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Thread: Tribute Bands

  1. #1

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    Default Tribute Bands

    I've seen good ones and I've seen bad ones -- what's your take ?

    Great idea ?

    Just a bunch of wannabees ?

    Practical/Useful ?

    Stupid ?
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  2. #2

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    Just a bunch of wannabees ?

    Practical/Useful ?

    Stupid ?

    1-perhaps. however, being a player in a cover band may be a path among others to be seen as player
    2- i can't see how the desire to play the music of your ''heroes''' isn't usefull or practical; playing whatever music is always usefull as it's a good practice to develop the synergy as team player.

    3- no. see post above. it's easy to write and play your own original music . not so easy to write GOOD and INTERESTING originals from a listener stand point. most originals heard are forgotten after a day or 2.

    a band who has the talent and endless inspiration to writes and play unforgettable compositions is on his way to fame.
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  3. #3

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    I was asked to join a Santana tribute band . I don't like Santana but I showed up to the rehearsal . The conga and timbale players couldn't play in time , no groove no swing..just awful ! So I left before the rehearsal was over .
    Personally I don't like tribute bands . But thankfully the world does not go by MY rules . There are clubs here in Tucson that dedicate one night a week for tribute bands . And they fill up on those nights no matter who the band is ! So I guess there is a good market for them ..at least out here .
    Our band does a MOTOWN show . We do a whole night of just Motown stuff and when we do that it's sort of a special thing and we fill up whatever venue we play with that show . We also do an all blues show ...nothing but blues and we do a lot of the blues festivals and clubs around here . Then we do the regular dance/top-40 gigs .
    I don't knock any one for being in a tribute band . But just like any gig ... if you're going to get on stage and play music , ANY kind of music , at least play it good ! There is a Rolling Stones tribute band out here . The singer does look like Mic but he can't sing and he's all knees and elbows on stage ... not very graceful . Sorta like Kramer from "Seinfeld" .... and they have become a joke around here . Seriously people actually laugh out loud at their gigs and heckle them ! So the band lost all it's good musicians and now the whole thing is a joke . BUT...they still get the gigs and their tip jar is always full !
    Because of the clubs dedicating a night to the tribute shows more and more bands are popping up . There is some buzz going around about a Pink Floyd band in rehearsals right now that's supposed to be pretty good . We've even got some Mexican Artists tribute bands !
    Yea...there's room for everyone !

  4. #4

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    From a consumer point of view there will always be a demand for decent tribute bands, although it certainly helps if the band has competent musicians and vocals. Some that I've seen don't have either but, oddly, the audience didn't seem to care and enjoyed the ahem... performance.

    I try to support the local live music scene as much as possible (for the last 4 years I've only been to a bar or club which has live music). Most of the bands I've gone to see are playing originals, but the attendance tends to be poor - the only exceptions are themed events i.e. 'Punk night', 'Metal night' etc where several bands play 50 minute sets over the course of the evening. Here in Devon if there were no Tribute/Cover bands the few places left that host regular live music wouldn't draw enough custom to remain financially viable.

  5. #5

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    I'm not a big fan of tribute bands​ but I will listen sometimes it is still music. There's a show that comes on Wednesday nights​ on AXS TV called The World's Greatest Tribute Bands filmed at the Whiskey in Hollywood. Some are good and others are so-so , the venue is free and is first come first serve not everyone in line is guaranteed to get in. It's a very small venue. There is money to be made, endorsements , and touring. There's a female tribute band called The Iron Maidens​ that have endorsements, and are on/finishing a world tour. Not to far from where I live there's a club that has tribute bands at least twice a week covering all genres.
    I believe one reason why these tribute bands are getting more popular is that you are getting a decent performance ( if they are good) from a committed band for at least half the price or free. It's a win-win situation for the band and the audience. There's always going to be a market for covers, we learned the hard way. We booked a gig and played all originals besides our family/friends only 5 people were in attendance. The owner was not happy at all! My friends stepdad came and he is a classic rock, metal, hair metal walking encyclopedia. Plus a pretty good singer. We played about 2 hours of covers and the place was bursting at the seams. Our slot was 6pm - 9. We encored until 10:30. The owner was singing drinking ,dancing , hugging very satisfied.
    Last edited by Goro; 04-06-2017 at 12:04 PM.

  6. #6

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    I went and seen a Zep tribute a few weeks ago called, Let the Led Out. If you get a chance check them out on YouTube. They have more than one guitarist so they can do all of Page's overdubs in a live setting so it sounds just like the album. I can say I was honestly amazed how well put together it was. I am not usually a "tribute band" person, but since I will never be able to see Led Zeppelin nor was I old enough when they was touring, it was great just to see that.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    There are clubs here in Tucson that dedicate one night a week for tribute bands . And they fill up on those nights no matter who the band is ! So I guess there is a good market for them ..at least out here. Because of the clubs dedicating a night to the tribute shows more and more bands are popping up.
    One night per week..................that is an interesting option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goro View Post
    I believe one reason why these tribute bands are getting more popular is that you are getting a decent performance ( if they are good) from a committed band for at least half the price or free. It's a win-win situation for the band and the audience.
    Agreed...................and if it is not a decent performance, it will fail.

    Quote Originally Posted by campbellj25 View Post
    I am not usually a "tribute band" person, but since I will never be able to see Led Zeppelin nor was I old enough when they was touring, it was great just to see that.
    I saw Led Zepp three times during the seventies, so I would have never thought of it like that..................very good point.
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  8. #8

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    Back in the mid '80's I played in an 11 piece band (with a 7 piece horn section) that opened for "Rain", a Beatles tribute band for a New Years Eve party at a venue called the Grand Ballroom in Sacramento. "Rain" didn't want to ring in the New Year so the deal was that we opened the event, then we had to take all of our gear off the stage and "Rain" followed us with a 90 minute set and they were fantastic. Their costumes and voices were spot on and the crowd went nuts. They provided no encore but that allowed our band extra time to throw our gear back up on stage and we kept the crowd going and rang in the New Year with a huge balloon drop and confetti. Our set list was nothing but '60 and '70 classic rock tunes.

    Rain-Beatles-San-Jose-1.jpg

    I was impressed by the attention to detail that "Rain" held. If you closed your eyes for just a few seconds it "was" the Beatles. That set the bar pretty high for me and I haven't seen a tribute band since then that I was willing to consider good.

    Fast forward to 2013 and the classic rock cover band I was playing in played at a County Fair shared the event with a Eagles tribute called "Life in the Fast Lane". These guys had a pretty good size following but they were barely able to pull off the vocals; nonetheless the crowd was really into them. They were far from what I saw back in the '80's with "Rain". No costumes, no "Don Henley" look alike behind the kit.



    Just a bunch of wannabees ? "Life in the Fast Lane" answer: Yes, but "Rain" is still together and plays off Broadway.

    Practical/Useful ? Yes. If your act is anywhere near how "Rain" pulls it off, there's defiantly a future for such acts but it's got to be close as the real deal.

    Stupid ?
    To some degree, a few bands in my town call themselves a "Tribute Band" but they only cover the songs but NOT the act. I had a friend in a Neil Young tribute band but nobody looked or sounded like Neil Young and in my opinion, that was "stupid".
    Last edited by late8; 04-06-2017 at 02:32 PM.

  9. #9

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    It's just some musicians way of making money. 98% of you don't. Please don't tell me about the money you made at one gig. Most drummers and musicians in general, never make enough from playing to ever pay off their gear investment. Just to give some idea. My bands overhead is somewhere north of $3500 a year. If I play twenty gigs for $200 dollars then I haven't made any money. That's five hundred profit split six ways. My take wouldn't pay for heads and sticks. Now, essentially I would have spent all that time practicing, moving gear and playing shows, for free. I guess most are playing "for the love of doing it"? That's why I charge $1250 minimum for four sets. Of course then you have to be really good. My band made 32,000 last year, a down year, but not bad. Not enough to make a living, but I've paid off every gear purchase I've ever made, plus. My list of gear is getting really obnoxious too. So my point is, these guys have figured out how to make some cash out of doing this. Most of you, almost all, pay to do it

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  10. #10

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    Rich,

    The only tribute band I have ever seen was Rain and I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and as you said, you could see how much detail they had in their show!

    Take care!
    Take care and seeya!

    Jim

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgraham798 View Post
    Rich,

    The only tribute band I have ever seen was Rain and I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and as you said, you could see how much detail they had in their show!

    Take care!
    Hey Jim! For me, I was too young to see the Beatles so Rain was it for me! Great show!!

  12. #12

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    If you don't mind being on the road it's a way to make a lot more money playing a shorter show. Crowds seem to love them and they're fun to watch if they're talented enough to nail the material.

  13. #13

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    When the husband and wife (think "War of the Roses) band I was in imploded, I got a call within a couple of days from a Doors tribute band. I had seen them a couple of times and they were good, but, also kind of freaky. They couldn't leave the "persona" behind when the show was over. I told them thanks, but no thanks.

    I have seen a couple that were really good, but most were just so-so.

    Great idea: If you want to spend your time playing 1 bands music ad nauseam. Otherwise.......no.

    Wannabees: Of course they are wannabees, why else would you do it.

    Practical/useful: For a certain amount of people, yes, but for most, probably not. It's a 1 trick pony.

    Stupid: I wouldn't call it stupid. Some have done well for themselves. At the same time, I don't recall watching the Ed Sullivan show where he said, " Now, right here on our shew, the imitation Beatles".

    We saw a lady doing a Janis Joplin tribute outside of St Louis about 30+ years ago, and, having seen Janis Joplin before I went overseas, I can say that she had it nailed.

  14. #14

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    Not a fan of tribute bands at all. I band I was in had been asked by a promoter if we wanted to be a Heart tribute band. We said no. I would have left the band if the vote had been yes. Could you imagine playing one artist's songs over and over Every. Single. Gig.?

    I'd jump off of a three foot stool with a two foot rope around my neck. Seriously.

    Great Idea? Generally it falls short, so no.

    Wannabees? Probably, but that's ok.

    Practical/Useful? In a limited sense.

    Stupid? Not stupid as there is a market for it, but, overall seems like a waste of time and talent.

  15. #15

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    I might join one to make some money and get some experience but not for an extended period of time. I just don't think I could not be writing and playing original music with people. But I'm sure some people love playing in tribute bands and it's not my place to tell them what to do.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    When the husband and wife (think "War of the Roses) band I was in imploded, I got a call within a couple of days from a Doors tribute band. I had seen them a couple of times and they were good, but, also kind of freaky. They couldn't leave the "persona" behind when the show was over. I told them thanks, but no thanks.
    It reminds me of all those Elvis impersonators through the years. I've played with quite a few of them. It's as if they really thought they were him, lol.
    - Tom

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    It reminds me of all those Elvis impersonators through the years. I've played with quite a few of them. It's as if they really thought they were him, lol.
    Oh My God ..... me too !! Lol ! There was a guy here in Tucson who did an Elvis show but he was a part time hood too so he got put in jail alot . Well I was hired to back him up and we did rehearsals but two days before the gig he gets put in the poky again . So we thought the gig was off till his manager calls us and tells us his younger brother would be filling in . We didn't rehearse with him because there was no time and he said he didn't need any . At the show the guy was AWFUL ! All the songs were in the wrong keys for him ! But ...and here's where it gets fun..halfway through the show his brother Billy walks in dressed in his Elvis attire ! His mom had bailed him out . And he starts yelling at his brother accusing him of trying to steal his act ! Next thing you know they are both fist fighting on the dance floor !! Both dressed as Elvis ! WHAT A SHOW !! The people were treated to fighting Elvi that night and everyone thought it was a hoot , got more than their money's worth .
    I will never forget that .

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    It reminds me of all those Elvis impersonators through the years. I've played with quite a few of them. It's as if they really thought they were him, lol.
    There was 1 in my hometown and about 1,000 in Manhattan. Thank ya very much!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    Oh My God ..... me too !! Lol ! There was a guy here in Tucson who did an Elvis show but he was a part time hood too so he got put in jail alot . Well I was hired to back him up and we did rehearsals but two days before the gig he gets put in the poky again . So we thought the gig was off till his manager calls us and tells us his younger brother would be filling in . We didn't rehearse with him because there was no time and he said he didn't need any . At the show the guy was AWFUL ! All the songs were in the wrong keys for him ! But ...and here's where it gets fun..halfway through the show his brother Billy walks in dressed in his Elvis attire ! His mom had bailed him out . And he starts yelling at his brother accusing him of trying to steal his act ! Next thing you know they are both fist fighting on the dance floor !! Both dressed as Elvis ! WHAT A SHOW !! The people were treated to fighting Elvi that night and everyone thought it was a hoot , got more than their money's worth .
    I will never forget that .
    That's funny. I once played a show backing an Elvis impersonator in Yuma, AZ at a huge biker rally. A memorable experience to say the least, lol.
    - Tom

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  20. #20

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    I went to a Motley Crue one in Vegas and they were pretty good and looked the part too.

    I'd be ok doing one wouldn't mind one bit. But it would need to be a band I really like. Doing a Judas Priest or AC/DC tribute would be fun.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    Oh My God ..... me too !! Lol ! There was a guy here in Tucson who did an Elvis show but he was a part time hood too so he got put in jail alot . Well I was hired to back him up and we did rehearsals but two days before the gig he gets put in the poky again . So we thought the gig was off till his manager calls us and tells us his younger brother would be filling in . We didn't rehearse with him because there was no time and he said he didn't need any . At the show the guy was AWFUL ! All the songs were in the wrong keys for him ! But ...and here's where it gets fun..halfway through the show his brother Billy walks in dressed in his Elvis attire ! His mom had bailed him out . And he starts yelling at his brother accusing him of trying to steal his act ! Next thing you know they are both fist fighting on the dance floor !! Both dressed as Elvis ! WHAT A SHOW !! The people were treated to fighting Elvi that night and everyone thought it was a hoot , got more than their money's worth .
    I will never forget that .
    If you're gonna fight dressed as Elvis, you gotta know Judo.

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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    If you're gonna fight dressed as Elvis, you gotta know Judo.

    Are you sure you weren't inadvertently in a Nicholas Cage movie?
    Ha ! This was sometime around 1984 . Billy walks in and in the middle of the song yells "what the $%#& is going on !!?" and we stop playing and the crowd breaks into applause thinking it's part of the show . But then they start shouting and cursing at each other and then they start fighting on the dance floor ! LOL !! Anyway..years later Billy Tempelton was featured on Americas Most Wanted for kidnapping and rape ! He turned himself in and did his time .
    A few years later I was in Las Vegas playing in a Chinese restaurant off the strip durring the time they were doing "Elvis : A Retrospect" in one of the big casinos on the strip . It was a big deal . But I tell ya..every Elvis impersonator in the world was in Vegas that month ! Everywhere I went I would run into one ... laundromat , car wash , grocery store... etc .

  23. #23

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    My opinion you have to be really good to be in a tribute band, a cover band you can make it your own to a degree. I think of the movie Mark Wahlberg was in and you have to play note for note. I know the original bands changes this up live from the album.
    Conrad

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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    Ha ! This was sometime around 1984 . Billy walks in and in the middle of the song yells "what the $%#& is going on !!?" and we stop playing and the crowd breaks into applause thinking it's part of the show . But then they start shouting and cursing at each other and then they start fighting on the dance floor ! LOL !! Anyway..years later Billy Tempelton was featured on Americas Most Wanted for kidnapping and rape ! He turned himself in and did his time .
    A few years later I was in Las Vegas playing in a Chinese restaurant off the strip durring the time they were doing "Elvis : A Retrospect" in one of the big casinos on the strip . It was a big deal . But I tell ya..every Elvis impersonator in the world was in Vegas that month ! Everywhere I went I would run into one ... laundromat , car wash , grocery store... etc .
    That's the stuff memories are made of, LOL.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    Next thing you know they are both fist fighting on the dance floor !! Both dressed as Elvis ! WHAT A SHOW !!
    Rudy, this is the second time you mentioned an all out brawl while you guys were booked for a gig. The first fight you mentioned one cracked me up as the fight broke out on the dance floor while you guys were playing a Boston cover and now the two Elvi fighting on stage. Have you guys considered opening for a WWE event?

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