Houston Music

Top 7 Secrets of Being a Great Cover Band, by Skyrocket!

Rocks Off is excited about tonight's first-ever installment of our summer happy-hour "Cocktails and Covers" series at House of Blues' Bronze Peacock Room, featuring Austin's Skyrocket! Scattered tickets are still available (just click the link), but Rocks Off regrets to inform you -- we guess? -- that next week's show with the Molly Ringwalds has already sold out. The rest of the shows, which run through August 24, are totally and absolutely free. You're welcome.

Many cover bands are hacks, but not Skyrocket! If you've ever seen them -- and many of you have, because they play the Continental Club about once a month, as well as private parties and other gigs like this one -- you know you'd be hard-pressed to play that old Tonight Show game "Stump the Band" with this one. Yes, they may be old friends of yours truly, but we'd say that even if we'd never met them. They're that good.

But why are they so good? Rocks Off pulled a few strings and got them to spill a few of their secrets to being a great cover band. Like so many things in life, it's a lot harder than it looks. Special thanks to Trish and Darin Murphy, Johnny Goudie and Ben Hotchkiss.

Hope we didn't blow your cover, guys. Oops.

7. Get a girl in the band and hang a guitar around her neck.  When people ask if she's really playing it, make them carry her pedal board, cases and amp out to her car at 3 a.m.

6. Two cowbells.

5. Publish or Perish. You can't make a record, so make a documentary.

4. Learn to dance. Learn to love dancing.

3. Learn "Dancing Queen." Learn to love "Dancing Queen."

2. Let the groom play the drums. Let the CEO do whatever the hell he wants.

1. Be a rock band. Pretend to be a cover band. Play something everyone knows but has never heard you play before, preferably without rehearsing.

Aha. Just as we suspected. Everybody have fun tonight!

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray