[Harp-L] relative major/Last Dance With Mary Jane

bad_hat@xxxxx bad_hat@xxxxx
Mon Oct 16 13:14:12 EDT 2017

The original poster was asking how to play the harmonica part in this 
song.  A couple of posts later the consensus answer had emerged. The 
thread forked, someone else enjoys covering this tune in 2nd position on 
a differently keyed harmonica than what had been suggested in the 
consensus answer.  What happened then was interesting to me. 
Condemnation for not playing it like Tom Petty did.  If I read it 
correctly one reply basically suggested that if you weren't going to 
play it verbatim then you should go write your own song.

Call me late to the party maybe.  I recently tripped over Scott 
Bradlee's musical performance project called Postmodern Jukebox.  A 
seemingly endless treasure trove of youtube videos almost all covers of 
popular songs with none of them played in the way they were originally 
played in their first popular versions.  Royals a song composed and 
performed originally by Lorde covered by a 6' 8" guy in a clown suit. 
Lorde says it is her favourite cover of her song, Mad World also 
amazing.  PMJ is an endless parade of superbly played non slavish covers 
of fairly iconic songs.  So sure I like the Tom Petty version of Last 
Dance but I'm also open to hearing other versions of it.

I also wonder about the strawman argument wherein harmonica players as a 
group are painted as clueless wankers unwilling to learn an instrument. 
I say strawman because nowhere in the thread is it shown that the person 
who wants to play the song in 2nd position lacks musicianship.  It's 
more like that argument was advanced as a way of showing that the people 
who play it note for note are not one of those unskilled non musical 
harmonica players.  In isolation it strikes me as a self serving 
argument.  As a trend I would agree that as a group harmonicists are not 
the most well trained players out there but really why does that say 
anything about you personally and your musicianship?

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