Re: What's with tribute bands?

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Posted by TC on April 16, 2000 at 12:07:35:

In Reply to: What's with tribute bands? posted by Brock on January 07, 2000 at 09:45:14:

Hey everyone.
I just stumbled into this conversation, albeit a few months late, whie doing a search on (you guessed it) tribute bands. Let me add my end of the story, if it's not a closed discussion. I am the manager of Rock'n Rick's Concert Club in Limestone, NY, an hour south of Buffalo on the NY/PA line. This is a rural area made up of numerous industrial towns and farming communities. Without driving to Buffalo, Erie, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Cleveland or Toronto, our area people are isolated from the major music circuits. We cannot attract the major stars to our club of 400 capacity without charging mega-cover fees at the door. Since opening last October, We've had Jackyl (The asshole band of the world, our security staff ended up pounding the piss out of these has-been creeps after they trashed a local guy's drum kit they were using), Sebastian Bach and Saigon Kick. We've also had packed crowds for the cover bands of Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne), Kiss Army (Kiss) and 5150 (Van Halen). Upcoming shows include Rumours (Fleetwood Mac, Hells Bells (AC/DC) and Bat Out Of Hell (Meatloaf). In our rural setting, we don't have the luxury of settling into one genre or theme and must cover a broad spectrum of musical tastes. There within lies the reason we are very happy that cover bands exist. 1) The crowd loves them. Are you ever going to see the real AC/DC or Ozzy Osbourne in an intimate setting? No. Die-hard Kiss, Van Halen and Ozzy fans have told me how great it was to see these covers. One Kiss fan said he liked Kiss Army better. 2) The musicians are making a living at something they love to do. These people are having fun and getting paid for it. They love the crowds, the atmosphere and, I'm pretty sure, the money. One of the agents explained to me that the cover guys produce an energy level unmatched by the real bands. think about how many concerts you've seen when the bands seem to be going through the motions. The cover guys know they have to be on top of their game in this business. 3) They are professionals that take their craft seriously. Not only does their particular act demand the musical skills but the theatrics that go with it. How much rehearsal and studying time do you think went into Pat from Crazy Train's act? This guy has the Ozzy look, character and personality down to a tee. This Kiss Army guys had every motion and sound perfected, not to mention the costuming and stage show. Would you knock a celebrated actor for his portrayal of a real life figure? Certainly not. In fact, many have won Oscars for such a task. 4) They are affordable to the bar owner and the customers. Rumours (Fleetwood Mac) is $8 advance, $10 at the door. 5150 cost the bar less than a thousand. We all make out. We are all happy. We would love to have all original bands and help the local guys get a start on their careeers. But on our end, the bar owners and managers, we have to think of the business side of things. The Goo Goo Dolls are a local band (Buffalo) that started in the clubs. I would be proud to help launch a band like that out of our own neighborhood. We will always promote the local music scene, but our bread and butter are in the tribute bands. Put aside your performing egos one night and catch a tribute band. You may be very surprised to find the talent level on stage. Keep rockin' and see you in Limestone sometime. If your band is going to be in the NY/PA/OH or ON areas, give me an e-mail and perhaps we can book you. Check us out at , pus all tribute and national show tickets are available through I'm sorry that some on here think that tribute bands are rip-off bands. But, if you think of it, isn't every musician a rip-off in a small or large way? I didn't mean it to sound that way, but you had to learn other people's music before you started playing your own.

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