By Rick Coates
The Original Bad Boys of Rock-n-Roll, Mötley Crüe are currently out headlining a major summer concert tour. Following right behind them is Motleys Crue -- the newest entry in the Mötley Crüe tribute scene.
Our booking agency, A Plus Entertainment, located in Northern Michigan, had been getting a lot of requests for a Mötley Crüe tribute band the past couple of years, said Sarah Adkins. We started looking for musicians in Northern Michigan and found the right mix of guys to look and sound the part of all the members of Mötley Crüe.
Calling themselves Motleys Crue, they will perform Saturday June 18 at Ground Zero inside The Streeters Center in Traverse City. They will be joined by In The Name Of: the Ultimate Black Sabbath Tribute Band.
What we have booked are shows near and around the actual Mötley Crüe tour and we will be giving away tickets at Ground Zero for their Grand Rapids show, said Adkins.
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The real Mötley Crüe formed in 1981 by bassist Nikki Six and drummer Tommy Lee and recruited lead guitarist Mick Mars and lead singer Vince Neil to join them. The Crüe helped to usher in the hair metal scene of the 80s with such hits as Shout At The Devil, Looks That Kill, and Girls, Girls,Girls.
Now faux Mötley Crüe is just coming off their second show but the demand for them is already there. Taking a page out the KISS playbook band members are remaining anonymous and even wearing costumes on stage.
We go into character an hour or so before the show, said Jim (plays the Vince Neil part). We are still working everything out. our Tommy Lee guy got too into his character and was a little too intoxicated at our last show.
The popularity of tribute bands continues and the economy is a big factor.
We are charging $8 in advance to see two great tribute bands, said Jim. Mötley Crüe tickets are going for $65 to $100 apiece for this tour and if you were to add Black Sabbath to the mix it would easily be $150 a ticket. People are tight with their dollars right now so this is very affordable entertainment.
Early reviews have been positive with attendees at their last show commenting on how closely they resemble the real Mötley Crüe. Lead singer Jim has been a part of several successful tribute bands and says he finds it easy to emulate the actual singers.
I liken it to my martial arts training. In martial arts you go to great lengths to study your opponent, said Jim. I master their mannerism and then get their vocal sounds down it is actually easier than it looks.
Jims success as tribute band singer has led to the actual acts to call upon him. He was runner up in the search for Journeys new lead singer a few years ago. Now, Black Sabbath is reforming and he is the front runner to take lead singer role originally held by Ozzy Osbourne and also Ronnie James Dio who recently passed away.
In the meantime, Motleys Crue has several shows booked for the summer.
They are a festival band, no bar dates for these guys, said Sarah Adkins. Easy Rider magazine just booked them to headline a major motorcycle festival.
As for the rest of the summer, Ground Zero is limiting their musical offerings.
Part of it is out of respect to all the festivals, Interlochen and the Cherry Festival plus all that Sam Porter is doing the schedule is pretty full, said Doug Street of The Streeters Center. The other issue is the concert industry is challenging right now; it is really hard to predict what people are willing to spend their money on. These tribute shows work because they are affordable. What has happened to us is we are packed with wedding receptions and class reunions.
Ground Zero will welcome Clutch on July 24 and the Dirty Joke Show from Las Vegas featuring the Geechy Guy and other comedians. While Streeters has pulled away from rap and hip hop shows they are currently entertaining Royce da 59 this summer. His Bad Meets Evil project with Eminem is released this week and is expected to debut at number one on the Billboard album charts.
In a press release sent to the media last week Eminem said this:
Royce and I started hanging out again and inevitably that led us back into the studio, said Eminem. At first we were just seeing where it went without any real goal in mind, but the songs started to come together crazy, so here we are.
No word if Eminem will join Royce at Ground Zero, though the Detroit rapper has been seen hanging out around Torch Lake in the summertime.
Street also said they may add a few shows through the summer, including a possible Dirty Americans CD release party. For a complete listing of upcoming shows check out www.grounzeroonline.com.