Aug 192013

Why bother?

Why bother?

Sometimes, when people learn I gave up drinking a lifetime ago, they ask if I ever drink non-alcoholic or “near” beer. I do not and never have. Why bother?

I drink a lot of caffeinated coffee, on the other hand. Personally, I feel the same way about decaf coffee, although we keep it around the house for friends who can’t handle the real stuff following dinner. Privately I grumble that some of my friends are wimps for not drinking coffee with me at night, but as a father, there have been times when I’ve made our boys and their friends decaf coffee so they can feel part of the fun after having participated nicely in a long, adult dinner. Maybe beer-drinking dads keep near beer in the fridge to let their underage kids feel grown up.

I’ve been thinking about compiling my personal Why Bother list, and it will likely include a subcategory for musical instances of Why Bother. Maybe you can help me with that part of the list, and feel free to add some general life Why Bothers while you’re at it.

The first musical Why Bother that comes to mind for me is bands with 2 drummers. Other than the fact that it initially seems like a cool idea and looks good, why bother?


  22 Responses to “Why Bother?”

  1. Two drummers is a cover for a larger problem.
    1. The founding member is a drummer but can not carry the band anymore (or never could)
    2. They think of 2nd drummer as “percussionist” but he keeps adding drums until he has a full kit as well
    3. One (or both) drummers is a drunk (see #1)

    I’ve played shows with a drummer and a conga player and it sounds very cool, esp in a trio where there is room for accents. That said, 2 actually drummers would be a bloody mess.

  2. Why Bother – Best of CD when you have 3 or fewer full length releases. (G&R, Sex Pistols)

  3. Here’s another musical Why Bother: a third guitarist. I’ll grant Lynyrd Skynyrd an exception and maybe even [the] Eagles, because Frey was more of a vocalist/sidekick, but how often can you distinguish the parts among 3 guitar players playing on stage in a rock ‘n roll band?

  4. A “greatest hits single”

  5. Suburban kid

    Normally I would agree. No, I would always agree. However, I saw Mick Jones play a benefit last year and the band he was with had FIVE guitarists. On riff heavy Clash tunes that was an awesome novelty for a one-off gig. Shit went way past 11.

  6. machinery

    Apropos to an earlier conversation: Why bother having another Country artist who is just going to have the same bland studio band and the same obvious Country vocal stylings.

    And: Why bother with a solo album from an artist who sounds exactly like the band he came from? I’m thinking of Barry Goudreau from Boston who basically used almost the same band members to do his own solo album. Yawn.

  7. diskojoe

    Why bother w/ “tribute” CDs by various artists, some of whom you like, but others you don’t care for & sometimes their versions end up on their own albums anyway.

  8. cliff sovinsanity

    Why bother playing any new songs at a concert if you’re last 3 albums sold poorly or never produced a hit single. It’s obvious your audience doesn’t dig the new stuff and wants to hear the old stuff.

  9. If you’re a huge artist who should no longer play new songs yet who can still sell out huge arenas, why bother touring? Why not play 4 month-long engagements in a regional hotspots, like NYC, LA, Chicago, and whatever is considered the epicenter of the South?

    One immediate benefit of this plan would be that these artists would not feel compelled to write a new long, boring “road” song that their audience doesn’t want to hear.

  10. 2000 Man

    Wrong. Just wrong, wrong, WRONG! The Dexateens 3 guitar blast live is like being held down and slapped in the face for an hour and a half so good that you want just a few minutes more. I never got to see The Quadrajets, but I bet they were the same, if the album Alabama Hip Shake is any indicator. Every band doesn’t need three guitars, but when they do it right it’s wonderful.

    The Dirtbombs make two drummers and two bass guitars work, too. Though when I saw them Ko was playing a guitar tuned down instead of an actual bass. But holy cow, did they shake the earth!

  11. 2000 Man

    If you’re doing an arena show, why bother with an opening act? 20,000 people paid to see you, so just come out and play for two hours.

  12. hrrundivbakshi

    Why bother hiring Lee Sklar, Willie Weeks and other top-dollar (if soulless) studio cats to play three-note bass lines behind moldy classic rock chestnuts? Same goes for expensive guitar slingers and studio drummers, for that matter. Make some struggling musician’s dream come true: tell ’em “this one’s a I-IV-V in G, watch me for the changes,” hand ’em a backstage pass and $1,000 and enjoy the ride.

  13. misterioso


  14. cherguevara

    Not sure I’ll meet much resistance on this one here at RTH, but:

    Bands with a DJ. Fuck that guy. Linkin Park, I’m looking at you.

  15. hrrundivbakshi

    Why bother with the hat, bald rocker? We all know you got no pelt no more. Let it go. Same goes for hair dye, of course.

  16. I will say this in some of these cats’ defense: some of them have had their moments. I was listening to Carol King’s “It’s Too Late” yesterday. The tasty playing on that track, which may feature Sklar and the blond, bald drummer whose name is slipping my mind – Russ Kunkel – was worth their outrageous studio fees and overall stupid collective Look.

  17. Why bother with trying to find the bottom end on any early ’70s Bowie production? Those records sound cool as slim as they were originally released. I’m looking at you, Raw Power!

  18. Why bother handing traditionally animated and unencumbered lead singers a guitar?


  19. cliff sovinsanity

    Greatest Hits “Live”

  20. ladymisskirroyale

    I disagree. As I’ve said earlier, I’m a big fan of covers, so I’m interested in hearing another artist’s rendition, and often it brings me back to the original source material. For example, I loved the tribute cds for Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen before I had heard all of the originals.

  21. jeangray

    Mick Jagger, anyone?

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