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What’s in a Name? 

It’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me, I know.  But honestly, I just haven’t had anything to say.  Life has been pretty ordinary.  But finally, something got my ire up, so I’ve decided to share it with you.  

At my local gym the other morning, I was watching one of the early morning shows while on the elliptical machine, and I saw this rock group performing a concert.  I couldn’t hear it, of course, but within moments, it was clear to me that the song they were singing was Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”  One of my favorite songs, by the way.  But…the lead singer was not Steve Perry!  In fact, the guy singing, although he had long black hair, was probably twenty-five to thirty years younger than Steve Perry, and obviously Asian.  Yet…incredibly enough, the band was introduced as Journey What’s up with that??? 

How, I ask, can they do that?  But it happens all the time.  Just a few weeks ago, Frank and I went to Wolf Trap, an outdoor amphitheatre in Vienna, Virginia to see The Four Tops and The Temptations.  And out of both groups, I think there was one original member in each.  So, I’m just wondering…what happens when those two original members die?  Do these groups continue touring around the country, calling themselves the name that other musicians made famous decades ago?  Yes, that’s exactly what they do—and it’s wrong.  Why on earth would I go see Journey perform without Steve Perry?  These are nothing but cover bands.  Yet, they expect us to pay concert prices as if we were seeing the original groups.  And I’d like to know why it is that they can do that?   

A few years ago, Wolf Trap advertised a Chicago concert.  I went to Ticketmaster, ready to type in my Visa card for tickets, when a thought occurred to me.  Was Peter Cetera still in the group?  A quick web search, and I found out he was not.  Hadn’t been the vocalist for the group in years.  Needless to say, I didn’t go to that “Chicago” concert.  Any good rock band can perform covers.  But I won’t pay good money to see them without the vocalist who made them famous. 

Did you hear about what happened to John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival?  After the band broke up, he was legally prevented from performing CCR songs by the others in the band—even though he was the “voice” of CCR.  Crazy! 

Tell me, would you spend money to see CCR if John Fogerty wasn’t the lead vocalist?  Not me.   

What if Ringo Starr started touring the country, calling his group The Beatles?  How could that, it any way, be okay???  It’s like Palmer Candies putting their candy corn in a Brach’s bag. It’s counterfeit—just as these bands who label themselves with the names of bygone musical groups are counterfeit.

Calling yourself a tribute band is fine; calling yourself the name of a former legend is not.  And I, for one, will not pay good money to see these fakes.

Whew!  Glad to get that off my chest.  J  Congratulations to Claudette Flanigan from East Hartford, CT, my August website winner.  Claudette chose my “Caribbean Summer” necklace set from my as her jewelry selection.  She also won a copy of UNDERSTUDY.  Be sure and stop by my website,, to enter my September contest.   

See you next monthor maybe not. Depends on whether I have anything to say.  J 



September 2009


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