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A tribute act is a music group, singer, or musician who specifically plays the music of a well-known music act - often one which has disbanded, ceased touring or is deceased. Probably the largest class of tributes acts are Elvis impersonators, individual performers who mimic the songs and style of Elvis Presley; however, most tribute acts are groups (tribute band or tribute group) and are tributes to a group. For example, The Iron Maidens are an all-female band that pays tribute to Iron Maiden.

A tribute band rarely includes any members of the original band whose music is being honored, though From The Jam is a notable exception. From The Jam features two of the three original members of The Jam. Guest appearances do occur. For example, former Bruce Springsteen drummer Vini Lopez often plays sets with the Springsteen tribute band The E Street Shuffle and original Deep Purple Drummer Ian Paice often plays with the tribute band Purpendicular on small European tours.

The main way in which a tribute band differs from a cover band that simply plays songs by other artists, is that it strives to capture every nuance of the imitated artist's actions and appearance for a perfect imitation. Some tribute bands imitate the appearance but re-interpret the original works in a particular genre or for comic effect. For example, Dread Zeppelin plays Led Zeppelin songs in a reggae style with a lead singer dressed up as Elvis Presley, while Gabba perform the songs of ABBA in the style of The Ramones. There are also individuals who are tributes of a group, and vice versa.

Tribute bands usually name themselves based on the original band's name, some song and even albums.

Tribute acts have also made their way into fiction. For example, the plot of the jukebox musical Never Forget, centers around a Take That tribute band and features the music of the '90s British boy band.

History

The first tribute acts to emerge may have been Beatles tribute bands, such as The Buggs, who attempted to look and sound like The Beatles while playing their songs. However, one might argue that Elvis impersonators qualify as well.

Although initially created to honor the original bands, many tribute bands have grown to have their own fan base. Tribute band names are often a pun on the original name or the names of band members, or are derived from a famous track or record album released by the original band.

Those bands and artists that have inspired a cult following in their fans tend to have a significant tribute band presence as well, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Styx, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Madonna, The Misfits, Queen, Grateful Dead, Van Halen, ABBA, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Rammstein and Neil Diamond.

One of the best-known members of a tribute band is Tim "Ripper" Owens, who went from singing in a Judas Priest tribute to becoming the band's actual lead singer in 1996. This story was used as the basis for the 2001 movie Rock Star starring Mark Wahlberg, although neither Owens nor Judas Priest assisted in the film's production. Owens recorded two studio albums and two live albums with Judas Priest before leaving in 2003 to make way for the band's reunion with former frontman Rob Halford. Owens would later become the singer for the band Iced Earth.

In 1997, the British journalist Tony Barrell wrote a major feature for The Sunday Times about the UK tribute-band scene, which mentioned bands including Pink Fraud, the Pretend Pretenders and Clouded House. In the piece, Barrell asserted that "the main cradle of the tribute band...is Australia. Starved of big names, owing to their reluctance to put Oz on their tour itineraries, Australians were quite unembarrassed about creating home-grown versions. Then, like an airborne seed, one of these bands just happened to drift to Britain." The band in question was the ABBA tribute Björn Again, who staged a successful publicity stunt in the early 1990s, arriving at Heathrowmarker airport in white one-piece outfits similar to the ones worn by ABBA on the cover of their 1976 album, Arrival. Other Tribute acts such as The Beatnix (Beatles), Zeppelin Live, and The Australian Pink Floyd Show have experienced continued popularity for over a decade.

Oasis tribute band No Way Sis took the notion of tribute bands a step further in 1997 by achieving a UK top 20 hit single with their rendition of "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing". In addition to this, the band were asked to step in for Oasis and play to a sell out audience in Paris after Oasis canceled their show.

In 1998, two men who were in a Blues Brothers tribute band changed their names officially by deed poll to Joliet Jake Blues and Elwood Jake Blues. They also are the only men in the UK to have their sunglasses on their passports and driver's licences.

In 2000, filmmakers Jeff Economy and Darren Hacker produced the documentary film ...An Incredible Simulation, which examined the tribute band phenomenon. Produced separately and independently in 2001 was the documentary Tribute by directors Kris Curry and Rich Fox, which also covered the movement. In 2007, producers Allison Grace and Michelle Metivier produced a four-part documentary series called "Tribute Bands" for Global TV which features tributes to The Police, Queen, Rush and The Tragically Hip.

In 2002, the first biography of a tribute band was published by SAF in London. Entitled Being John Lennon, the book is a humorous account of life on the road in The Beatles' tribute "Sgt. Pepper's Only Dart Board Band", written by the group's founder, Martin Dimery.

In 2003, Mandonna, an all-male tribute to Madonna, was formed in response to the rise of all-female tribute acts such as The Iron Maidens, Lez Zeppelin and AC/DShe.

At the 2003 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Japanese Beatles appeared, accompanied on a few songs by someone billed as the Japanese Eric Clapton. It made for an incongruous sight, since the former wore the familiar Beatle suits while their guest dressed in contemporary clothes.

In 2005, original Lynyrd Skynyrd members Ed King (co-author of "Sweet Home Alabama"), drummers Artimus Pyle and Bob Burns, and "honkettes" Leslie Hawkins and JoJo Billingsley all played with The Saturday Night Special Band, a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute from New York. This was the first tribute band to be composed of more original members than the current touring lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

In 2005, tribute band Beatallica received attention when they were threatened with a lawsuit by Sony Music Entertainment over their unique interpretation of Beatles songs done in a Metallica style. With the help of Metallica drummer/co-founder Lars Ulrich, Beatallica won their legal battle, and still record and tour today.

When singer Jon Anderson was unable to rejoin progressive rock band Yes in 2008 due to health problems, Benoît David replaced him after bassist Chris Squire discovered a video of him performing with a Yes tribute band called Close to the Edge.

Original Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice has played with members of Deep Purple tribute band Purpendicular since 2002, 2004, 2007 and the whole band in December 2008 on European tours.

Not all tribute acts use the impersonation style. An example is The Muffin Men, who play the music of Frank Zappa in their own style, do not look like, or attempt to look like original members, and often tour with former band members. Jimmy Carl Black is a regular in the band, and they have in the past played, recorded and toured with Ike Willis and Don Preston.

Tribute acts do not always receive full acknowledgment from the original acts they are patterned after. On April 2009, Bon Jovi sued the Los Angelesmarker-based all-female tribute Blonde Jovi for copyright infringement. Since then, the female tribute band temporarily changed their name to Blonde Jersey.

List of well-known tribute bands

Some well-known tribute bands include (alphabetically by covered band, and alphabetically for each):

Playing music by ABBA:

Playing music by AC/DC:



Playing music by The Beatles:

Playing music by The Cure:

Playing music by Genesis:

Playing music by The Grateful Dead:

Playing music by Iron Maiden:

Playing music by Jethro Tull:

Playing music by KISS:

Playing music by Led Zeppelin:

Playing music by Madonna:

Playing music by Metallica:

Playing music by Ozzy Osbourne:

Playing music by the Pet Shop Boys:

Playing music by Pink Floyd:

Playing music by Queen:

Playing music by The Ramones
  • Gabba (performing songs of Abba in the style of The Ramones)
  • The Osaka Ramones (Shonen Knife performing as a Ramones tribute band)
  • The Ramainz (formerly The Ramains, featured two Ramones members)


Playing music by the Rolling Stones

Playing music by The Shadows

Playing music by The Smiths

Playing Music by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Playing music by T.Rex:

See also



References

  1. Hard Rock Hideout - Yes to Tour With Replacement Singer
  2. Undercover.com.au - Bon Jovi Sue Tribute Band


External links




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