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One Band Becomes Multiple Tribute Acts


wardjames

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I've noticed an interesting development on the coverband scene, where successful coverbands are branching off into doing multiple bands/tribute acts within the same band, and marketing it on one website.

 

Here's an example: http://platinumrockstars.com/ (Classic Rock, Styx, Boston, Party Rock)

Here's another: http://www.rockola.com/ (classic rock, Beatles, Steely Dan)

 

This seems like a really good idea, and I've noticed that Platinum Rock Stars even sets it up so that they open for themselves by using various acts within the same show.

 

It also seems to allow them to play A-list venues more than once in the same month by doing a different act.

 

I've actually been toying with the act of also offering a Garth and George Strait tribute within our band and marketing it on our website.

 

Has anyone else considered doing this or is anyone doing this?

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its been done to death with rock around here, especially the schlock-rock/fluff metal stuff.

 

 

It seems like it's been done to death around here as well...but OTOH there's very few acts that are successful at it. In many ways the tribute stuff is more difficult than a normal cover band, but there's also a large potential financial reward.

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that's a weird pairing!!

 

 

Eh...not so much if you think about it. Both acts were initially popular around the same time and therefore share a lot of the same fans, and there's a certain physical resemblance between Petty and Ocasek that the leader of this band shares. And even vocally, there's not a huge difference between the two singers. The vocals are in the same range, it's mostly just the inflections that are different.

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We've been doing that for 6 years. My Beatles tribute/cover band was having some opposition from clubs that didn't want to have 3 hours of Beatles music, so we formed a second band - an Eagles tribute. Both bands have the same members, except the Eagles tribute has a fifth person(lead vocalist/guitarist, who incidentally sings just like Don Henley and does a good job with Frey as well). That combination has worked well for us, each band maintains a setlist of @ 2 hours of "hits" and generally performs for about 90 minutes (each) at each show. In addition, we book each band separately when requested (mostly for private events and festivals) and if the customer wants both bands, it gives us the opportunity to charge a little more. It took a while, but each band has developed a separate identity and following.

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Eh...not so much if you think about it. Both acts were initially popular around the same time and therefore share a lot of the same fans, and there's a certain physical resemblance between Petty and Ocasek that the leader of this band shares. And even vocally, there's not a huge difference between the two singers. The vocals are in the same range, it's mostly just the inflections that are different.

nu-wave pop and folky roots rock aren't quite the same thing is what I was getting at.

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nu-wave pop and folky roots rock aren't quite the same thing is what I was getting at.

 

 

I know. I was just pointing out there are probably a lot more similarities than you realize. Both acts are staples of classic rock radio and, as such, certainly share a LOT of the same fans. I've got pretty much every album by both acts. I doubt I'm alone in being a big fan of both.

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that's a weird pairing!!

 

 

Actually, I always associate the two bands together. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers came out in 1977, The Cars in 1978. Both bands were based around the lead singer/rhythm guitar player's songs. Both are five piece lineups with keyboards. The only major differences are that Ric would have his friend and bandmate Benjamin Orr sing some of his songs too, The Cars had more harmony backing vocals (live and especially on record) and the keyboards are spacier for The Cars. Both bands definitely have an American (or "Americana") rock and roll sound. Both groups have catchy songs that are still heard today.

 

So, I could definitely see a Tom Petty/Cars double-bill for a tribute band. Would be cool!

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Actually, I always associate the two bands together. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers came out in 1977, The Cars in 1978. Both bands were based around the lead singer/rhythm guitar player's songs. Both are five piece lineups with keyboards. The only major differences are that Ric would have his friend and bandmate Benjamin Orr sing some of his songs too, The Cars had more harmony backing vocals (live and especially on record) and the keyboards are spacier for The Cars. Both bands definitely have an American (or "Americana") rock and roll sound. Both groups have catchy songs that are still heard today.


So, I could definitely see a Tom Petty/Cars double-bill for a tribute band. Would be cool!

 

 

Yeah, the two bands a similar to me as well. Largely because they came out at the same time. And also, while certainly not a 'new wave' band, Tom Petty wasn't exactly considered "roots rock" at the time of his early albums. The "roots rock" thing was much more of a result of his 90s work. But those first couple of albums had a modern edge to them at the time. There wasn't much of any rootsy about stuff like "I Need To Know" or "Listen To Her Heart". There was more of a "punk" feel to that stuff than anything else.

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Actually, I always associate the two bands together. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers came out in 1977, The Cars in 1978. Both bands were based around the lead singer/rhythm guitar player's songs. Both are five piece lineups with keyboards. The only major differences are that Ric would have his friend and bandmate Benjamin Orr sing some of his songs too, The Cars had more harmony backing vocals (live and especially on record) and the keyboards are spacier for The Cars. Both bands definitely have an American (or "Americana") rock and roll sound. Both groups have catchy songs that are still heard today.


So, I could definitely see a Tom Petty/Cars double-bill for a tribute band. Would be cool!

As I said, I was referring to the 2 very different genres.

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Yeah, the two bands a similar to me as well. Largely because they came out at the same time. And also, while certainly not a 'new wave' band, Tom Petty wasn't exactly considered "roots rock" at the time of his early albums. The "roots rock" thing was much more of a result of his 90s work. But those first couple of albums had a modern edge to them at the time. There wasn't much of any rootsy about stuff like "I Need To Know" or "Listen To Her Heart". There was more of a "punk" feel to that stuff than anything else.

Dam the Torpedos isn't rootsy? I could see thinking TP and the Plimsouls have a similar sound.

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Yeah, the two bands a similar to me as well. Largely because they came out at the same time. And also, while certainly not a 'new wave' band, Tom Petty wasn't exactly considered "roots rock" at the time of his early albums. The "roots rock" thing was much more of a result of his 90s work. But those first couple of albums had a modern edge to them at the time. There wasn't much of any rootsy about stuff like "I Need To Know" or "Listen To Her Heart". There was more of a "punk" feel to that stuff than anything else.

 

 

Yep, definitely. The early TPATH albums have a punkish snarl to them and, to a lesser degree, so do The Cars, Candy-O and Panorama. I think that's what attracted me to both of those bands.

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Dam the Torpedos isn't rootsy? I could see thinking TP and the Plimsouls have a similar sound.

 

 

At the time of the first two albums I was probably more inclined to put TP closer to the Ramones or Joe Jackson than to the mainstream rock at the time like Boston or Foreigner or thinking he had any sort of retro sound. (I don't think terms like 'rootsy' even existed back then.) By Damn The Torpedos he was definately becoming more mainstream, but that was pretty much just straight-ahead pop-rock at the time.

 

I may have just missed the connections, but I don't think I started hearing anything I thought of as retro or rootsy in his sound until probably "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and the "Full Moon Fever" album.

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As I said, I was referring to the 2 very different genres.

 

I guess I don't see much difference, even between a so-called "newave" band and "roots" band. I believe at one time back then, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers were also considered somewhat newave. Not in the Devo/B-52s sense of newave, obviously, but in the vein of a "new" kind of music style. :idk:

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Has anyone else considered doing this or is anyone doing this?

 

 

Not in the country world like yourself, but I have considered having different tribute bands. I'm not sure if I'd have the same bandmembers in each one (which is what you are talking about), but it would be an interesting idea. With our current lineup, we could actually do a Talking Heads or Pixies tribute (three dudes, one female bassist), but I don't know how much the other guys and lady like those bands.

 

Some bands I would like to tribute would be The Who, The Beatles, The Cars, Black Sabbath, The Doors, A Flock Of Seagulls (probably not much demand there) and Megadeth (again). Since I'm not interested in traveling a lot (and to have a successful tribute act, travel is pretty much required), it's probably not going to happen.

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At the time of the first two albums I was probably more inclined to put TP closer to the Ramones or Joe Jackson than to the mainstream rock at the time like Boston or Foreigner or thinking he had any sort of retro sound. (I don't think terms like 'rootsy' even existed back then.) By Damn The Torpedos he was definately becoming more mainstream, but that was pretty much just straight-ahead pop-rock at the time.


I may have just missed the connections, but I don't think I started hearing anything I thought of as retro or rootsy in his sound until probably "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and the "Full Moon Fever" album.

hmmm, maybe you didn't but hordes of people did. Everything about his sound has always screamed vintage as opposed to modern. Many early TP references to Dylan and the Byrds. And of course, rootsy stuff can also have a snottiness to it like I GOTTA KNOW has. And BREAKDOWN hardly has a nu-wave vibe to it, at least not to most people's ears.

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hmmm, maybe you didn't but hordes of people did. Everything about his sound has always screamed vintage as opposed to modern. Many early TP references to Dylan and the Byrds. And of course, rootsy stuff can also have a snottiness to it like I GOTTA KNOW has. And BREAKDOWN hardly has a nu-wave vibe to it, at least not to most people's ears.

 

No, but it didn't sound retro either. It sounded current and edgy. It was only as Petty was around long enough to become 'classic rock' that a lot of his stuff started sounding more rootsy. I don't recall anybody making Dylan or Byrds connections with his music in the late 70s (although maybe some music critics did?). And I don't know anybody who was listening to both at the time. Dylan and Byrds were pretty much oldies and it was the kids my age who were listening to Petty. There were more Cars fans listening to Petty than Byrds or Dylan fans at the time.

 

But that was all a long time ago. Funny how perceptions change over time. Hard to remember now that Petty was ever considered 'cutting edge'.

 

And this is hardly the look of a band who, in 1978 would have been trying to play up any connection to Dylan or the Byrds or 60s music.

 

300.jpg

 

In fact, they look a lot more like THESE guys to me:

 

cars-early-pic.jpg

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We've been doing that for 6 years. My Beatles tribute/cover band was having some opposition from clubs that didn't want to have 3 hours of Beatles music, so we formed a second band - an Eagles tribute. Both bands have the same members, except the Eagles tribute has a fifth person(lead vocalist/guitarist, who incidentally sings just like Don Henley and does a good job with Frey as well). That combination has worked well for us, each band maintains a setlist of @ 2 hours of "hits" and generally performs for about 90 minutes (each) at each show. In addition, we book each band separately when requested (mostly for private events and festivals) and if the customer wants both bands, it gives us the opportunity to charge a little more. It took a while, but each band has developed a separate identity and following.

 

 

Nice! Couple of questions...

 

Do you guys market it on the same website?

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