Like A Rolling Stone: The Strange Life Of A Tribute Band

By Steven Kurutz

Tribute bands aren't the same as cover bands. The latter play many groups' songs, but the former stick with one artist, sometimes going to ridiculous extents to imitate the original's look and sound. (Dark Star Orchestra, for example, keeps a tremendous archive of Grateful Dead material and re-creates specific shows from the band's history, practically note for note.) For Like a Rolling Stone, Steven Kurutz, a writer for The New York Times and Details, followed a pair of Stones tribute bands called Sticky Fingers and Blushing Brides all over the country as they played frat houses, dingy bars, even a birthday party for somebody's Uncle Leo. Kurutz perfectly captures both pathetic and uplifting moments in the players' lives, as they seek a taste of the rock-star lifestyle. Though these men must endure long rides, miserable pay and often half-empty venues, they soldier on simply for the love of rocking out. 4 stars.