I’ve played with different bands throughout my life and that statement is a very challenging truth when you see it play out in reality. The last band I played with – soundoctrine - did mostly original music which was dubbed: “alternativejazzfunkfusion”. However, we would always sprinkle cover tunes throughout the show because it would engage the audience with something familiar. I see the same thing in theater as well. I love to produce original shows, but people always pack out a show like “A Christmas Carol” even though they know exactly who the characters are and how it’s going to play out.
So there’s a paradox with art. Familiarity is safe, originality is risky. But, remember the Beetles didn’t start off covering themselves. Their music was totally unfamiliar and obscure, but they played it again and again and again and again and at some point it became familiar.
So if you’re called to imitate, then do it well – there’s nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, if you have unique ideas for your art, go for it. Who knows – maybe someday people will “cover” you…
"Remmington" looking through the front window anxiously waiting for his family to return.