Monday, 2 December 2019

Cover Me Monday #2: Different Drum

Different Drum was written by Mike Nesmith, and we really can stop any discussion about how great it is right there because: it written by Mike Nesmith. Apparently Nesmith tried to get the tune onto the Monkees soundtrack but it was rejected by the idiots in charge, for idiots they must have been.

Apparently the song was first recorded by The Greenbriar Boys in 1966, a version I'm hearing for the first time as I write this, and I like it a lot. Maybe because it's just such a great song that a bad version isn't really possible. (I'm sure George will try to find one though.)

The version that most people are familiar with is this one...

...although I struggle with that version myself. It starts out a bit too jangly-60s for my tastes, although it does redeem itself as soon as Linda Ronstadt starts singing. (By the way: Ronstadt... hardest pop star name to spell in the history of pop star names? Answers on a postcard if you can think of any that are harder to spell.)

I'd still argue that Nesmith's own version, released a few years later, is better. You may, of course, choose to disagree.

However, I first heard this song back in the early 90s, back before I knew The Stone Poneys or anything about Michael Nesmith's involvement. And it's this version, my first love, which will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Take it away, The Slacker King himself...


  1. Like this, and was unaware of the Nesmith roots.

    Is it just me, on listening to the Lemonheads version, that thinks Morrissey could also cover this well? I know, no-one cares any more because even the apologists can no longer apologise, but old habits die hard, I guess.

    1. No, I can hear that. There's a cover of Old Man Blank by the Bevis Frond on Varshons 2 (the latest Lemonheads covers album... because Evan is far too lazy to actually write songs anymore) in which he goes full on Moz...

  2. I'll see your Ronstadt and raise you Paul Simonon...
    Just like you I heard the Lemonheads first and it is also my favourite version. I agree with Martin too, something in Dando's intonation here reminds me of Mr M.

    1. I have never noticed, until now, that he is Paul Simon with an extra on.

  3. "Ronstadt" should have another d in it (at least in my head and spelling/pronunciation logic)

    Another awkward one (that spell checker is no help with):
    Martin Quittenton
    (I so want to put another n into somewhere)

    1. Yes, I always add an extra d.

      I'm ashamed to say I had to Google Quittenton.

  4. PP Arnold does a good version
    (mind you, she could sing the phone book and it would probably still sound great)

  5. I first heard Linda's/The Stone Poney's version over at Jez's place and immediately fell in love with it - So much so, it was my featured song for my 100th post in my first year of blogging. Others of course pointed out the Lemonheads version and if it came to you first I can see how it would be your favourite but for me it will always be Linda's. Heck when I was 18 I wanted to be Linda Ronstadt and am saddened to hear she is no longer able to sing a note.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...