Access All Eras: Tribute Bands and Global Pop Culture

Access All Eras: Tribute Bands and Global Pop Culture

Access All Eras: Tribute Bands and Global Pop Culture

Access All Eras: Tribute Bands and Global Pop Culture

Synopsis

From Björn Again to the Illegal Eagles, from Black Stabbath to the Essex Pistols and the Bootleg Beatles, tribute bands comprise a significant sector of many national music scenes. Access All Eras is the first book to examine the tribute and cover band phenomenon and its place within the global popular music industry. The ability of tributes to reinforce or challenge the very idea of stardom is explored through studies of imitations of various iconic pop and rock performers, including Elvis, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, ABBA and the Beach Boys. Analysis of such tribute acts can tell us much about how the meanings of performers and performance circulate globally, and are resisted or accommodated by local music cultures in the commercialisation of live and recorded memories.

The book also looks at music industry attitudes towards imitation, including copyright issues and the use of multimedia performance techniques to deliver the 'authentic' tribute experience. It offers an insight into how understandings of nostalgia and celebrity circulate within contemporary society and are connected with other media and leisure industries.

Access All Eras is key reading for students in popular music, media studies, cultural studies, arts, music, sociology, performing arts and popular culture studies.

Excerpt

…Well I woke up this morning and dusted my beer
The future is certain
The Australian Doors Show I fear
Jim Morrison IV!
Australian Door!…

Yeah, let me tell you about the New England Highway
And the New South Wales tribute scene
Comes out of an agent's mind!
Cooked!
With a backbeat wide and impossible to get around!
Strange but knowing!
Like some wandering tent show!
Meant to be here!
Way in here!
In the wherever we are…

(Dave Graney, ‘Morrison Floorshow’ 1995)

Covering and copying

Ten years ago I was struck by my mother's response to a family offer to pay for tickets for her to see Neil Diamond when he was on one of his regular Australian tours. As a long-time admirer, my mother nonetheless wanted to see a local Sydney pub/club Diamond tribute performer. She had heard that the approximation of both Diamond's voice and stage mannerisms was uncanny; indeed, ‘the next best thing’. a rock fan who had attended many 1970s and 1980s stadium concerts including Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Bette Midler and Neil Diamond, my mother's changing view about the need to see the original ‘Diamond’ provoked a range of questions and emotions from me. Given the choice (and the finances), how could my mother possibly prefer the copy to the original?

Several years on from my family's discussions of the real Diamond and the local copy, Australian ‘indie’ performer Dave Graney was confronted by the rise of the tribute act from a very different standpoint. As a performer . . .

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