Quick question: How do you feel about groups who tour without a "primary" member?
I'm prompted by The Lovin' Spoonful, who were double billed with America here recently. Sebastian hasn't been with the band since '69, and Zally died a decade ago, yet they still get $50 a ticket. Last year, when the 4 Tops hit the casino circuit, the local radio spot used a classic Tops song with Levi on the lead. Is this right? Is it a ripoff? Why can one group get away with it and not another?
I'm a snob in that regard who can't imagine the band is the same without some prominent members. I was a huge fan of Heatwave, but when Johnny Wilder, Jr. left the group, it was never the same. The only time that I saw them in concert was after his accident and I sang along to every song, but he wasn't on stage singing back. It wasn't the same, not by a mile even though Keith Wilder sang half of Heatwave's songs and he was still in the band.
Same with the Commodores post Lionel Ritchie. J.D. Nicholas couldn't hold a candle to his predecessor and it wasn't because Nicholas was not an excellent singer; he was. Unfortunately, he happened to take the place of two of my favorite singers (he also took Wilder's place in Heatwave) in two of my favorite bands.
I'm going to take a different side here and say it's up to each and every group to decide when they are done. All of the singing groups, bands and solo artists that we enjoy are real live people with bills to pay and families to raise. They have a job they believe they are competent and successful in and they may see no reason not to keep going in some form in order to earn a living.
It's up to each person as a fan and potential audience member to decide whether or not we will pay to see the new or different configuration. Let the basic law of supply and demand ultimately answer the question. As for advertising, that's usually the promoter's choice. They're not fooling anybody, You know who's dead and who's alive. Who's still in the group and who's left. Sometimes if you keep an open mind you might be pleasantly surprised by a new voice or player that brings a fresh spin to familiar material.
i saw the drifters pt2 and fourtops the remake obviously neither had any original members.people that didnt know anything thought they were watching the real groups,they were buying the cd's (by the new groups) after the show,well that isnt right.they had the fourtops and the drifters title on their respective cd's but sung by the the new group.but i will say it was a good show put on by both outfits.i saw the shows twice!they were in our hotel and it was free!they were doing other groups stuff to,temptations ojays stylistics the crowd loved it.so for entertainment value they were very good.in the end i forgot their group name and enjoyed it.
i used to go and watch one of the lead singers rehearsing in the afternoon for a couple of hours.just him on stage with a backing track going and me sat at a table with a pint nobody else there.now that was ace!
Last edited by tamla617; 07-03-2012 at 05:41 PM.
I went to a company Christmas party about 20 years ago that featured "A Night With the Drifters". I was the only one that I knew who was actually interested in the music but at first it irritated me that this was basically a tribute band singing some of my favorite songs. However, since it was clear that Ben E. King and Clyde McPhatter weren't going to be appearing that night, I was able to relax and enjoy the show for what it was. It was one of those nights where I knew the lyrics to almost every song of a pretty long set, so it was easy to appreciate the show.
Nice story Tamla.
I used to be more of a snob than I am now.....Jerry, Chi and Tamla's take pretty much describes my current position. I appreciate it more when they give props to those who have gone before.
I ran into Steve Boone several times in Baltimore since 1988.....when he was gushing about the Celtics/Hawks Game 7 and Bird and Dominique's performances. Was he with the band?