Some say the past is a foreign country; Georgina Gregory offers an exhaustive guidebook to the musical outlands where rock’s back catalogue becomes reanimated Her spirited and insightful examination of tribute bands celebrates these critically overlooked ensembles as much more than just stand-ins for the ‘real thing.’ The subtle typology she elaborates furthermore illustrates the diversity of goods in the semiotic supermarket: how a sound-like need not be a look-alike; and how a tribute group can cross not only genre but gender, too.
David Sanjek, Professor of Music, University of Salford
Georgina Gregory has shone a spotlight on the little-studied world of tribute bands and their fans. Her brightly-written book serves up a heady and original interdisciplinary potion, a mix of cultural studies, (firmly grounded) contemporary history, ethnography and other ingredients. She makes the importance of the phenomenon abundantly clear, while providing engaging portrayals of its eccentricities and explaining the difficulties encountered in bringing it in from the margins of popular music studies. Insights into the relationships between notions of the artist and the craft worker, the textual and the performative, the original and the reproduction, the artiste and the fan, heritage and memory, are transferable to related areas of cultural history and its ‘uses’. This splendid, enthusiastic, articulate book deserves to be widely read and discussed, within and beyond an extensive academic constituency.
John K. Walton, IKERBASQUE, Department of Contemporary History, University of the Basque Country, Leoia, Bilbao, Spain