The Great Cover-Up

Imagine if Oct. 31, a night filled with pumpkins, fake blood and tiny candy bars had live music instead of “Monster Mash” and people dressed as rock bands in lieu of cartoon characters or slutty nurses. Well, pretend no more! The Great Cover-Up, an annual music event at The Highdive in its 17th year, features 19 local bands performing sets as tribute bands. And as if three nights of incredible music weren’t enough, The Great Cover-Up benefits local charities, so you can feel good about going too. Clear your schedules for next Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, and browse through our interviews with some of the participants to know their favorite performances and a few hints toward whom they might be covering.

Ward Gollings

by Joe Smyth
The man behind the scenes, Ward Gollings, has been running The Great Cover-Up for most of its 17-year existence.

buzz: How did the event begin?
Ward Gollings: Dave Landis, who did graphic design work for the former kingpins of the local rock scene, The Didjits, came up with the idea. His wife worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, who received a donation each year for the first nine years. Dave booked the first two, and then he moved away. So I have been carrying the torch since then.
buzz: How do you think the community has responded to The Great Cover-Up?
Ward: They have responded in an overwhelmingly favorable manner for years on end now. It seems to be the most celebrated event in the local music scene at this point. To be honest, I was ready to let it die quietly around 1995 (due to a lack of strong headline acts), but too many people second-guessed my decision. So I kept it going and saw it get much stronger, ironically.
buzz: What band has been your favorite to watch at this event?
Ward There have been far too many to pick even just a couple. Poster Children exploding out of the bridge/drum fills of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is forever etched in my memory. The Mezzanines doing The Clash two years in a row (with two completely different sets!) still warms my heart. Temple of Low Men as Rage Against the Machine was awesome. elsinore completely killed it last year with Queen. I could talk about these performances for days, maybe weeks! There have been approximately 205 acts over the last 16 years, and I have seen all but five of them (because I missed one of two nights one year while on tour with Hum).


by Otto Stuparitz
buzz: How many Great Cover-Ups have you played?
John Owen of Shipwreck: We’ve played two. Both were damn good memories for us.
buzz: Who were you?
John Owen: Billy Idol and INXS.
buzz: What are some good memories from other performances?
John Owen: Terminus Victor as Slint was fantastic. elsinore as Queen killed. Mezzanines as Iron Maiden slayed. Lorenzo Goetz with Brandon Washington as Public Enemy brought me back to eighth grade in the best possible way.
buzz: Any hints on this year?
John Owen: We never kiss and tell, and we certainly never reveal who we are doing



by Emily Carlson
by Emily Carlson
buzz: What is your favorite Cover-Up memory?
Krukid: Probably when Vampires were Kid Rock. [It] would’ve come second to Larry, Bozak and Brandon’s Public Enemy if I’d seen it.
buzz: Can you give us any hints about your performance?
Krukid: No one in my group’s wearing a dress.
buzz: Being one of the few hip-hop artists at the show, what do you hope to bring that the crowds haven’t experienced before?
Krukid: A smile crosses my face at this one. Let’s just say I’m going to keep the hell-of-a-surprise spirit alive and well this year, right along with the rest of the bands. What I’m giving at the Cover-Up you’re getting nowhere else. Be there.
buzz Why do you think it’s a good show to continue doing?
Krukid: Because us artists are as much fans as you are or we wouldn’t be doing this. It’s an incredible experience to share.


by Emily Carlson
buzz: What artist did you cover in previous years?
Ryan Groff of elsinore: Two years ago, David Bowie. Last year, Queen!
buzz: What is your favorite Cover-Up memory?
Ryan: Larry Gates as Flavor Flav last year! Sweet neck-clock … was that good!
buzz: Can you give us any hints?
Ryan: We’re definitely NOT doing Flock of Seagulls, Wham! or Michael Bolton.
buzz: What’s your favorite part about doing a tribute show as opposed to playing your original stuff?
Ryan: The costume changes, wigs, legs up on the monitors, horn sections, musical shenanigans and just the overall feeling that you can step into a completely different space as a musician and have over 200 [people] there to see it.

Curb Service

by Emily Carlson
buzz: What artists did you cover in previous years?
Larry Gates of Curb Service: Lorenzo Goetz participated in five consecutive Cover-Ups. Chronologically, the artists were John Mellencamp, Oasis, Sublime, Cypress Hill and Public Enemy.
buzz: What were some of the bands you thought about covering but passed on?
Larry: If we had stayed together, LG was planning on doing The Flaming Lips last year. Which would have been both fun and expensive. Someone should cover Huey Lewis already.
buzz: What about the Great Cover-Up keeps you wanting to come back year after year?
Larry: There’s nothing like it. It’s indescribable really — it’s a very special event. It’s a chance to A) have a lot of fun, B) contribute to a great cause and C) push yourself to experience something new musically.
buzz: The Great Cover-Up is a charity benefit; is there any charity that it contributes to that you feel strongly about?
Larry: It’s gone to benefit the Crisis Nursery before — [a] very important and worthy cause. Ward has always done a great job of organizing the event (for 17 years now!) and making sure that the artistic community is able to give something. We’re all usually broke, you know.

Mike Ingram

by Joe Smyth
buzz: What artists have you covered in the past?
Mike Ingram: Live; Bush
buzz: What is your favorite memory from the event?
Mike: Orphans (now Headlights) covering Bjork, or Temple of Low Men as Radiohead.
buzz: You’re playing with the Mike Ingram Band and Darling Disarm. Which covers are going to be better?
Mike: elsinore’s.
buzz: Can you give us any hints on whom your bands are covering this year? Just a little one, please?
Mike: Of course not. But my wig is going to be epic.
buzz: Were there any bands that you thought about covering but then decided not to?
Mike: Hootie and the Blowfish was just too complicated.

Kilborn Alley

by Otto Stuparitz
buzz: Who were you in previous Great Cover-Ups?
Andy Duncanson of Kilborn Alley: We covered the soul man of Northern Ireland Van Morrison.
buzz: What are some notable performances you have seen in the past?
Andy: Anything with Brandon T. Washington is bound to stand out.
buzz: Was there anyone you thought about covering but opted out of?
Andy: Can’t say; there is always next year.

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