to return it because my band had already folded into obscurity after our lead singer overdosed on Pixy Stix.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Me First & The Gimme Gimmes really did have a great idea for ‘covering,’ even if their covers all tend to be, “Hey, here’s a great song – only faster with more distortion!” They choose well, though, songs that benefit from that treatment. Their version of “Science Fiction Double Feature”? Fantastic.

      Reply

  18. Elyse Says:

    I think I would have to say the Beatles. Not because they are my favorite, it’s simply because I have a severe brain defect that prevents me from remembering what group sings which song. My son torments me by playing a song, telling me the group, waiting 1 song, playing the first again, and asking me who it is. I never know. (But I can sing along half way through …)

    I am a seriously flawed human.

    Reply

  19. Brown Road Chronicles Says:

    How about the Cars. Because you could be an absolutely great band, while standing mostly still on stage and playing classic songs that seem to have pretty simple beats and melodies but somehow still work! Plus you’d be covering one of the pioneers of the New Wave movement! Gonna also have to agree with the folks up above that mentioned Fleetwood Mac. The Lindsey Buckingham years, they were the epitome of 1970’s drug and alcohol fueled, hairy chest showing classic music!! Timeless!

    Reply

  20. tomwisk Says:

    Simple, Fleetwood Mac. The Peter Green, pre-Stevie and Lindsay era. They didn’t sell gazillions of pop albums but they were honest.

    Reply

  21. W. R. Woolf Says:

    Pink Floyd.

    Great lyrics (mostly with a bit of madness sprinkled on top), great music.
    Also, I know most of the lyrics already, so as the singer, I would not have to practise much to remember them :p

    Could I use your question for the next large social gathering I go to?

    Reply

  22. Luddy's Lens Says:

    I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, so I’ll probably go with the awful all-girl band The Shaggs. (I would say Shonen Knife, but they’re way cooler than I am.)

    Dunno what I’d call my band, but my rock star name has always been “Helena Handbasket.”

    Reply

  23. Michelle Gillies Says:

    The Eurythmics or David Bowie’s band.
    I love Annie Lennox, the music and theatrics. I’ve always thought that Annie & David might secretly be the same person.
    I can’t sing and I can’t play an instrument and my dancing days are over so the only thing I could do is promote them.

    Reply

  24. Renee B-W Says:

    I can’t commit to one band because I’m fickle in my music tastes, but I would have a “best stuff from the 90s” cover band covering indie pop/rock, and novelty rap. I’d probably call it “90s Shades of Grey” to cash in on a recent, inexplicable cult success (I was going to say “literary success” but realised that would be very wrong…)

    Reply

  25. throbbingsofnoontide Says:

    Devo, because then I could wear a yellow boiler suit and a hat like a lego brick. Either them or any band that wore papier mache heads.

    Reply

  26. susielindau Says:

    I would cover Muse, but I would have to work on my range…..lalalalalaaaaaaaaaaa!

    Reply

  27. befaster Says:

    Byronic Man, good question, glad you asked and, uh, call me in the morning?

    Tee-hee…?

    I have one problem: I’m already in a sometimes-active cover band. And cover lots of bands. So I would feel like this answer would make me seem pretentious and gloating, although it might (stress on that might) make me seem a bit cooler, especially when I say I’m the bassist. But in the spirit of things, if I could cover one band, I’d probably have to pick Bruce Cockburn. This runs some risks (he’s a thoughtful poet, it’s rather folky/alternative/adult-contemporary but not really avant-garde anymore, and all these things make me seem like a twat to want to imitate – and a danger sign for women), but in my defence I would say he is one of the best guitarists so I have a goal in my own practising, he is proud of his country (and so am I) but also knows he needs to work to fix it, and he’s just got some kickass songs. I think all these things are good qualities to want to imitate in music and life, and if I answered with this I would be being honest, so that’s my defence for who I’d cover.

    That being said, if I answered in writing (like here), and she didn’t know him (like you might not), then there would be giggles for his mis-pronounced name as well!

    Reply

  28. Archon's Den Says:

    If Marie can be a David Bowie double, I’ll pretend to be the Chrissy Hynde in a Pretenders cover band, if only to do a My City Was Gone lament for a lost Ohio.

    Reply

  29. Sandy Sue Says:

    I have to take this question seriously, because, seriously, this is one of my fantasies (not the one with Chris Hemsworth, the other one).
    I’d cover Bonnie Raitt, because I tell myself I sound like her and know her entire discography. Have to call the band Second Raitt.

    Reply

  30. auntyamo Says:

    The Cure! Cos when I felt I like a big fat loser in school, becoming a curehead gave me an identity that brought me kudos and respect. Aswell as that, the music is amazing. I did a mean Robert Smith impression in my time too 🙂 Pics available on demand…
    Oh and I’d call the band… The Sickness… cos we’d never really do them justice 😀

    Reply

  31. Go Jules Go Says:

    Okay. Here’s the thing. I don’t care nearly as much about the band as I do about the possible wordplay. In fact, that’s almost all I care about.

    But. I have to pick Bon Jovi. Because obviously.

    From there, though, I could think about this for the rest of my life re: word puns. So far I’m mostly focused on food (e.g., Jon Bon Hoagie covering “You Give Subs a Bad Name”…I know. Terrible).

    But what’s really making me laugh is the idea of some washed-up hack in a terrible Bon Jovi wig and tight leather pants, beer gut hanging out: Lon Bon Jovi.

    Everyone is expecting an awesome cover band (oxymoron? Not in my eyes), and out walks Lon. *slurring* “How youss guyssss doin’ tonight?”

    Reply

    • Go Jules Go Says:

      P.S. – “New-Coke-level failure” – HA! You’re kind of lucky you made it out alive. Sans horse punch.

      Reply

    • She's a Maineiac Says:

      Whoa. Jules. Your idea is perfect! I once WAS Jon Bon Jovi. I looked exactly like him back in the early 90s with the acid-wash jeans and matching jean jacket with big poofy hairdo. I’m not even kidding. I have the photo to prove it. I was thisclose to posting it on my halloween post. But you’ll never see it.

      Reply

      • Go Jules Go Says:

        Darla. Darla Darla Darla. Why oh why are you not trying to go tradesies with B Man here? A Flock of Seagulls hair for Bon Jovi poof?

        I thought I could count on you.

        Reply

  32. anecdotaltales Says:

    I would cover Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem

    Why? Uh, they’re Muppets. EVERYTHING is better with Muppets. They played groovy, man. Maybe I could even recruit a few of the original members since they seem to break up every other movie. And at the end of each set, everything goes nuts. I mean, Gonzo-level nuts. (Oh Gonzo…) Something breaks or Animal goes wacko (again), or perhaps a crowd of rats riding on their pet-chickens comes roaring across the stage.

    Being Mr. Dentures and the Dial-Up Craziness would be not only a cover band dream come true, it would guarantee that every gig was an experience. Plus, Muppet fur just looks soft. I could use the extra pillows.

    Reply

  33. blissflower1969 Says:

    Believe it or not, I’ve actually thought about this. I want to form a female R.E.M. cover band. We’d be called the Tinfoil Tiaras. You thought I’d go with Shiny Happy People. But you’d be WRONG!

    Main reasons why? 1) Michael Stipe sings in my range. 2) There’s enough harmonies to have it be fun. 3) Peter Buck’s chords are fairly straight forward. 7) Speaking of Peter Buck, I’m hopeful that I am somehow distantly related to him since my maternal side were Bucks. 4) How often do you get to play a mandolin riff? 5) We would actually play Shiny Happy People. 6) Since they’ve actually retired, it’d be your only chance to see them live.

    Reply

  34. Hippie Cahier Says:

    I wonder what it says about me that I instantly thought of Joan Jett and Diana Krall? Ultimately, though, I think it would be great fun to cover the Blues Brothers.

    It *is* a great question and conversation starter.

    Reply

  35. travellingmo Says:

    Guns n’ Roses. Because it would be epicly bad and fun! I actually saw them last weekend, which was practically like seeing a Guns cover band since Axl is the only original member and he’s such a has been. But it was awful and crazy awesome at the very same time! It got me thinking about how much fun those songs would be to play. All you have to do is the intro to practically any of their hits and the crowd goes wild!

    This is assuming my other band members don’t let me sing, because it’s not pretty. But if my cover band let me sing, it would have to be The Kills. They are just so terribly cool and badass. Plus, I don’t know if Alison Mosshart actually sings or if she just crowls and yowls the whole time. That I can do!

    Reply

  36. Richard Wiseman Says:

    I’d cover The Small Faces, call the band The Small Face Covers and as part of the costumes we’d actually all cover our faces and that way if we were crap no-one would know who we really were.

    Reply

  37. Legal Alien Says:

    Everyone seems to pick a cool answer to this question. I think I am too, but others may disagree. I’d go for the Backstreet Boys. You’ve got good looks (in minority), good harmonys and vocals, a few decent shimmies. And if a metaphor is needed then I’m the kind of girl who prefers boys from the back street rather than the front 🙂

    Reply

  38. Shannon Says:

    Keb Mo, definitely. Except I’m white. And I’m a girl. And my slide skills have much to be desired these days. Okay never mind.

    How about Alice in Chains? I like that the crunchy amp sound would totally mask the fact that I play a shitty electric guitar. And I like to swing my head around in a circle while I perform. And it would be less of a requirement to sing all that well. (I’ll keep my shirt on and pass on the heroin, thank you though.)

    Reply

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