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Old 01-20-2019, 09:15 PM
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Tribute band success


I was just reading about a Steely Dan tribute band called "The Fine Columbians" (heh), and it got me thinking. Has there ever been a band that started out as a tribute band, and grew into writing and performing their own music to the point of being successful? I'm not talking about some general cover band, but a band that was intended to copy a specific act.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:55 PM
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Your last sentence eliminates any I can think of. Also, perhaps some individual members (including being picked up by the "real" band) enjoying success but I can't think of any pure tribute bands that pulled it off.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:36 PM
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Apocalyptica started out as a Metallica tribute band but eventually began recording original songs.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:05 PM
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Here's a BBC article on the topic. Most of their examples don't fit the OP's question (such as the Rolling Stones, who, like many other English bands of that era, started out doing covers of a variety of US blues and rock acts), but a few that seem to fit:

Panic! at the Disco was, at one point, a Blink-182 cover band.
Late singer Charles Bradley was a James Brown cover artist early in his career.
Steel Panther, which I'm not familiar with, but which seem to be a spoof of '80s hair metal, were also apparently a Van Halen cover band at one point.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 01-20-2019 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:35 PM
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Steel Panther, which I'm not familiar with, but which seem to be a spoof of '80s hair metal, were also apparently a Van Halen cover band at one point.
While Michael Starr (vocals) and Satchel (guitar) were once in The Atomic Punks, Steel Panther is a completely different band.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:12 AM
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Fab Four?
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:27 AM
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Came here to mention Steel Panther, of whom I have all their albums and have seen live numerous times, only to find I'd been ninja'd.

On a related note, the current lead singer of Journey, Arnel Pineda, was formerly a singer in a nightclub band that frequently did Journey covers, and it was YouTube videos of their performances that caused Neal Schon to seek him out after Steve Augeri left the group.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:09 AM
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On a related note, the current lead singer of Journey, Arnel Pineda, was formerly a singer in a nightclub band that frequently did Journey covers, and it was YouTube videos of their performances that caused Neal Schon to seek him out after Steve Augeri left the group.
Tim "Ripper" Owens was in a Judas Priest tribute band before joining them, as was Benoît David with Yes. Both left after a short time, though, but still have successful careers with other bands.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
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Apocalyptica started out as a Metallica tribute band but eventually began recording original songs.
That's not a bad contribution at all. Love this band. They actually just wrapped up an all-Metallica tour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Came here to mention Steel Panther, of whom I have all their albums and have seen live numerous times, only to find I'd been ninja'd.

On a related note, the current lead singer of Journey, Arnel Pineda, was formerly a singer in a nightclub band that frequently did Journey covers, and it was YouTube videos of their performances that caused Neal Schon to seek him out after Steve Augeri left the group.
Wasn't the lead singer of INXS in a cover band when their first lead singer died?
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Came here to mention Steel Panther, of whom I have all their albums and have seen live numerous times, only to find I'd been ninja'd.

On a related note, the current lead singer of Journey, Arnel Pineda, was formerly a singer in a nightclub band that frequently did Journey covers, and it was YouTube videos of their performances that caused Neal Schon to seek him out after Steve Augeri left the group.
Yeah, Steel Panther was the first band that entered my mind but I was only aware of them as a general '80s hair band cover band and I guess parody/comedy act to an extent and not as a tribute to a specific band. Arnel was one of the guys I was thinking of with my other comment, along with Ripper Owens.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:48 PM
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Fab Four?
The OP seems to be specifically looking for examples of bands that started out doing covers of one particular band, rather than bands which were doing covers, generally (of songs by multiple artists) before becoming big by doing original songs.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:05 PM
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AC/DC tribute band Hayseed Dixie has over a dozen original songs.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 01-21-2019 at 01:07 PM.
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