Tribute Bands - don't they ever get fed up?

I saw an excellent tribute band last night. Off The Wall, proclaiming themselves 'The Spirit of Pink Floyd'. And super they were too. Really accurate sounds and a great 2 hours of music and lights. I'd link to their web site but that seems to have gone AWOL....

Anyway, I've seen quite a few tribute acts in the last few years. Fun for the audience, who are transported on a trip down memory lane, but what about the performers? Playing the songs of their heroes is probably fun for the first few months, even the first year, but what about after that? Playing virtually the same songs in the same way, night after night? However tricky and complex they are, boredom must surely set in, and how they to conceal this from the audience?

The temptation is to start changing the songs, adding embellishments, experimenting - that's what all normal bands do. But if a tribute band starts altering the songs of their trademark, they get castigated and scorned. Everything has to be 100% authentic.

It's a tricky situation. Some bands (e.g. the Bootleg Beatles) seem to go on for years with few changes and seem very happy. I'm sure there are others which implode or stagnate, too. I guess a lot comes down to whether you can make a living from it. As the Bootlegs do, for example? In which case, it counts as 'work' and you simply grin and bear it, as most of us do our normal labours!!

Comments welcome!


redmond said…
Yes they do!

The UK Pink Floyd tribute Think Floyd set out to not only cover Pink Floyd songs but to write and perform music in the spirit of Pink Floyd. They recorded 2 CDs of original material, which got good reviews, even from The Roger Waters fan club.

Then an agent became involved and even worse the main songwriter got MS and stopped playing. The agent got the band to drop the original songs, set up slick shows complete with kids from local drama schools and big light shows.

The band members still loved playing but after expenses the pay was very poor, and one by one, being disillusioned the original members left.

This was not a problem for the agent he justs replaces band members as they leave and keeps the name going.

So the band which goes out under the name Think Floyd is a very different one to the original line up!

I know of other tribute bands where the band is made up form a pool of musicians - you might not see the same line up twice in a row.

As you say, being in a tribute band is just a job like any other.

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