FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – The sudden death Wednesday of Davy Jones, lead singer for the Monkees, a 1960s pop music group created for television, will no doubt fuel the pop culture genre of the tribute band.
On the day Jones died at age 66 of a heart attack at his home in Indiantown, Fla., one Fairfield County theater producer was already talking about bringing in a Monkees tribute band to perform.
“It’s sad, and it may be too soon. But after I found about Davy Jones' death, the thought crossed my mind a least three times – when can we get a Monkees tribute band here?” said Hugh Hallinan, executive producer of the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport.
Tribute bands cast performers who resemble members of the original groups, who dress like them and who sing their songs. The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts in Westport stages outdoor tribute band shows during spring and summer.
The Downtown Cabaret staged high-quality musicals for more than two decades, Hallinan said. It nearly went out of business several times a few years ago but has been revived thanks to the emergence of tribute bands, he said.
“We strongly considered having a Monkees group, but now we will definitely bring one here sometime in 2012,” said Hallinan, whose theater has had packed houses for tribute bands for the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Patsy Kline, Judy Garland, the Eagles, Neil Diamond and Bruce Springsteen.
Hallinan said people love the genre. “Obviously when someone is deceased or a band isn’t touring anymore, this is a great way to see a live performance of their music,” said Hallinan. “But even when the bands and performers are still touring, the cost of a ticket can be as high as $500. People figure they can see 10 tribute band shows for that money.”
Hallinan said music nostalgia appeals to every generation.
“People remember being younger and seeing Davy Jones and the Monkees on TV, so coming to watch a live band that looks and sound like the group or performer is an exciting experience that makes people feel young again,” Hallinan said.
“When we had the Neil Diamond show recently, someone in the audience who saw the real singer in concert said the guy we had sounded more like him when he was younger than the actual Neil Diamond does now,” Hallinan said.
The Monkees, a made-for-TV band, turned out a number of top hits. Jones, a native of Manchester, England, is perhaps best known for the hit song “Daydream Believer.” As the group’s lead singer, he became known to a new generation of viewers when reruns of "The Monkees" were aired on MTV during the 1980s.
For more information about the Downtown Cabaret Theatre, visit firstname.lastname@example.org or call the box office at 203-576-1636.