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#743511 - 08/06/09 05:01 PM Your thoughts on tribute bands  
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Steve P. Offline
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Almost Canada, Washington
It seems like there's a tribute band for just about any artist/group these days! I have a couple of friends that play in these bands and they make some serious money.

The first is a Led Zeppelin tribute band called Led Zepagain.
I was at The House of Blues on Sunset (Hollywood,ca.) one night, watching their show. I was standing upstairs, just in front of the VIP section, when in walks Jimmy Page (with his entourage). He was really getting into the band and when they saw that he was there, you could feel their energy intensify! They were amazing!

It was very cool standing behind Jimmy as he was bopping his head, tapping his toe and playing hand drums on the railing. He went back stage to meet the band
and they have a photo from that night on their website.
http://www.zepagain.com/

The other tribute band that I really enjoyed, is the Atomic Punks. If you like David Lee Roth era Van Halen, these guys will definitely take you back!
http://www.theatomicpunks.com/

I'm sure that these guys have to have pay the appropriate performance royalties...don't you think?!?!



Last edited by Steve P.; 08/06/09 06:26 PM.

Steve

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#743517 - 08/06/09 05:44 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Steve P.]  
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Herbie Gaines Offline
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there's a chicago band called Tributasaurous...tonight they are Michael Jackson and on the 28th they are Zeppelin !


Herbie
JPF Chicago Chapter Coordinator
http://www.herbietunes.com

#743525 - 08/06/09 06:28 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Herbie Gaines]  
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Steve P. Offline
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Nice! I bet they sound great!

I forgot to mention a Beatles tribute that I saw in Vancouver last year. They're called 1964 and they were the best tribute band I've seen for the Fab Four.




Steve

Steve@pongamoosic.com

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Voice Over samples:
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#743526 - 08/06/09 06:29 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Herbie Gaines]  
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I think tribute bands are great because of the extranvagant charges to see the original bands or artists. Personally, I'm more a fan of a song than the artist as I don't get caught up in the celebrity crap. If a tribute band has talent, they'll sound like the original - sometimes better. And since it's about the music with me, it's a win-win situation with me. So if there's a tribute band let's say for the Beatles (since my wife and I like many of the Beatle's songs), it's an enjoyable night out when they're good. I just have to put up with my wife complaining that the "George" is overweight or the "Ringo" is too old.

#743539 - 08/06/09 07:07 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: summeoyo]  
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Steve,

Tribute bands became very popular in the 90's because of the competition in the market place and the ability to draw people based upon another group's music and reputation. Now they are everywhere. There is even a group out of Canada that does all Eagles songs with symphonies worldwide.

There are royalties and rules about tribute bands. they do have to positively reflect the band's music, and are somewhat regulated when they get to a stage like Vegas. I have heard that Yoko Ono and Paul have some say so on certain shows or bands.

In the past few years, there have been movies and musicals based around bands, like ABBA and Mama Mia, and other musicals that are out based around songs, groups or artists. I have a friend, Bob Guadio who has a play written around the music of Frankie Vali and the Four Seasons. Mel Brooks even rehashes his own movies for plays now, The Producers and Young Frankenstein, are the latest examples.

There are tributes on about every level from the smallest clubs to the largest arenas. But when it really gets fun are when they get creative. In Nashville we have a lot, Beatles Bands are the most popular but there are others, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Steely Dan, some really challenging things. There is one band called "The Long Players" that are headed up by some of the top musicians and singers in Nashville, who recreate an entire album from start to finish. they have done Dylan's "Hiway 61 Revisited, and The Band's "Music from Big Pink." They have celebrity guests who come out and sing and play. A real cool thing on the Dylan night was when Al Kooper,who played the organ part on "Like A Rolling Stone" came out and actually played the organ with the Long Players.

For a while we had groups like "Run C&W"
which did the songs on Motown, "Bluegrass Style. We even had "Hayseed Dixie" which did AC/DC songs bluegrass style. I actually have an idea to do bluegrass songs like "Rocky Top" in a "Motown R&B" style called "Bluesgrass." Whatever.

The basic point is great musicians playing the music they grew up with and enjoying themselves while making money. It can be very cool. Maybe the modern way to get started is to form your own tribute band around your own music. That way people won't know you really didn't have stuff out. They will get all awash in the nostalga and claim they remember you from them growing up.

Hey, you got to be clever here.

MAB

#743540 - 08/06/09 07:12 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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spidey Offline
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Hey Mark,

it isn't the show Jersey Boys is it?

Alan

#743647 - 08/07/09 06:34 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: spidey]  
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Tribute bands are not my thing at all. I like to hear a cover song once in a while, that's just fun, but not full sets of them.

I prefer an original band that suck any day for a good tribute band. Im not too fond of the constant reproductions in our societies, and I think it has gotten way out of hand for my liking.

Sure tribute bands can sound and perform great, but they kind of wastes their talents IMO, if doing covers are their only metiér..


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#743656 - 08/07/09 08:31 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Kolstad]  
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Tribute bands can make a very good living......an obvious reason why there are so many. Principles are great and I admire people who only want to play their own original stuff...but at the end of the day professionals play whatever makes them the most money. Show me any job or profession where people are entirely happy with their lot. I cannot think of any.
As with any job we sometimes have to do things that perhaps through choice we dislike or would prefer not to do. It is a small price to pay for getting paid for performing music for a good living....... far better that than minimum wage flipping burgers during the week and playing free or for peanuts at weekends.
My band has two styles....the one we play for punters and earn money from.....and the one we play for our own enjoyment.

I remember hearing about certain famous bands who hated being on the road.... complaining about having to tediously play their own OLD hits over and over again BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE PAYING PUBLIC WANTED.
To be a success you have to play what the public want....NOT what we necessarily want.

#743682 - 08/07/09 11:17 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Tom Tracy Offline
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I have seen a few Beatles tribute bands and a phenominal Pink Floyd tribute band complete with orchestra perform many favorites including the entire Dark Side of the Moon.

My problem with tribute bands is they try to recreate the vinyl album (are there any tribute bands that cover artists that never recorded on vinyl???) too closely.

In most cases, the original band, if they performed the same song, would take liberties and play much differently than the original recording. What would be cool is if the cover band took liberties, and updated the arrangement(s) as if this is how the original band would do this live - stretching the arrangement a bit more creatively. If I want to hear the original recording, I'll go listen to the original recording.


#743683 - 08/07/09 11:19 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Tom Tracy Offline
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Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
To be a success you have to play what the public want....NOT what we necessarily want.


Sounds kind of "business-like."

#743700 - 08/07/09 12:09 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Tom Tracy]  
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It is......if you want to be a pro and make a living. Such is life.

#743703 - 08/07/09 12:18 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Re taking liberties....a good cover or tribute band will put in ad libs and to a certain extent put their own stamp on the performance...however in this BUSINESS the fickle public have to be entertained and pleased so they have to be provided with what is expected. It is all about striking a balance and fulfilling obligations.
Sadly all sorts of restrictions apply to what a pro band can get away with. At the end of the day it is A BUSINESS and only a few can get away with breaking the rules or solely playing what THEY want to play all the time.

#743704 - 08/07/09 12:21 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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I understand the making a living stuff, and it's not that big a deal if the musicians are doing original stuff aside.

It's one advantage of not being a pro, I guess. Playing the same songs over and over, can be a very tedious affair, and causes as many drug problems in the business as anything else, I speculate..

One of the reasons cover and tribute bands don't change arrangements too much (besides the almighty "don't fix it, if it ain't broke", is that they are not allowed to, I think. Sure, you can play any song you'd want to, but you can't do anything you'd want with it.

A second approach to being in business, is to give the public what never knew they'd want.. :-)


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#743715 - 08/07/09 12:56 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Kolstad]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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There is a very good tribute band here in Chicago called Tributosaurus and they have a great gimmick. They cover a different band everytime they play. They are very popular and draw big crowds so they do well. They played (as Michael Jackson) last night down the street a block away from where we were playing and they had about 450 people in attendance. Since they were playing outside, we picked up a bunch of the crowd when they quit around 10:30 so that was good for us. We played mostly our own music with the exception of maybe five or six covers throughout the night and the little pub we were in was packed, standing room only so it was good for us.

I am not a fan of tribute bands, per se, I don't mind doing an evening of tribute to someone, but not for a regular gig.

#743716 - 08/07/09 12:57 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Kolstad]  
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I know of one local band that went from $300 a gig to $3,000 a gig by changing into a Led Zeppelin tribute band. Same songs, different name.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#743722 - 08/07/09 01:19 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Colin Ward]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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I do not make a distinction between originals and cover songs. Ethically either is acceptable....it is all about the performance and quality of the song. Better to play a great cover than a crappy original and vice versa. Without meaning to offend folk I hate snobbery about originals V covers. It is totally wrong because any musician or music lover should be happy playing or listening to either. If it was not for covers where would AI and similar type shows plus the manufactured pop acts they spawn be.

#743724 - 08/07/09 01:38 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Did anybody yet mention "Jersey Boys" the Broadway tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. They have played to sellout crowds for well over a year despite the bad economy.

In Chicago we have a Beatles tribute band titled American English. They may tour also, but am not sure on this one. And there is a Neil Diamond tribute led by Danny Diamond(No relation). There are others also, but these are the two that stand out to me.

There also have been many tribute CD's such as the ones where country music stars paid tribute not only to some of their own such as Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings, but also the Eagles, the Beatles and even the Rolling Stones.

#743725 - 08/07/09 01:40 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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I have no problem whatever with cover songs and have a large repertoire to draw from, however where we live the audiences are open to the music we play regardless of the mix of covers versus our own music. I am not happy doing all covers all the time, though. I have been in those kind of bands in the past and I always get to a point where I don't want to continue down that path. For me it is not a snobbery thing, it is just what I enjoy doing. I have lived in other areas where it was much more difficult to do an evening of mostly our own music because the crowds are expecting covers, but where I live now the music scene is very accepting of it and in many cases the crowds even encourage it depending on the clubs.

#743731 - 08/07/09 01:54 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Jack Swain]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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On one or two cases I have pitched songs to Cover Bands that wanted to do an Album of Original Music. I am of the firm opinion that no song is good enough for such a band to record. Nothing compares to what they are playing even tho someone took a chance on the songs they now cover. If someone hadn't first recorded the songs they would not have anything to cover. Something to think about.


Ray E. Strode
#743742 - 08/07/09 02:15 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Jack Swain]  
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Originally Posted by Jack Swain
I have no problem whatever with cover songs and have a large repertoire to draw from, however where we live the audiences are open to the music we play regardless of the mix of covers versus our own music. I am not happy doing all covers all the time, though. I have been in those kind of bands in the past and I always get to a point where I don't want to continue down that path. For me it is not a snobbery thing, it is just what I enjoy doing. I have lived in other areas where it was much more difficult to do an evening of mostly our own music because the crowds are expecting covers, but where I live now the music scene is very accepting of it and in many cases the crowds even encourage it depending on the clubs.


My point exactly Jack....you play what the audience wants to hear and are shot down in flames if you do not produce the right songs for the audience and occasion...regardless of how good you play....try booking a folk singer or an originals band for a dinner dance and see what the audience think.

#743790 - 08/07/09 05:29 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Well, snobbery or not. I get really angry when I want to go for a good night out to hear some music locally, and the bills present U2 tribute band, Tina Turner tribute band, Bruce Springsteen tribute band, Eric Clapton tribute band... ect ect.

I just don't lay down my money on that, sorry no way! Im probably the only one, I realize from this thread. But thats my honest opinion.


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#743792 - 08/07/09 05:30 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Kolstad]  
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Kolstad Offline
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And yeah, it means that I don't get out that much these days, to hear music anyway..


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#743794 - 08/07/09 05:33 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Kolstad]  
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Magne I agree with you but on the flip side the majority of the audiences DO want these kind of acts and WE have to supply on demand. Any business person stocks merchandise that sells not merchandise he likes.

#743797 - 08/07/09 05:54 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Absolutely Big Jim. It's not that Im a cromudgeon or what the words was :-), I really think this is a problem in the business. It's not just the demand side (the audiences), the supply side has also a responsability to make and promote stories that will support original music better.

The 'new' release of Elvis' Greatest Hits 101.. now for 41 year old women with red socks and green eyes, two kids, with a TV dinner and Orios on the table, is also responsible for this.

They might have made more short term money, but they have also bombed the market into a devastating state. The big lie is that markets are already there, they are not, companies and products has always created them. It's just a way to get quick money to exploit old material, not a responsible way to maintain a healthy market!

No wonder why record sales are going down.. I don't buy the explanation of the Internet. I think it's due to years of poor market administation and development from the companies..


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#743814 - 08/07/09 07:35 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Kolstad]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Yes yes yes all true.....BUT .....BUT ...BUT....How can you break the rules, go against the flow, defy the market, disappoint the paying audience and STILL make a living. We may not approve but we have to go along with it.

#743826 - 08/07/09 08:02 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Heidi Thompson Offline
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Hey guys,
As you may or may not know, I have made a great living as the top Cher impersonator with the longest single run in the top impersonator show "Legends in Concert" here in Vegas. I've also had the opportunity to do numerous TV shows and other great shows with this act. Plus, I made some great money in the corporate market.

The shows/hotels are responsible for paying any royalties and they pay a blanket royalty for this purpose. The only legal item is that there is a disclaimer stating that you are not the real artist.

In some instances where an estate of a dead celebrity is involved (Marilyn, Elvis, Liberace, and such), the impersonators have to get permission. But, this is rare.

I used to absolutely detest impersonators because I felt they needed to get their own life and talent. But, after I was asked to do this type of work...boy...it is much harder than it looks and it takes a rare type of talent to truly duplicate another person's attributes enough to be a top impersonator.

The money is wonderful and it helps me to be able to do other creative projects. After I left the six-nights-a-week shows and went into mainly corporate work, I can gig six nights a month and make the same money.

Things have slowed down some and the money is not flowing as largely right now, but it has been a great living for many years.

Some of my fellow impersonators are rare, rare talents. I know hundreds of them. If anyone wants to know anything about this industry, I am a wealth of information.

Best,
Heidi


"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Paul McCartney
#743827 - 08/07/09 08:04 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Kolstad Offline
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There's no other way than risk dying, I guess! That's how the young rebellious writers and musicians of any generation are making it.. they just put their lives at stake for getting ahead :-)

There's nothing that can push people like a good shot of negative motivation! Us settled folks ar way too much into 'risks' and all of the 'slippers' stuff (have you seen Michael Conolly!)..

When doing the 'positive' motivation stuff, money seems to be the only viable option left.. because that's what we need, right?

mo' money, mo' problems, mo' tribute bands..


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#743831 - 08/07/09 08:39 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Kolstad]  
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Heidi Thompson Offline
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Hey song,
You know, as artists, we simply need to find viable ways to stay in the business, make connections and make a living all at the same time.

Our decisions have to be based upon the greatest good for the greatest numbers of areas in our lives. If I can make a great living putting on a Cher wig, and that leaves me more time to do other creative projects and to spend more time with family if I choose, then it's a great compromise.

In any event, it's much better than working a day gig that is not in the biz at all. But, one of the real perks of doing an impersonation is the fact that the audience is already in love with you before you even walk out on stage! Then, you can win them over with your own level of artistic ability. I use my improv and comedic skills in my act to make people laugh. They love it. I've even been told that they liked me better than the real Cher. Of course, I don't think that of myself, but I do love to make people happy. A good impersonator makes an audience very happy. It's a cool gig in that respect.

I've even had letters from numerous persons who have thanked me for making their elderly father so happy when he came to my show and I got him on stage with me. The letters are very gratifying. My favorite was from a 6-year-old girl who drew a picture of me and said she was my biggest fan.

Plus, starring in a major production show in Vegas for 12 years gave me a confidence that transcended into other areas of my work.

I'd rather have made it big as myself, but at least I can survive in this biz and make a decent living to boot.

It hasn't been that bad and I've met a ton of talented people and opened for major stars.

Heidi


"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Paul McCartney
#743834 - 08/07/09 08:59 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Heidi Thompson]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Magne
McDonalds sell junk food...because it sells. I am sure Ranald sleeps at night despite turning the nations into obese fast food junkies.
All businesses have to supply what is wanted. This is dictated by the public demand. The music business is no different. It is a case of comply or starve...or else flip the burgers. I do not understand the argument. I suspect it is snobbishness and comes from people who are not music pros nor probably ever will be.
It would be nice for us all to play our own stuff and make a great living.....sadly that is a pipe dream and will never happen. I compromise to get the best of both worlds. I will play whatever the audience dictates and pride myself on being pro enough to adapt to each situation.

#743842 - 08/07/09 09:20 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Bob Cushing Offline
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Personally it's not something I'd ever be interested in doing {or go to see} but if it pays the bills, more power to ya!


bc
#743847 - 08/07/09 09:51 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Kolstad Offline
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I won't blame anyone for taking the opportunities they have in life, nor think less of them in any way for doing impersonation, covers, tributes etc. I didn't take this thread to be about lifechances, though.

Im just saying they won't get my money to do it with, and after all my opinion was what I was asked for in this thread.

I think we have enough of this, and that it is taking up too much space and resources in the markets for talent development and entertainment. Keep the best, Heidi you are probably a good one - and I do LOVE Cher, but to me it looks like the markets are flooded with this!

For me, it is a problem when copycat acts is all Im offered, when I want to lay my money down and have a good night out. I don't like to waste my time by scrolling down page after page at my music supplyer with reissue after reissue. I find it difficult when it is hard to find equal minded musicians and singers for orgiginal music in my local area, because they are too preoccupied with the next idol competition or rehearsal for their tribute band. I don't feel comfortable with people who train their music tastes by listening to radiostations who are playing the same 20-30 songs released between 1990-2005 over and over. I just don't.

But hey, why would songwriters even care about this. Covers and tribute bands are good business, right?

So, it might be so that I subscribe to this position because I suck at doing covers, fail to have a good taste, no talent myself, no understanding for artists survival strategies, no understanding of what drives a commercial market.

Even if all of this were true (the judgement of this is out of my hands), I will not support 'the tribute band' paradigm.

I rest my case love


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#743848 - 08/07/09 09:53 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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I wouldn't argue with Heidi. I've seen her Cher imitation. Though in clips, never seen the full show. She IS Cher (wise cracks and all). I've never heard her sing like Cher, but I'm sure that that is the crux of the show (can't just insult Sonny all the time like the TV show).
Her wit is original and not pre-written as was Cher's for TV. A different talent.

Can you act like the person that you are portraying, and at the same time use the same body languange, voice, and visual looks along with wit? It takes a lot of talent.

I'm just a guitar picker, what do I know about talent?

#743863 - 08/07/09 10:47 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: ben willis]  
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Heidi Thompson Offline
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Thanks, Ben. My husband also had a very successful tribute to The Righteous Brothers for many years until his partner died.

If anyone wants to check out our reels, you can go to:
www.righteousbrotherstribute.com
www.golden-song.com/cher.html (click "watch video" icon in middle of page)

All I can say is that an entertainer's job is to entertain the audience in front of them. It's never about us, it's about them.

Yes, I love to create my own songs, plays, shows, etc. and I am doing that. But, until they make me a good living, I perform as "Cher."

Best,
Heidi


"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Paul McCartney
#743890 - 08/08/09 02:03 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Heidi Thompson]  
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I just saw Foreigner in concert last Saturday night. There was only one original member still with the group (founding member Mick Jones). Since the singer was different, does that make them a tribute or cover band? grin

As a writer, I, too, frequently seek out and enjoy bands who are doing new, original music. But, to suggest that tribute bands are wasting time and energy, and are the downfall of the music industry is an arguement I don't quite get.

I am a huge fan of the Beatles, Queen, ZZ Top, and loads of other artists. I can certainly enjoy an evening out listening to someone else perform their music.

Interesting thread, and interesting viewpoints.

Greg


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#743933 - 08/08/09 01:13 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Greg C. Brown]  
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A fair number of radio stations are doing oldies but goodies, classics from the past. Is this because they(or their audience) want to hold onto the past, or is it because there is so little good music being made today that radio has to play the good stuff from the past in order to hold onto their audience. After all, radio is selling advertising, not music, no audience, no advertising dollars. Until the music industry starts putting out good music to listen to, all industries that depend on music will suffer.


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#743936 - 08/08/09 01:30 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Everett Adams]  
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I just have to reply to the person who said he pitched songs to cover band that wanted to do an album of originals, I always though the prejudice was the opposite. Don't know if it's still true today, but it probably is. A lot of clubs that hire bands for entertainment actually prefer they do covers of standards as opposed to original songs that most of the public isn't familiar with. Back in the 1980's I used to love to go hear a country singer by the name of Julie Carter(who knows where she is today) who had an amazing voice and did a lot of her own originals as well as country covers. But one night I walked in and when I heard her doing the song from the movie "Flashdance" I wondered if I was in the wrong place. I did get to talk to her between sets and she told me that they insisted on her expanding her repetoire in order to pull in a wider audience.

#744066 - 08/09/09 11:47 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: beechnut79]  
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Andy Salvanos Offline
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To me, it comes down to who you are as a person and as a musician.

Many truly artistic people I've met simply have a compulsion to create. More often than not, they have a love/hate relationship with performing, and do it because they have to. Many of them would rather work a day job than perform other people's songs.

Conversely, I know several excellent musicians who just enjoy performing. One lady, with a successful career in jazz standards, told me that the "worst thing" she ever had to do was write a piece of original music.

As for audiences...To put it in business terms: If you have a quality product, you can always find consumers. Personally, I've had more joy (creative and financial) in the original market than I ever had playing covers. But I know that I'm probably an exception in that respect.

Without doubt, a lot of session players are happy and well paid members of tribute bands, and it's a fact that they sell tickets. My experience is that the money factor can become increasingly more important than the music. And without proper balance, you usually run into trouble.

Ultimately, there's room for all of us - really.

Cheers,
Andy


#744081 - 08/09/09 01:04 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Andy Salvanos]  
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Tom Shea Offline
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I think it is ok if that is what they want to do. Not something I would ever be attracted to. Would not go to see one. But to each his own.

I think perhaps they are more interested in being performers (actors) rather than musicians.

Tom


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#744176 - 08/09/09 11:01 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Tom Shea]  
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I've been to see a couple of tribute bands over the years and a lot of them can play all the right notes and can sound a lot like the original but it seems there is always something missing. There is a persona in the original creation which is very hard to duplicate. I've found this to be particularly true with the Grateful Dead cover bands.

#744227 - 08/10/09 05:11 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Dan Stevens]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Allen,

The play is Jersey Boys.Thank you for that reminder.

MAB

#744231 - 08/10/09 06:46 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Interesting Thread...One of the top bands for download sales is The Rolling Clones, who do all acoustic versions of the Stones' hits. And Greg's comment about Foreigner, with only one original member is well taken.

If I had a choice of a job to pay the bills, I would much rather be in a cover band than shuffle papers behind a desk, and there's nothing that says you can't do covers AND originals, just not on the same night.

I know a guy who plays the piano bars in hotels. He makes a very good living, largely, because he knows the fight song to every college in the country...Whatever works for ya.

Curious, though, as to what bands from the last decade will be tributed in twenty years?

Midnite


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#744239 - 08/10/09 08:56 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: MidniteBob]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Another great tribute band who play mostly covers is Hayseed Dixie. They play AC/DC, Queen and many other rock bands stuff in a completely different style, mainly bluegrass. They are great musicians and a hoot. I saw them last year when they played Edinburgh during the festival. The crowd went wild.

There is a huge market for cover bands....Imagine a wedding, birthday party or other celebration without a live band playing covers. I certainly would not want a band playing original stuff at my birthday parties.
How many folk meet their spouses for the first time at such events....I know from letters I have received that I have been responsible for a number of folk getting it together as a result of the last slowy.

There is room for both original and cover bands and each serves a purpose. From reading the resposes, I get the impression that most folk against cover bands are not themselves regular paid performers....Anyone who has performed for a living knows the buzz and satisfaction you get entertaining an audience. What music you play covers v originals is pretty irrelevant.

At the end of the day a lot of the big stars perform music written by other people anyway. How many songs did Elvis, Sinatra, Streisand plus many other legends write and perform?

Not everybody can write AND perform songs.....no disgrace in only being able to do one or other.

#744248 - 08/10/09 11:09 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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I have to agree with Big Jim on this one.
There is a local band here in Florida, Rebel Pride that cover's Skynnyrd & The Allman Brother's.
They also have some original material in the southern rock style.
Excellent musicians!



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#744250 - 08/10/09 11:21 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Jerry Jakala]  
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spidey Offline
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Marc,

I haven't seen Jersey Boys, but the length of time its been playing and the response from the crowds, it is been called one of the best of that type of play/show.

Mamma Mia is a story built around the ABBA songs. There is a few. Billy Joel songs were used as well.

Cheers

Alan

#744279 - 08/10/09 02:19 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: spidey]  
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Polly Hager Offline
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LOL Jim! Hayseed Dixie is GREAT! I heard them do "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith in a fast, bluegrass style, lead guitar replaced with violin and banjo...coolest thing ever! The phrasing, everything.

Everyone, whether they do originals now or not, started out doing covers. That's the only way to get really good at what you do. Everyone had an influence. The thing about playing all originals is, unless they're all REALLY GOOD, people get bored in about 10 seconds...hence the huge demand for cover bands. People like to hear good covers of good songs versus mediocre originals that they're not familiar with. Another reason Joe Public prefers cover bands, is because hearing a certain song might bring about a happy feeling or memory that sets a positive mood. That's why I love covering Zeppelin and why people love hearing it. Ever since I heard my first Zeppelin song, I knew I wanted to be a female version of Robert Plant. I'm really good at what I do, and it makes me happy because the music reminds me of a great time in my life.

I've performed a few originals. Only one of them ever got a noticable reaction from the audience. The rest were tolerated. There IS a rush you feel performing originals, especially when they're good, but unless you're a top notch writer and can perform the material in a top notch fashion, your audience will most likely get bored pretty quickly. That's why out of tens of thousands of songwriters/performers only a chosen few make it. You can't just be a good writer, or just be a good performer, you have to have the whole package.

Here in Cincinnati, there are a few good original bands, but a lot of them are mediocre and their songs are easily forgetable (with the exception of our Bob Cushing...HE ROCKS!) Clubs that book original bands book four or five of them a night. The bands play for free, and only friends and family come to see them, in comparison with cover bands, who are alone on the bill, and make a minimum of $100 per person in the band. Why? Because if they're good, they have a big draw outside of friends and family, and the club owner can count on them to make money.

My band tried to pick "B" side covers that were really good songs that got less airplay. My guitar player likes to think of our band as "brain food". We're not a band you'd dance to, we're more one you'd watch for the guitar leads, tricky bass parts, and vocals. I would hope we'd be considered a "musician's band". But performing the songs we've chosen, and doing them well, is in and of itself a talent, because they're not easy. There is a personal satisfaction in doing that.


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#744302 - 08/10/09 04:32 PM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Polly Hager]  
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Bob Cushing Offline
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Aw shucks miss Polly!
Actually I don't think it's a coincidence at least in Cincy, that the best best cover bands are also the best original bands.
You have to master the covers before you can master the craft yourself. {Locally, Sonny Moorman, Dallas Moore, Danny Frazier ect come to mind.} On an unrelated note, now that Gary Rossington is the lone original member of Skynyrd, aren't THEY pretty much a tribute band now?


bc
#744399 - 08/11/09 01:45 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Hey Big Jim,

Glad you got to see Hayseed Dixie. The leader and lead singer Rusty Horn, is a friend of mine. We used to hang around a lot of writer's nights together. He had this voice which sounded like it was run through a strainer and at one point his Doctor told him he had less than six months to live if he didn't stop smoking cigarettes.
I didn't see him for about 10 years and one day I was in a line at the postal service. I asked him what he had been doing and he told me about the group and they had been opening for George Straight. They sold 40,000 CD's in a few weeks with no record label. They were managed by Irv Woolsey, who manages Straight. He told me how they came up with the idea.
They had been playing around Nashville, Georgia, etc. as a three piece mostly original band. They were about to starve and trying to figure out something different to do. One night Rusty brought his banjo to rehersal as a joke and started playing "Highway to Hell" bluegrass style as a joke. They all started laughing and doing all the AC/DC stuff since they were HUGE fans.
A few nights later they were doing a gig when they came up against a really rowdy crowd and they started doing the joke stuff. The crowd went nuts so they just started doing a little more each night.
From there they came up with the Queen and all the other stuff. I haven't seen them for a while but know they are out there all the time. From time to time I'll go to some town and they will have just been there or are coming in. I think he is one of my Myspace friends but I am not sure. I don't even know who is my My Space friends. I rarely check it. If he is I'll tell him hi.

MAB

#744409 - 08/11/09 02:23 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Greg C. Brown Offline
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That's another good example, Bob (about Skynyrd). One that I think tops them all is Molly Hatchet. At one time, they were still touring and recording with not one original member in the band. That just strikes me as weird.

Greg


If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.
#744416 - 08/11/09 02:50 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Greg C. Brown]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Kind of a "last member standing" You should see the Tempations. They kind of become the grandsons of the sons of the Tempations, three times removed.

Hey, rock and roll is a pretty hard life. So a lot of these guys die out. But here is an interesting factoid from the touring groups this year. I was reading where a lot of record labels are complaining they can't get current rock or country acts on the big stadiums and arena tours because of the "Old Dinosaurs of rock" acts that are drawing all the big crowds. Aerosmith, Stix, Kansas, Kiss, Springsteen, Dylan, etc. are all out there, breaking box office records.

I was just in Fla, where Willie Nelson, John Cougar Mellencamp, and Bob Dylan, were playing in front of 15,000 people in a big outdoor amphitheater. My friends who went, said Willie was good, Mellancamp was GREAT and Dylan was the weirdest they had ever seen him, even weirder than they had ever seen him and they were Dylan fans. Most people left four songs into his set. Of course with Dylan that was probably forty minutes.

The next night Chesney was there and did great. Then the night after that, Counting Crowes cancelled due to lack of sales.

So it is a weird trip out there.

MAB

#744494 - 08/11/09 07:02 AM Re: Your thoughts on tribute bands [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Bob Cushing Offline
Bob Cushing  Offline

Top 100 Poster

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,363
cincinnati oh usa
Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Kind of a "last member standing" You should see the Tempations. They kind of become the grandsons of the sons of the Tempations, three times removed.

Hey, rock and roll is a pretty hard life. So a lot of these guys die out. But here is an interesting factoid from the touring groups this year. I was reading where a lot of record labels are complaining they can't get current rock or country acts on the big stadiums and arena tours because of the "Old Dinosaurs of rock" acts that are drawing all the big crowds. Aerosmith, Stix, Kansas, Kiss, Springsteen, Dylan, etc. are all out there, breaking box office records.

I was just in Fla, where Willie Nelson, John Cougar Mellencamp, and Bob Dylan, were playing in front of 15,000 people in a big outdoor amphitheater. My friends who went, said Willie was good, Mellancamp was GREAT and Dylan was the weirdest they had ever seen him, even weirder than they had ever seen him and they were Dylan fans. Most people left four songs into his set. Of course with Dylan that was probably forty minutes.

The next night Chesney was there and did great. Then the night after that, Counting Crowes cancelled due to lack of sales.

So it is a weird trip out there.

MAB
That doesn't surprise me Marc that the "nostalgia" bands will always do well, even though most of them are missing key members. Skynyrd, [everyone except Rossington,] Journey--Steve Perry, Styx--Dennis Deyoung,Foreigner--Lou Grahmn--Bad Company --Paul Rodgers,ect. I think your average "Classic Rock" era tank-top-wearing mulletted "Joe six-pack" is completely oblivious to these kind of things unfortunately. It's all in "Brand name recognition". Last year my bud Sonny Moorman who shares the same manager {Willie Perkins} as the Allman Brothers got me 5th row from the stage when they {The Allmans} were in Cincinnati. I'm a life-long Allman Bros fan, but have soured on them somewhat since they fired Dickey Betts. {Although I KNOW Dickey contributed COMPLETELY to his firing.} But there I was in the fifth row, and the couple next to me remarked that the "young blond guy" {Derek Trucks} didn't "look like Dickey" to them, which I explained to them that Dickey had not been in the band for the past TEN YEARS, and they were TOTALLY SHOCKED!! These are the same kind of people that don't realize that KISS have been dressing up two other guys as Ace Frehley and Peter Criss {Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer}the past 10 years, or even know that Roger Waters ever left Pink Floyd,{or even know the name of Roger Waters!} I know people who STILL think that Ian Anderson's NAME is "Jethro Tull"! Bottom line, it's all about "name recognition" because time and time again the "masses" prove that they are TRULY asses! As far as the Dylan/ Willie/ Mellencamp show went, that comes as no surprise either. I have seen Dylan MANY times, and he marches to his own drummer, and couldn't care less what the audience thinks. His past few tours he apparently fancies himself as Billy Joel and plays piano almost exclusively, and rearranges his songs beyond recognition.

I saw Willie a couple of years ago with John Fogerty {who kicked ASS and took names!}and Willie pretty much sing-talked his songs, and I was COMPLETELY shocked at how sloppy his long-time band was.{A little too much ganja perhaps?} Mellencamp on the other hand is the CONSUMATE "give the people what they paid for" showman, and I'm sure he was brilliant. BTW, JPF'S own Jenn Cristy was a Mellencamp back-up singer for a few years...Check out her solo turn on "Peaceful World" on the "Concert For New York" CD/DVD!

Last edited by Bob Cushing; 08/11/09 07:04 AM.

bc
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