Hong Kong Phooey

December 4, 2010 by Post Team 

Hong Kong Phooey, Alan Perrott meets four musicians so dedicated to their chosen idol he became a part of their life.It is impossible to say whether Marcus has Lammer stars in his eyes when he is an angry drunk on his face.

In real life, the manufacturer who dabbled in karaoke bars in Orewa may have tried to reason with him. But tonight, Lammer is “Randy Rocket”, a part-time rock star who can just remove a vocal Jon Bon Jovi and he knows exactly what singer leather panted should do – he hits the drunk on the head with his microphone, struck again in the crowd and pouted for the ladies.

It is the dream of rock ‘n’ roll cut to fit inside a pub Whangaparaoa … that’s life a tribute artist.

Usually when this phrase appears, people think fat guys do Elvis. It seems easy dead overalls, BeDazzler, stick legs, a bit of Hong Kong Phooey and he is “Thank muhch verrah.” Even if they sing like mud, they’ll never top parody of the great man makes himself during his final daze.

Difficulties such as Mr. Rocket become more likely when you start apeing acts that attract discerning fans wearing anoraks, berets or beer. Then, your act is Stars in Your Eyes hearing was held before a live – and probably with no legs – public. This is a sincere homage and mimicry meets fans and piss-taker.

Still, one would think a group like Maskara would be immune from criticism slings. How can we reasonably take offense on a bunch of guys in spandex and bad wigs representing all major depressions hair metal?

But they can and do. If you’re up there pretending to be Guns N ‘Roses or Def Leppard, you’d better go to more trouble than sticking a cucumber in your pants. True fans know each and every cry solo by heart and they expect to hear them as clearly as they do on their home stereo. They also expect you to look, move, and talk and behave like the real thing. And all for the price of a pint.

None of these factors has prevented tribute bands to become a global phenomenon. England has even dedicated three festivals – Glastonbudget the Fake Festival and Tribfest – nothing to boast, but weekend knock-offs as Oasish, girls who rigged iron.

Nobody is really sure where they started, but the points of the most popular theory of stingy Australian promoters who were sick of the cost of luring big acts Downunder. Tributes are not only cheaper if not free, they do not care what color M & Ms they get behind the scenes.

They can also be lucrative. Before Led Zeppelin authorized digital downloads of their music, a promoter Canny started putting the versions made by his act, Led Zepagain on iTunes and that nearly 500,000 U.S. before the real deal and decided to enter the action.

If they have an archetype is Bjorn Again, ABBA imitators Australia. They are modeled on an act emblematic fails again, have a punny name and characters wrong, and they drive hits perfect score with the same costumes and dancing. When they flew to London for the first time, Bjorn Again even climbed out of their plane in white suits used for the album cover of Abba’s arrival. The joke was so successful the band has even played the main stage at Glastonbury Festival.

But if the scale of their counterparts here is a little smaller, our enthusiasm is not.

Bruce Watters, aka Maskara guitarist Izzy Cooper (from Izzy Stradlin and Alice Cooper), glamming place not only looked like fun, he also promised an extra income. He joined in 2004 after spotting an ad in the newspaper. Money aside, a little head-striking has promised a change from his jazz and classical concerts usual.

As a member of the order of eight different bands, Watters is used for learning new repertoire, but it was a totally different experience. For starters, he had to sit down and devour hours of video over and over again.

“Clearly, the idea is to have fun with the concept,” said the 25-year-old ‘but with tribute bands you also have to do everything you can get everything 100 percent right. If you fluff a solo, you can’t just improvise something on the spot. Fans of severe criticism, it is an absolute attention to detail and includes a real element to do so. When you get all that right the crowd reacts to you as you are the real thing and is like nothing you can get something else. ”

Frocking place is essential. For Watters, the best source for the glam is the women’s section of the local shop op. “That’s where the gold is,” he said. “PVC pants, tops and sequined scarves scarves many -. A fellow mom gave me mine pink spandex tights, I top it with cowboy boots and then there is women’s underwear to drape on the drums… I have collected a large bag of this stuff over the years and I rock up to the concert with her and shoot everything feels less offensive … c ‘ is a bag person can never fly Then it’s on with the eyeliner -. Always the most important – and you’re ready to rock. He is my father so proud. ”

Like most musicians, tribute, Watters also has a day job. Or jobs. Prior to his current position as a consulting firm, he had done time as a brewer and a mason. But before you go thinking of his weekend exploits add some excitement to the annoyance of being a nine to five pounds, “we have what we call the office weekend, you could talk to ‘loo men … we take turns to go there and try not to get splashed too much because we’re going to change. It’s like when you’re pulling the spandex or put your makeup, walk a guy and say something like “what the bloody hell is going on here? Just like in the movies, huh? Really glamorous. ”

So a lot of trouble to do a tribute acts to speed. The danger, says musician Deryn Trainer is that you get so wrapped up with your character than you lose. Trainer is a musician of this country’s most recognized honors his act when Billy Joel took the first set of stars in their eyes.

“I noticed that some people, especially if the character requires an accent or a voice they did on stage, she slips slowly into their real life … a very dear friend of mine, I will not name , has all but disappeared into his alter-ego. It became more comfortable as the larger than life character than him. It’s like the way you start to take over and soon c ‘is another person goes to the dairy to get milk. ”

Trainer within the grimace when people tell him how much he looks like Joel, even if he is happy to note that this is the model 15 years ago rather than today’s Joel. He also “hates” being considered an artist impersonator or tribute. “I am perhaps a little precious, but it reminds me of Elvis impersonators terrible.”

Instead, he sees dress as Billy Joel and Elton John as part of the life of a professional musician – a case not much helped by having a plate of Billy Joel on the number of his van.

Trainer has been working muso since completing piano lessons as a boy. The first 42-year-old made his way to the musical director of theatrical productions, and then filled the same role for Sir Howard Morrison for 15 years while playing in various combos of his own.

Joel to resemble anything that has to do is dye her hair, slipping on the black suit and sunglasses Ray-Ban and seated behind a piano. The rest comes from labor. “It’s that magic thing 10,000 hours. If you spend enough time for something, then you will become good enough that it feels natural. ”

It has all the DVD scene of Joel and all the little nuances fingertips. “I know that in some ways it’s a little easier for me, I’m just sitting at a piano. This means that it is to find the right information, how it moves and moves on the stool head. It would be much different for anyone doing characters like Mick Jagger or Tina Turner. ”

His biggest challenge now is to type on songs like “Piano Man, Uptown Girl night after night. These are the moments when he channels whatever vibe comes from its audience to keep them satisfied.

But it must help that he is a genuine fan. “This guy is a modern Mozart. Even after all these years of him playing, I’m still happy to stick on a CD and listen to him alone. The only place I will not do that is in my van is my music space. The thing is, I know I’m not Billy Joel. And I do not want to be Billy Joel. I just want to be as faithful to his music I can and I do what I need to get this everywhere. ”

So how do you need to be faithful? It may depend on who you claim to be and the extent of your own obsession – tribute artists is generally true fans themselves. Who would go to all that bother to music they can not stand?

Especially when it is as emphatic as that of Pink Floyd. Phill Macdonald is part of three parts In the Pink Floyd who took them very seriously for seven years. After all this study, Macdonald can now watch live and search for errors that nobody can hear.

“But if I had known how it would be difficult to play, I put the idea down,” he said. “On the positive side, we do not need to buy fancy costumes, but still I was in Umm and ahh for a while just before I decided that it sounded like a great challenge … Ha, if only I had known.”

His decision launched two and a half years of practice, purchasing and research fussy until the trio said they had created a show that looked and sounded like a group of 11-piece stage was yet small enough to fit in a country pub without blowing it up. Low ceilings bar has so far ruled out the introduction of the famous flying pig.

As synthesizer designer, producer and trance former keyboard player for the band of the 80 Marginal Eras, Macdonald drives all science. He built a computer system on stage for his lighting system adapted mesh with the guitar and vocal effects, samplers and vocals, a job that has got more complex as he sank deeper into the music. As the music of Pink Floyd is earlier than most modern synths with their settings button, it took many hours of hard noodling to match the sounds of the band had invented for themselves.

None of this came cheap. Neither has been turned on their PA or the determination of the guitarist to assemble a battery of guitars and amps identical to that of David Gilmour. “There has been a fan of Pink Floyd forever,” Macdonald said. “If he could, he would be reincarnated as Gilmour – so absolutely obsessive make things right.” It is an ambition aided his collection of 500 live concert videos.

Still, he insists Macdonald a hobby, if expensive. It will not even guess how much they have spent together – “it was like building the Concorde, we got to this point of no return where it was too late to stop because we ended up losing as many money and even more time “- but it certainly was worth it.

“Shows like ours are strange. It’s not just people who go to the pub for a beer tap into. We let them events where people come to hear Pink Floyd, and for many of them, this band is and will always be their favorite of all time. It comes with high expectations and a lot of skepticism. We get a lot of “Oh yeah? How are you doing this?” we need to nail it right away or we lost. But we are confident that we spent so much time doing things all that by the time our first song (Shine on You Crazy Diamond) is completed and lasers, strobes and smoke machine has stopped, we put them.

“And after all the challenges facing us put it all together is a great reward. So yes, it’s something we like to do. Who would not want to tour the country to play a bit of Pink Floyd fans of Pink Floyd? “

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