Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Trouble With Tribute Bands

A random thought that occurred to me last night...

The Trippin' Billies played at Ribco last night -- they're a Dave Matthews tribute band. Pretty nice guys, and pretty good musicians (though I'm no Dave fan by any stretch.)

But it got me to thinking about tribute bands a little bit...

The Dave Matthews Band is putting out a new record in a week or two, and early reports coming from the kids who are downloading the thing off the internet is that it's a *BAD* record. Earth-shatteringly bad if you believe what some of these kids are saying.

So what happens if the album comes out and it really IS just a horrible stinker of a record? I mean, I doubt it's going to be THAT bad, but let's assume for this scenario that the new DMB record flops as bad as Vanilla Ice's second record. Like, a career-destroying record.

What does that do to the stock of the tribute band?? These guys are paid to mimic and ape this band... Wouldn't it just absolutely SUCK to be a great musician in a tribute band that kids love, and then suddenly, your crowds get thinner... and thinner... and thinner... just because the band you're paid to ape loses popularity?

I bet the guys in Trippin' Billies sweat the Billboard charts and record sales of Dave Matthews Band records just as much as Dave Matthews himself does.

Moral of the story: If you're gonna be in a tribute band, wait until the band you're tributing (is that a word?) is dead. Preferably in some kind of tragic plane crash/accident, career-cut-short, isn't-it-a-tragedy, musical martyr, black-light-posters-aplenty-at-Spencer-Gifts kinda way.

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