I lived through this: My life in a Hole cover band
This past weekend my Hole cover band, Jennifer's Body, played the Denver County Fair. Until this show, we weren't an actual band at all -- we formed earlier this year for a two-song set to honor the opening of Hole drummer Patty Schemel's documentary, Hit So Hard, and had never planned on being anything more than that. But Fair entertainment director Andrew Novick got wind of the performance and asked us to play again, and since there is never any reason to say no to Andrew (who has been the positive-minded purveyor of fun stuff in Denver for more than twenty years), we said sure, why the hell not?
Three-fourths of Jennifer's Body. (Not pictured: Courtney Love #4, aka Sara Century.)
- Patty Schemel talks about Hit So Hard, and Hole's fifteen-minute reunion
- Five prizeworthy parts of the 2012 Denver County Fair
- Breeality Bites: Stop inviting me to ruin your camping trip
Before you ask yourself, "Who likes Hole?" or, better yet, "Who is Hole?," I want to say that I hate the idea of tribute bands. As a fan, I think they're dumb. Who wants to witness a copy of something you really care about, regardless of how "good" the replication has been deemed? I don't.
I see incredible, moving performances by bands no one has ever heard of on a regular basis -- I don't need to re-live something I may have missed. It kind of reminds me of how, as a recovering alcoholic, you'll never see me with an Odoul's in my hand. If I'm gonna drink piss water, I want it to be the real thing ("piss water" being Miller High Life straight out of a days-old flat keg and shot directly into my mouth. But if you see that happen, call my mom).
I remember when I caught Peter Hook & the Light's performance of Unknown Pleasures at the Bluebird Theater last year I thought, well, this is cool. But it wasn't Ian Curtis, so I didn't care how accurate it was. Same goes for 40 Oz. to Freedom, the Sublime cover band I reviewed once -- my sister Kelley summed up the show best when she said, "I thought we were seeing a Sublime tribute band, not a shirtless dad band." If it were called Shirtless Dad Band, I might have liked the act better.
But the "faking it until someone believes it" strategy is not the reason I am now in a Hole cover band. I mean, nobody wants to see a Hole cover band. I get that. It's not like any of us involved would do it for that reason, anyway. We're all already making original music that we love: Sara Century as a solo performer, Jessica Hughes in CougarPants, Robin Edwards in Lust-Cats of the Gutters and myself with Night of Joy. We aren't trying to get anywhere with this endeavor. Plus, we don't have even one Courtney look-alike in the whole band -- because we all not-so secretly wanted to be Courtney.