Cover Bands and Tribute Artists

The Reincarnation of Elvis

by on Dec.17, 2009, under Elvis

I don’t believe in ghosts and give little credence to conspiracy theories, but watching this video gave me goosebumps. For a brief second, I thought perhaps everything I knew was wrong and Elvis had never shaken his hips off this expired barbiturate of a planet to meet his eternal reward.

Without further ado, the unbelievable reincarnation of the King:

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Tribute: A Rocumentary

by on Feb.06, 2009, under Cover Bands and Tribute Artists

It should come as no surprise that I love tribute artists and bands. Ever since I saw my first Elvis impersonator I’ve held a strange fascination for these artists. I’ve seen more than my fair share of acts, more than a well-adjusted, grounded, all-around great person like myself should admit to.

The biggest kick I get from attending these shows is talking to members of the bands. Pretend Jim Morrison played the part onstage, and off and acted like a pretentious, spaced out acid head. He was a make-believe hippy poet! There stands the difference between cover bands and tribute acts, cover bands play the music – tribute acts metamorph into the artist in varying degrees. For some its only onstage, for others it begins take over their lives. The latter are the ones I love.

So, I was pretty happy when I stumbled across the old tv documentary “Tribute: A Rockumentary.” This follows four different acts; KISS, The Monkees, Queen and Judas Priest, over the period of about two years. The movie was kind of hacked together, and the storylines were jumbled and hard to follow at times, but overall it was worth the watch. I was expecting it to follow these people around and show how ridiculous their lives were and have a good laugh, but it went deeper and showed how much work goes into putting together a good tribute act, the trials and tribulations of faux stardom, mental illness, delusions, success, primadonnas…and how ridiculous they are.

The oddest part for me were the interviews with ‘Superfan,’ the self described biggest Queen fan in the world. Superfan is so infatuated with the Queen tribute act ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ that he gets so nervous he can’t eat on the days when this band is playing. When the lead singer moves to Germany, the guys world falls apart around him.

All of the bands were pretty good, but my favorite had to have been the guy who played Mike Nesmith in the Monkee’s tribute act, ‘The Missing Links.’ Apparently he started this band with another guy who screwed him over. The band had a bad break up, and he quit playing music for a year. During one interview he explained how during that time if he picked up his guitar he’d just cry. Finally he got together with a couple of former bandmates, found a new Davey Jones, and put together a new act which lasted two or three rehearsals. The entire time, cursing The Missing Links. The hatred brewing in this guy was unreal, every sentence seemed to end with, ‘…Not like the Fucking Missing Links!” It freaked out the new fake Davey Jones enough to send him packing.

It could have been better, but who cares. If you like this sort of thing you’ll like this movie.

I don’t know where you can find a copy, but here are two great clips to check out.
The first is KISS tribute Larger Than Life auditioning for a new Gene Simmons. The second clip shows former members of The Missing Links rehearsing for the first time with their new outfit : Head.

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The Bush Dodging Shoes Dance

by on Dec.16, 2008, under Comedy, Elvis, Hecklers

Dominating the news cycle this morning is this video clip from U.S. president George Bush’s visit to Iraq yesterday, when a Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi from Al-Baghdadia television network hurled both his shoes at Bush during a press conference. This quickly disintegrated into a decadent orgy of dance, as the spirit of Elvis took over GW’s body. The horrific results can be seen here:

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Metal Elvis

by on Oct.17, 2008, under Cover Bands and Tribute Artists, Elvis

It’s Elvis! It’s Guns’N'Roses! Its…

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Hey Jude, Baby

by on Aug.04, 2008, under Cover Bands and Tribute Artists

I never thought anything could make this song listenable!
Well, I was wrong. Briefly.

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Extreme Elvis

by on Jul.01, 2008, under Cover Bands and Tribute Artists

GG Allin meets Elvis Presley in the fever dreams of Artaud.

Extreme Elvis is possibly the greatest living Elvis tribute artist alive today. If he’s still living, that is. His site was permanently shut down years ago by the FBI and Homeland Security for copy write infringement and other heinous crimes…or was it? Reality becomes a blur. Aside from a few online interviews, a story in Gigs From Hell and fading memories of the fascinating biography from his old site, nothing remains but a small handful of unforgettable performances which remain seared into my brain.

Extreme Elvis burst on the about scene eight years ago, leaving a trail of carnage, urine stained blue suede shoes, feces soaked mikes and broken hearts. What happened to him? Was he taken out by some muscle from the Memphis Mafia? Did he self destruct in a delirious haze of fame? Is he living in obscurity in Hollywood, appearing randomly on bagels or treating unsuspecting locals with the occasional sighting in the Midwest? I don’t claim to know, I just wish he’d reignite the faltering Elvis scene with his brilliant interpretation.

Below are clips of two of my favorite E.E. performances. They’re actually quite tame compared to the rest of the existing performances which can be found on his
old video page, including a legendary full length performance at the Covered Wagon from 2001. I’ve saved them in case they suddenly disappear as well, and recommend you do the same. Be aware that these videos aren’t work safe, so quit your crappy job. In fact, they’re probably not safe for any situation or location. Please enjoy responsibly, or better yet – don’t. Go on with your life and be happy with Elvis Karaoke on Tuesday nights at the Bingo Hall, unhampered by the reality of these powerful and emotionally charged renditions. You cannot unsee this.
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The Bitless play The Beatles

by on Nov.28, 2007, under Cover Bands and Tribute Artists

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, here come the Bitless to really make the Beatles music shine.

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Great Europe Cover from a Great Band

by on Nov.05, 2007, under Cover Bands and Tribute Artists

This has been around a while, but it never gets old. I never found out who this band was, or if they recorded anything else, but this is a fantastic performance and I hope they’re still around. Apparently the got paid for this gig, perhaps they’ve all retired.

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