All throughout history of rock music,from the earliest times to the most recent,there have been great artists and bands that have made memorable music,and most of us know many of their songs by heart.
But,what most of us DONT realize is that there is a shadowy group of bands and artists that shamelessly tried to copy those originators and “Leech” off their fame,but were not successful,and were forgotten and remained hidden and unknown to the public at large.
This is why after minutes—I mean YEARS of painstaking research,I have uncovered the forgotten histories and unusual stories of many of these “copycat artists”,many of whom have been unjustly neglected due to the close proximity of their brilliant counterparts.
So here now,submitted for your curiosity are a list of some of the more bizarre and notable “copycat bands” whose songs we never heard on the radio,whose albums we never bought, and whose songs we will never,ever listen to:
1)”THE WHAT?”: A very under rated band,”The What” was Canada’s answer to “The Who”.They were unable to get major label support because when the name of the band was mentioned,it was always takin as a joke. Manager Jim Pimple recounts the story:
“I’d get people interested in the band,but whenever I’d get a meeting with anyone,they’d always want to know the name of the act.When I’d tell them they were called “The What”,they’d usually repeat the question and say something like”I SAID—whats the name of the act? When I’d insist that the band was actually called “The What”,they’d usually curse me out and hang up.
2)”TURBAN TURBAN”: A middle eastern band that did a tribute to “Duran Duran”, they were very successful until Sept 11,2001.
3)”LICK”: “Lick” was a band that achieved a slight cult following in New York during the early 70’s. Claiming to have pre dated Kiss by at least a year,leader and vocalist John Spoon claims that Gene Simmons stole his “tongue flicking act” from him. When I asked John how this happened,he replied angrily “To this day,I cant even stand the sight of Gene. He completely stole my whole act”
4)”HUGS FOR DRUGS”: During the mid 80’s,a group of Senators wives known as the “PMRC” petitioned record companies to begin labeling albums that had lyrics of a violent and/or sexual nature. But some of the members went even further,objecting to the NAMES of these bands as well.
One of the members,(Nancy Flowerbush) was especially offended by the band name “Tears for Fears”, and decided to start her own band called “Hugs for drugs”. However,it backfired when Nancy’s own group (The PMRC) launch a scathing attack against HER band,claiming that Nancy was promoting “Sexual contact as a means to get drugs”. Naturally Nancy emphatically denied the charges and claiming that:
“Children today don’t need drugs—they need hugs.And this band is here to convey that message thru song”.
However,no wanted to hear that message,and after only one demo,”Hugs for Drugs” disbanded.
5)”NO”: This band was formed based entirely on their contempt for the band “Yes”. Most of their songs were parodies of Yes’s music,and it was only thru a court injunction filed by Yes’s lead singer Jon Anderson that the band was eventually forced to stop performing under that name.
6)”DRAG”: A band known for their horrifically terrible drummer “Johnny Tempo”. Sadly,Johnny tempos “Tempo” left a lot to be desired. He claimed to be “an admirer of Rush drummer Neil Peart”,but thats where the similarity between the two ended.
7)”SCOTT JANIS”: An incredibly misguided attempt at a “Ragtime tribute to Janis Joplin “Scott Janis’s one album “Janis on the Rag” met with so many bad reviews that the despondent Scott committed suicide while listening to “The Entertainer”.
8)”THE REALISTS”: Lead singer “Christian Jeckyl”(who was later takin to a mental hospital)made an initial stir by claiming to be from “an alternate universe” and that he was “The male version of Chrissie Hyde” from the Pretenders. However,when Matt Taibos from Rolling Stone pointed out in an interview with Jeckyl that Chrissies last name was in fact “Hynde” and not “Hyde”, he stormed away in anger and neither he nor the band was ever seen or heard from again.
9) “CESIUM BLIMP”: “Cesium Blimp” was a group of overweight nuclear physicists who started a band that “Claimed to start up where Led Zeppelin had left off” back in 1982.They based all their music on math equations,and sold no albums. Not one.
10)”BON BON JUJI FRUIT”: A gay Broadway tribute to Bon Jovi,”Bon Bon Juji Fruit” features a full orchestra and Broadway musical versions of Bon Jovi’s songs. There is a lawsuit currently pending from the entire state of New Jersey.