Welcome to Covid A Go Go, a music project I started in April 2020. The idea was to use my small home recording setup to produce tracks of cover tunes and get friends to sing and/or play on them. Initially it was a way for me to beat boredom during the COVID-19 lockdown and keep contact with my musician friends, but then I got the idea to call attention to organizations offering support to unemployed musicians and service workers. I hope you enjoy the music, and can donate even a little bit to help people who are struggling as the pandemic rages on.
And don’t mind the site title. I wanted to remember that music goes on no matter what else is going on in the world. Even with a pandemic at the door, we want to go all a go go anyway.
I’ve included links to all the players’ web sites – visit their sites, buy their merch or music if you can, and when we get back to having actual shows again go and see them. There’s a great music scene here on Long Island, and all of us are longing for the day that we can get back out there and entertain you. Hopefully this site will entertain you a little bit in the mean time.
Thanks for visiting and enjoy the tunes. This is an ongoing thing, so check back for new tracks over the coming weeks. There’s some cool stuff in the pipeline.
I didn’t have a synth that could do the ‘filter sweep’ that starts the song, so I found a web site where you could generate a sweep and save it as an audio file. Like always, you do what you gotta do to get the track done around here.
Moving In Stereo
Under The Milky Way
I’m always thinking of how far we can go with the choice of songs with this site, and in between the rockers I always like to do something a little more ambitious. So I reached out to Bob Sole wondering if this song was doable, and he was game to do it. Putting together the music was a job in itself, since the instrumentation changes all the way through. But once it was done I handed it off to Bob, and his stellar work on the vocals is the result (I add a small bit, doing one of Mike Love’s parts in the middle break).
Please enjoy this cover of one of Brian Wilson‘s most lasting and amazing works.
Scott takes the first solo, I take the second, and we switch off verses. And then we all join in for that chorus…
Birth, School, Work, Death
And of course I put a solo on the end. What guitarist wouldn’t want to solo over that gorgeous chord progression?
When I Come Around
This one wasn’t easy. There’s actually a lot less going on in the song than it sounds like! I recorded the entire track with what I thought was going on, then listened to the track without vocals and realized that there were empty spaces in a lot of parts I barged right through. After doing it over again, Tommy came in and laid down Colin Greenwood’s bass part to a tee.
Okay, onward to 100!
Play With Fire
I’d originally approached Danny with the idea of putting a wicked spin on his image, asking him to record vocals for a song called ‘Mr. Businessman’ by Ray Stevens. The music fit the aesthetic of his band perfectly, a sunny 70s pop arrangement, but with much darker lyrics than he usually sang. He passed on doing the Stevens tune and asked if we could do something more positive. We ended up recording ‘Do You Believe In Magic,’ and we liked working together and kept going, recording ‘No Matter What’ and ‘Perfection’ by Badfinger.
The Long Island music community is in mourning today, as Danny was a well loved and respected member of the scene. His band’s embrace of those happy-go-lucky 70s tunes earned them a large and devoted audience. The scene will be a little less vibrant, a little less cheesy and smiley now that he’s gone. He will be greatly missed.
Here are the three tunes he contributed to the site.
Cheers, Danny. I’m sad that I didn’t get to do another song with you. RIP.
No Matter What
Do You Believe In Magic
And yes, I did nick the ending from The Yardbirds’ ‘I’m A Man,’ which is fair considering Count Five nicked that entire rave-up section from The Yardbirds.
Special thanks to Joey Masters for engineering the vocal track.
Ain't No Sunshine
Let’s face it, any song that mentions ‘Stranglehold’ and George Jones in the same chorus is a pretty damn good song.
Fourth of July
The solo on Edmunds’ original was played by the legendary Albert Lee, and listening to his incredible work pushed me to get my twang on.
Sweet Little Lisa
Bold As Love
You Don't Know How It Feels
I imagined the arrangement as Dylan singing, backed up by Petty’s Heartbreakers, with Neil Young on lead guitar. I even threw in some harmonica on the ending.
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
If you listen closely, you can hear me doing that Jordanaires thing on the background vocals.
We went a tad bit more modern with the arrangement while trying to keep all the elements of the original present.
This was another fun track to work on – it’s like a Swiss watch with hundreds of moving parts. After Rich played 4 or 5 different keyboard parts, I took a few hours and added all the little incidentals that you should be wearing headphones to hear. I think this one came out pretty well.
I finally opted for one from the 1966 album Roger The Engineer that featured Jeff Beck and his raga-like guitar (reproduced here with the help of a gadget called an E-Bow), but I kinda went for a bit more of a rockabilly feel for the verses – and added a Beck-ish solo at the end that recalls Beck’s time with the Big Town Playboys.
Over, Under, Sideways, Down
In terms of composition, this is an absolutely fearsome piece of music. It’s hard to believe that such a forward-leaning piece of music was a Top Ten single. It shows that The Beatles’ audience was ready for just about anything by this point of their career. Fun song to record.
Strawberry Fields Forever
Very special thanks go out to Don Chaffin at DCity Studios for tracking Chris’ vocals on this one.
Wish You Were Here
All My Loving
What the hey, right? This one should piss of the purists, but I dig it.
I learned a couple of things about this song while researching – the song itself is based on a true story about whaling ships and cannibalism (story here). And Leslie West apparently hated the song and didn’t want to record it. Lucky for us, he did.
Mike got his Holy Mother band mate Jim Harris to do the backup vocals – with a special cameo appearance by Mike’s daughter Violet as well. Thanks to all. Crank it.
There are tentative plans for The Rustkickers to put out a slightly different version of this track as a future single, and if things go right I may do a slightly different guest shot on that one…
This makes a total of 30 songs so far on the site! I figured best to make it a rocker.
A Girl Like You
Scott sings the lead vocal, and plays the first solo – which is a take on the solo from the Plimsouls tune. I did the second solo, and patterned it after the Yardbirds single ‘Shapes of Things’ (‘Better Man’ was the B side of the American single of ‘Shapes of Things’). I love it when musical worlds collide, and this one ended up being a pretty cool mix of Power Pop and Psychedelia.
Mister, You're A Better Man Than I
I approached Tom Collier (formerly of Grimm Jack, presently a host of Musings, Rants & Guitars on Youtube) about doing a song and he suggested this one. I did the drum programming and bass and sent it to Tom for guitars. I also reached out to Macca fanRich Forman, who supplied the keyboard track, and contacted Billy Kohout (Grimm Jack) to do the lead vocals, which were engineered by Joey Masters (who also added background vocals). Then everything got sent back to me, and I added even more background vocals and did the mix. Here’s the end result, hope you like it.
Let Me Roll It
Till The End Of The Day
Joey takes care of the rhythm guitars (left and right on your stereo, while my track is in the middle) and the first solo, and I do the whammy freakout at the end. Joey does the Tyler vocal bits, I do the Perry. This track was a lot of fun.
This one was a lot of fun for me to put together, from building the percussion loop that runs throughout to playing Todd Rundgren‘s sweet guitar solo. Thanks to Danny for singing it.
This song is from their 2007 album Puzzle, which was their breakthrough album in Europe. While they’ve gained popularity in the States over the past few years, my opinion is that they deserve to break through here and be as huge as they are everywhere else in the world.
Bill sings it and plays all the guitars, while I did the drums, synthesized cellos, and my best Jack Bruce on bass guitar.
Deserted Cities of the Heart
Bob sings the high (Tilbrook) part, I sing the low (Difford) bit.
If I Didn't Love You
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
This is the best-known song by a Canadian band called The Pursuit of Happiness, from their 1988 album Love Junk. It was the meeting of two of the most sardonic characters in rock – TPOH front man Moe Berg and producer Todd Rundgren. The result was a deadpan lament about being a grownup, and it’s one of my favorite songs. I got a new piece of equipment this week, and while testing it the intro beat to the song was played, and one thing led to another. Turn it up.
I'm An Adult Now
A few hours’ mixing to try and catch the cinematic quality of the original, and here we are. This track was a blast to put together, hope you guys enjoy it!
Head Over Heels
The choice of this 1967 hit by The Association was the idea of my old friend, ex-bandmate and guitarist for 70s Rock Parade, Rodney James. I added background vocals and keyboard orchestration, and along the way we were joined by John ‘Doom’ Davis on bass and more background vocals, and Rodney’s cousin Phil Tucciarone laid down the drum track. It’s a little far away from the original, but I think it stands on its own as a pretty cool cover.
Never My Love
Catch Joe Rock middays on WBAB radio!
Bob did all of the vocals, played bass, and even added the trademark trumpet part! We tacked a little a cappella harmony on the intro, but otherwise stayed true to the original arrangement.
Smile A Little Smile For Me
One of the most criminally overlooked bands in the world (at least here in the States, in Europe they are gods) is a band called The Wildhearts. They’ve been churning out hook-filled rock for years, and this is one of their coolest songs. Scott Bittner did most of the work on this one, including the drum programming , guitars, bass and vocals. I threw in a guitar part, some harmonies and did the mix. Turn this one all the way up.
As gentle as the song is, it’s not an easy song to sing. My voice on it sure ain’t Glen, but I gave it my best.
Then I got a slightly tweaked track on Saturday afternoon, and once I got that track into the mix I decided to re-cut the guitars. So this song has actually been done twice. I think we got a pretty good mix happening.
No Matter What
‘Golden Years’ is one of Bowie’s biggest hits, but it’s a pretty odd tune. We stuck pretty close to the original, but we used more ambience in the mix, unlike Bowie’s super-dry 1975 recording.
Around late March, I had one of those random memories – I thought back to a rehearsal for Snakebite, the Whitesnake tribute band I was playing in with Mike Tirelli (Holy Mother, Messiah’s Kiss, Rising Five) where Mike asked the band to do this Depeche Mode song. On a lark, I contacted Mike and asked him if I did a track for this song if he’d sing on it. He graciously said yes, and this snowball started rolling.
Mike did a version of this with Messiah’s Kiss last year, but we kinda took it in a different direction. I really enoyed putting this one together, and Mike is just insanely good on it.
It's No Good
Despite having a crew of workers hammering on his house, he came through with a great vocal track.
Do You Believe In Magic
In the course of recruiting other musicians, I mentioned to Robert Sole (Streetfighter) that I was doing this song, and he volunteered to play bass. I asked him if he could do some background harmonies, and he surprised me by delivering an absolutely gorgeous three piece background ensemble. The advantages of having talented friends.
My Back Pages
This track features Scott Bittner (Heartless Devils, Kamikaze Choir) on guitar and background vocals. Scott plays the first half of the solo, D plays the second. We were aiming for a kind of Georgia Sattelites/Jason & The Scorchers feel. Intro nicked from Sex Pistols. And of course we dropped the key by a lot because there’s no way in the world I’m singing that in Noddy’s key.