I found a statistic on the Internet, indicating that there could be about 450 Grateful Dead tribute outfits in the USA! This is about 450 more than there are in the UK, of course, and about the same number of Thin Lizzy copy acts that there are in Castleford.
We still just do not ‘do’ these copy groups. At the recent Butlins Rock and Blues weekend there were flyers handed out for some ‘tribute’ weekend. The Cambridge Rock Festival devotes a whole evening to them , and has an advert for some affair in Great Yarmouth*which is heavily populated by these copy groups. The island of Rhodes has had complete weekends of a TribFest.
Those people who are paying huge amounts of money to see the Australian Pink Floyd should get out their copy of ‘Automatic for the People’. If forming a copy group back in the day had been such an easy and lucrative option, a youthful REM would have been a Velvet Underground copy act, there would never have been the brilliant ‘Bellybutton’ (check it out), because Jellyfish would have made a comfortable living as a Wings copy act, and as for ‘Ziggy Stardust…’! It wouldn’t have happened because David Bowie would have been doing the clubs as a Anthony Newley tribute act.
If Nigel Farage announces that he is going to ban these groups, he will get my vote…but wouldn’t I be voting for a tribute act if I vote UKIP?!
I’ll admit to watching copy acts occasionally. ZZ Topps are pretty good , as are the Petty Hearbreakers. But it says it all when the lad who used to be ‘Bob’ in Dirty Dylan now does ‘Marc Bolan’ in some T.Rex group. Because it is better paid!!
*According to the ClassicRockTours facebook site, the comments about not liking tribute bands are ‘uninformed’ and ‘boring’. The organisers would say that, of course! I reckon I am pretty well ‘informed’, and by now am a bit boring re my opinion of the genre. (But I am far from alone!)
The Classic Rock Tours person reckons , therefore, that the Philharmonic Orchestras are ‘tribute’ acts because they are playing Tchaikovsky’s music. I think the fact is that the likes of Tchaikovsky wrote music to be performed by orchestras! Or does the Classic Rock Tours person think that Mr T performed his music himself?! I suspect that this person is, let me think of an adjective, ‘uninformed’?