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Tribute band

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Tribute band

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A tribute band (sometimes tribute group) is a musical group created in order to specifically play the music of a well-known band, often one which has disbanded or ceased touring. A tribute band rarely includes any members of the original band whose music is being honoured.

The typical tribute band differs from a cover band that simply plays songs by other artists by striving to capture every nuance of the imitated artist's actions and appearance for a perfect imitation. Some tribute bands imitate the appearance but re-interpret the original works in a particular genre or for comic effect. For example Dread Zeppelin plays Led Zeppelin songs in a reggae style with a lead singer who looks like Elvis Presley, while Gabba perform the songs of ABBA in the style of The Ramones.



The first tribute bands to emerge may have been Beatles tribute bands, who attempt to look and sound like The Beatles while playing their songs. However, one might argue that Elvis impersonators qualify as well.

Although initially created to honour the original bands, many tribute bands have grown to have their own fan base. Tribute band names are often a pun on the original name or the names of band members, or are derived from a famous track or record album released by the original band.

Those bands and artists that have inspired a cult following in their fans tend to have a significant tribute band presence as well, such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Madonna, The Grateful Dead, Van Halen, ABBA, The Rolling Stones, and Neil Diamond. At the 2003 Edinburgh Fringe Festival the Japanese Beatles appeared, accompanied on a few songs by someone billed as the Japanese Eric Clapton. It made for an incongruous sight, since the former wore the familiar Beatle suits while their guest dressed in contemporary clothes.

One of the most well-known members of a tribute band is Tim "Ripper" Owens, who went from singing in a Judas Priest tribute band to becoming the group's actual lead singer in 1996. This story was used as the basis for the 2001 movie Rock Star starring Mark Wahlberg, although neither Owens nor Judas Priest assisted in the film's production. Owens recorded two studio albums and a live album with Judas Priest before leaving in 2003 to make way for the band's reunion with former frontman Rob Halford. Owens would later become the singer for the band Iced Earth.

In 2000, filmmakers Jeff Economy and Darren Hacker produced a documentary film ...An Incredible Simulation that examined the tribute band phenomenon. Produced separately and independently in 2001 was the documentary Tribute by directors Kris Curry and Rich Fox which also covered the movement.

An exception to the impersonation style are The Muffin Men, who play the music of Frank Zappa in their own style, do not look like, or attempt to look like original members, and often tour with former band members. Jimmy Carl Black is a regular in the band, and they have in the past played, recorded and toured with Ike Willis, Bunk Gardner, and Don Preston.

In 2004, tribute band Beatallica received attention when they were sued over their unique interpretation of Beatles songs done in a Metallica style. They won their legal battle, and still record and tour today.

See also

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.