This is just a Tribute

 
Tribute bands are on the rise and it looks like they are here to stay. After reading this week’s piece on The Idol Kings, a Journey/Mellencamp/Tom Petty tribute act set to play the Scranton Cultural Center, and seeing photos of the Neil Diamond tribute last weekend at River Street Jazz Cafe, the wheels inside my noggin started turning at an ever-increasing rate. Our area already has a celebrated Tom Petty tribute act (The Tom Petty Appreciation Band) which doesn’t incorporate look-a-like shtick or wigs. They play the music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with a few more random gems thrown into to the mix. Journey just played The Pavilion at Montage Mountain last summer to a packed house.
 
Do we really need another tribute act?
The 570 has also seen more than one Pearl Jam tribute act pop up in the last few months. I don’t know if bands see tribute acts as an easy way to play bigger rooms and receive bigger paychecks, or if they really love the targeted artist so much, they want to “BE” them.
I do know that if I had my way, we would be able to go out and see the following tribute acts every weekend in our area — with massive amounts of tongue-in-cheek shtick included.
 
The White Stripes
Suggested tribute act name:

Fake Brother-Sister Love
Tips: Everything from the guitars to the drums should be white-and-red swirled. Must have black hair. Drummer must be female (absolutely no exception) and look utterly bored at all times.
 
Misfits
Suggested tribute act name:

Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight
Tips: A lot of black clothes and make-up. Must have plenty of stamina and must know how to count to three really, really fast.
 
R.E.M.
Suggested tribute act name:

Automatic for the People
Gear needed: Band should consist of an animated lead singer, a guitar player with a Rickenbacker, a drummer with caterpillars for eyebrows and a bass player who could double for a kindergarten teacher.
 
GWAR
Suggested tribute act name:

Catch the Blood
Tips: Must have access to a spaceship and drugs.
 
The Kinks
Suggested tribute act name:

Kinks in the Amour
Tips: The Davies brothers come alive in this show which must feature onstage animosity and copious amounts of verbal jabs.
 
Ike and Tina
Suggested tribute act name:

Proud Mary and Steve
Tips: Tina must be a ringer. Ike can be anyone, but I would prefer if he looks something like Mr. Magoo to achieve the ultimate dramatic contrast.
 
Tenacious D
Suggested tribute act name: Rigg-a-doo

Tips: Two dudes and two guitars. One guitarist has to be able to carry the entire duo.
 
Rush/ZZ Top
Suggested tribute act name: YYZZ Top

Tips: Three beards, a drummer, a bassist that sings like a coyote in heat and a mute guitarist. And lasers. Lots of lasers.
 
The Cure
Suggested tribute act name:

Running Mascara
Tips: Black. A whole lotta black.
 
Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: The Decemberists What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World (Capitol) 2015.
 
Editor Tom Graham is a musician and singer/songwriter rooted in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Send email to: tgraham@timesshamrock.com.

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