Tribute Shows

My mom saw an Eagles tribute show this week. It was a benefit for the local Police Benevolent League (every year, they get a different tribute act to play...last year it was a Beatles act) and her friend Judi bought the tickets.

Here's some of what I gleaned about her experience.

  • The local middle school where this took place was packed. They got there 45 minutes before show time and could only find seats way up in the balcony.
  • The band was very good. There were 6 of them and they didn't try to dress up like the Eagles like some bands do.
  • She knew some of the songs. She kept waiting for them to do "Hotel California" and they finally did.
  • The guy in front of her was like many people in the crowd. He went wild and sang and danced to every number.
  • She had a really good time.

The particular band she was as a Midwest outfit called Heartache Tonight (they have a highlight reel on their website if you are interested).  I know there are dozens of these groups from around the world. There's Hotel California and the Illegal Eagles and Talon other groups featuring names that are derived from song titles (kind of like this blog :) )

I'm not sure, though, how I feel about tribute bands. I think it is great that the Eagles music inspires others. I think that if a group of musicians can bring happiness to a middle school auditorium full of people on a Tuesday night, that's a good thing. Like Don has said in several recent interviews, "...people want to hear these songs."  These tribute acts make that possible.  

I'm not sure, though, I would enjoy seeing a tribute act. I might find myself making comparisons the whole night. One of the main reasons I go to Eagles shows is to see Don and Glenn and Timothy and Joe. I like watching their interplay. I like the way they work together on stage. I like the way they sound. Seeing a tribute act, to me, has limited appeal, but I certainly don't begrudge those who have a great time. It just seems odd to me. I wouldn't pay to see a local group of amateurs act out scenes from Grey's Anatomy or watch a local sports club do a replay of the Packers' Superbowl win. I wonder what the guys in the band would think. Would they be flattered? Would they think these guys should go out and write and play their own music? I don't know. Hey! Maybe that's a question for Don at the Runaway weekend! 

Anyway, maybe I'm being too critical. Maybe I'd have a good time. I'm really glad my mom did. 

What is your opinion on tribute shows? Have you gone to any? What did you think?

The story of a story....

We've been covering Eagles news for a long time. We used to have to hunt really hard for the news...searching the Random Notes section of Rolling Stone for mentions or waiting for the next copy of ICE (International CD Exchange) to find out if anyone had new music coming out. We'd make a point to watch Kurt Loder on MTV tell us about the Week in Rock and hope there would be something we could report. 

We got information from community members too. It might come in the form of a post on Prodigy from someone in Boston who saw Don was in town for a Walden Woods Project meeting or a person might pop into IRC chat who had seen Joe at a baseball training event down in Florida. We took notes and we wrote it up. 

These days, though, Facebook and Google alerts make news instantaneous and things can feel overwhelming for Eagles fans.  Twitter keeps us up to date...sometimes minute by minute through a concert or appearance. We see photos the night of a concert...not days or weeks later. We don't just hear that Timothy was on the radio in Omaha...we can listen live or download the podcast later. It's amazing what technology can do, it really is.  One thing we've learned, though, is that in order to navigate this onslaught of news, you have to be a careful reader and consumer of information. 

Let's take the recent story about Don revealing how Deacon Frey would be appearing at the Classic East / Classic West shows this summer. 

We saw a notice on Twitter that Don would be appearing on a Dallas sports radio show. We were at work and super busy so we didn't get a chance to post about it ahead of time. Lisa made a point, though, to turn on the radio while she was grading papers after school and caught the interview. As soon as Don made the announcement, knowing this was huge news, Lisa typed it up and put it on the Fastlane Facebook page. Now we aren't claiming we got the scoop. Obviously, the guys at The Ticket did.....but immediately after that our post was shared and re-shared in groups and on pages all over Facebook (The initial post has been seen by over 31,000 people!) That's awesome. That's the point of share information. What happens, though, is that other bloggers and news outlets see these shares and re-shares. They found the original interview and wrote articles about it, quoting extensively from what Don had to say rather than just directing people to go listen to the interview for themselves (we initially wrote a recap before we knew the station would be posting it).  There are now dozens of these articles that are all the same because they were working with the same source material. What's interesting (and amusing), is that some of them don't seem to have listened very carefully. Some of them get the point and some don't. Check out these headlines (and this is just one screen grab)

Check out the variety of headlines. Don reveals Glenn's replacement? Nobody can replace Glenn. In fact, Don even says that. There is an Eagles tour? We are talking 2 dates. That isn't a tour! Notice that the reputable publication, Billboard, gets it the most correct (though they have bungled headlines in the past). All of these stories are swirling around Facebook getting posted and reposted in the various Eagles groups. What is missing, though, is the context. All of these stories are built on one interview. One interview. None of them have anything new to offer. There is no additional reporting, no further comment. I don't know what can be done about this. Fans get excited seeing a "new" interview and we get that. It is exciting. It just gets overwhelming. 

For us that's why things are a little frustrating and things feel so cluttered.  When there are so many groups and so many stories, it seems that this is the only thing popping up on timelines. We have one interview and hundreds of stories all saying the same thing...unless they are getting it wrong. Here's what we mean:

One radio station actually quoted from our recap of the interview. They didn't read carefully, though. They reported that when Glenn was ill, his daughter Taylor got married. Our story didn't mention Taylor. We said that Don's eldest daughter got married. They read our recap, misinterpreted what was said, did research to find out that Glenn's daughter's name was Taylor and went with the sensational "scoop". When we wrote to the station to point out this pretty significant error, we got back a rude message in ALL CAPS telling us they had taken care of it. Wow. 

So that's the state of Eagles news these days. When something breaks, it breaks hard and it is everywhere. As fans and thoughtful consumers of information, we might just have to take a breath and Take it Easy :)

Things have changed. How did you find Eagles news in the past?