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Steven Kurutz on Tribute Bands

Steven Kurutz on Tribute Bands

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Author Steven Kurutz. Source: Karen Gordon hide caption

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Source: Karen Gordon

I've been a big fan of rock music since high school, so I'm familiar with cover bands, and bands that cover the odd Zeppelin or Who song in their sets. But I have to admit, I was blithely unaware of the phenomenon of tribute bands... until now. Author Steven Kurutz has written a new book, Like a Rolling Stone: The Strange Life of a Tribute Band, which chronicles the experiences of two Rolling Stones tribute bands, the Sticky Fingers and the Blushing Brides. He'll join us in our first hour to share the stories; but first, these words from the man himself:

If you spend your teens being obsessed with rock music, as I did, you end up reading a lot of rock and roll books. I'm thinking here of classics of the genre like Stephen Davis' Led Zeppelin bio, Hammer of the Gods, or Dance with the Devil, Stanley Booth's account of the Stones' '69 tour. My book, Like A Rolling Stone, is sort of a quirky addition to the genre. Instead of touring with rock stars, I toured with musicians who pretend to be rock stars. And it wasn't just "Mick" and "Keith" who were in character. In a strange way, I played my own role — the "rock journalist" who's given open access in exchange for writing it all down and adding a dose of mythology. In short, I was the tribute version of Davis or Booth and that meta quality made for an interesting reporting experience. I remember one day in particular. I was driving to a gig in North Carolina with Kevin Gleeson, who played Keith Richards in Sticky Fingers and rarely broke character. Somewhere over the Carolina border my front tire blew out. There I am pulled off alongside the Interstate, the traffic whizzing by, watching a guy dressed exactly like Keith Richards jack up my car. The surreality of the moment — and many others like it — didn't escape me. Sure, Stanley Booth got to hang out with the Stones and witness Altamont. But did Keith Richards ever change a flat tire on his car? - Steven Kurutz

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Check out Steven's pictures from his time on the road with the Sticky Fingers, after the jump.

"Mick" and "Keith" (Glen Carroll and Kevin Gleeson) rocking at a Rolling Stones preconcert party at Dixie's Tavern in Charlotte, NC. (October 2005) Source: Steven Kurutz hide caption

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Source: Steven Kurutz

Glen Carroll, dressed casually in a golf shirt, before a gig. Soon he'll be dancing and prancing like Mick. (August 2006) Source: Steven Kurutz hide caption

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Source: Steven Kurutz

Sticky Fingers on stage in Atlantic City. (August 2006) Source: Steven Kurutz hide caption

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Source: Steven Kurutz

Kevin Gleeson points up at the marquee of The Lucky Dog in Worcester, MA. The Rolling Stones performed in the same club in 1981. (August 2005) Source: Steven Kurutz hide caption

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Source: Steven Kurutz