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Anyone play in a pro "tribute" act ?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SMASH, May 12, 2005.


  1. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    Canada.
  2. I know The Machine kicks ass. I've seen them twice, once in NYC and once in Knoxville and they are truly amazing.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    I did an Elvis gig years ago.....
    I do some pick up work with a John Fogerty dude from time to time now.....ther's no special financial deal or any legal requirement that I know beyond not representing it as the real thing.

    and yes it can be fun and lucrative.
     
  4. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I know it's not the same thing, but I play 6 days a week at Legends in Concert, which is a tribute show. Done my share of Elvis tunes, lemme tell ya... :mad:

    Anyway, our drummer worked in a U2 tribute band in St. Louis. They did pretty good, and he loved the gig. Ended up coming here (Branson) for different reasons, but he still talks about that gig a lot.
     
  5. I did about year with a pro tribute act in 2000 doing between 3 and 5 shows a week.

    We certainly made plenty of money but, so far as I'm aware, we never paid anyone any royalties. ;) ;)

    For the record, it was the most brain-numbingly boring experience of my life so far and I hope NEVER to repeat it. :rollno: :rollno: :rollno: :rollno:
     
  6. Intrepid

    Intrepid

    Oct 15, 2001
    I had no idea there was money to be found in tribute bands. I can't say I've ever seen a cover band in my life.
     
  7. I've booked a few of these bands and the legends show over the years and they get paid very well. Great shows too! Craziest act has to be Mini-Kiss for sure, caught these guys in Charlotte last year and they rocked!
     
  8. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    I think anyone that plays cover bars for any length of time at all is a heck of a lot closer to it than they think they are.

    My current gig has enough Skynyrd on the request list that if I wanted to buy a wig and play with a pick I could triple my pay right now. There are about 5 single acts in town that are only a flowered shirt away from being Jimmy Buffet on a barstool
     
  9. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    It depends on location, here in MD covers are about the only way you can make money with a band, its just what people want to hear when they go drink. Cover acts are hugely popular, especially during the summer in the Ocean City area. I have several friends who play the club circuit there and make enough during each summer to cover them for the rest of the year. One of them plays 6-10 sets a week and the band books at $5000 a set plus a cut of the door...do the math :eek:

    As far as I know live performances of copywrited material require the venue to pay a royalty fee, not the performer, and the fees are determined differently than the ones for recording a song.
     
  10. You're in Branson!?!? A very good friend of mine just got on playing for the Braschler Music Show. His name is James Gregg. His uncle, Tim Gregg, got him the gig. Both of 'em are phenomenal guitarists. if you meet James, tell him Brad says hi. Small world
     
  11. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I'll probably run into him at some point; Branson is a pretty small town. Not as much going on musically as you'd think, but a fellow from Kansas City just opened a jazz club (called the Majestic...he apparently also owns one in KC), so I'm playing there a lot this and next month. Hopefully, it'll last. Anyway, if I run into James, I'll be sure to say hey.
     
  12. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    There was a thread about this recently..

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=176327&highlight=tribute

    As for royalties - In Austr at least, they're paid by the venue. They pay for an APRA license every year, the cost of which is determined by the type of business they are and the type of entertainment they put on. The cover bands don't have to worry about it.
     
  13. ERIC31

    ERIC31

    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    I'd love to play in a tribute band of an act I like. I really enjoy playing covers myself.

    Speaking of tribute bands, if any of you are into classic VAN HALEN...you've got to see THE ATOMIC PUNKS out of LA. They are amazing. Only play DLR-era stuff spot on.
    :bassist:

    www.theatomicpunks.com
     
  14. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    Canada.
    I know that venues are supposed to pay fees to the publishers - it's that way in Canada too and varies greatly by country from what I understand - but how many of you have to submit a list of covers you played? Basically, the club pays a fee and the monies are distributed to artists by how much they sell, or some such.

    Hardly seems fair, since there are certainly more AC/DC, Maiden, KISS, G'n'R, etc. tributes than Beyonce or Britney, yet the former sells far more so arguably gets a bigger cut. Same ways "copyright levies" are distributed in Canada too, which is a scam both against artists who need blank media to distribute their own music rather than to steal it, and to the artists who are on the wrong side of that distribution formula mentioned above ... but I digress.

    My point is, it's one thing to play "Comfortably Numb" at the end of the night, but quite another, IMO, to look and act like Pink Floyd, be billed as "the ultimate Pink Floyd tribute", copy some of their stage shows, their mannerisms, etc. At that point, you're making money off the artists' image, name, etc. and I'd think their lawyers would at least justify their existence with a cease and desist letter. I feel pretty confident that KISS or Metallica lawyers would be in touch ... am I wrong?

    No one pays any dues? Some of these guys sell tickets in the thousands *per show* at $30+ per ticket (see links at top for Michael White and Rain) while touring major venues all over the world, and the actual artists, some of whom have renown legal teams, get nothing of it? :eyebrow:

    You certainly can't sell handbags market "Loois Vuitton" [sic] with a similar logo for very long before the cops shut you down, you can't distribute bootleg Beatles albums, but you can dress, act, and play exactly like them and rake it in? :meh: :confused:
     
  15. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Yeah, there are dozens of Kiss tribute bands that strive to look and sound exactly like Kiss. Some of them are so good their members have been borrowed by Kiss over the years to fill in slots on tours. I've yet to hear or a simillar act built around Metallica, but I'm sure it could happen. I know of dozens of tribute bands devoted to the likes of Maiden, AC/DC, Poison, Def Leopard and Plink Floyd who do the same thing (check out Several Species if you ever get the chance, they do Floyd better than Floyd ever did). Heck there is even a Phish tribute act around here that is supposedly uncannily like the real thing.

    The real issue is that you can't trademark or copywrite the style of a band, though in this day and age I wouldn't be surprised to see a band file a patent on a certain "look and feel". You can lock down the name, the material, but playing a cover is legal as long as the rules are followed, and what you wear while doing it is open season.

    As long as you don't claim you ARE the act in question, and the royalties get paid by the venue (the "paying of dues" part), its all legit.
     
  16. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    My old band was fortunate enough to tour with a particular well know Aussie act that is big enough to have tribute band in their honour. Their take on it was that these people are doing them a favour, helping to promote their band.
     
  17. thunderthief_29

    thunderthief_29

    Nov 20, 2004
    Lancs, Uk
    The Best Floyd tribute I have ever been to see are 'The Australian Pink Floyd Show'. They actually played at David Gilmours 50th birthday party!!!
    Another good Floyd act are 'In The Flesh', I saw them last year. They had one of the most talented female performers I have seen, she sang, played rythmn guitar, some lead guitar, lap steel guitar and sang 'Great Gig in the Sky'!!!!

    Mike
     
  18. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    We're playing with these guys, http://www.thesoftparade.com/ , a Doors tribute band. They are supposed to be excellent. You may want to call their booking agent like a potential client. Maybe you can get a $$$ range.


    Also, our drummer plays in an excellent Dead tribute band that plays good venues. I'll check with him.
     
  19. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
  20. ERIC31

    ERIC31

    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    Check out Creeping Death out of So Cal. I haven't heard them myself but they play a lot with The Iron Maidens down there. :bassist:

    www.creepingdeathonline.com

    www.theironmaidens.com