IndiePulse Music Exclusive
Nationally-renowned tribute group The Boys of Summer meticulously re-create and perform the music of the Classic Rock greats the Eagles, touring year-round and playing over 200 shows per year. Interest in the Eagles skyrocketed with the passing of original Eagles member and principal songwriter, Glenn Frey. The Boys of Summer address Frey’s passing with a special tribute to him during their shows.
Indie Pulse Music chats with BOS band members Jimmy Williamson (drums-vocals; JW) and Chris Turbis (keyboards-vocals; CT) in this exclusive interview.
IPM: Why did you guys decide to tribute the Eagles?
CT: We started on 2004 as a Don Henley act because our singer Darrel Monson sounded so much like the real Don Henley. Our agent soon advised us to add the Eagles library. That way we’d get a whole lot more shows. We just kept the name because we like the fact that it was just a little bit different.
JW: I had just done a run with the band Sticky Fingers, a Rolling Stones tribute, and was at rehearsal one night. The guys asked me how it went, and I said, ‘big venues, big money, 5-Sttar treatment!’ They said how much money, I said !#$%^&*, they said we could do that. I said what do you think we can do, (and singer) Darrel Monson said, ‘your brother always said I sound like Don Henley.’ So, we were off and running as The Boys Of Summer, a tribute to Don Henley.
IPM: From a business point of view, do ASCAP or BMI expect tribute bands to pay a fee when they play a famous recording act’s music, such as the Eagles?
CT: No, that’s not the way it works. Mechanically, we’re just like a cover act. The venues pay their yearly dues.
JW: There is no difference between what we are doing or playing at a club with a cover band. The venue has to be certified for having cover bands.
IPM: Why do you think tribute acts have become so popular, in some cases even more than well-known original bands?
CT: Quite a few different reasons. Baby boomers weren’t liking what was being shoved down their throats by the radio stations, and their favorite bands were not together any longer or even passed on. They could see the library of one of their favorite acts performed with precision. And of course, not everyone can afford to pay $250.00 to see the Eagles perform.
JW: A lot of the tribute acts have filled a void for bands that will never be again. The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, etc. A lot of the great bands that are still performing are so expensive that fans just can’t pay the price. That’s where we come in. You can pay them two-hundred dollars, or us twenty dollars. Of course, you better be doing the band you’re paying tribute to justice, and we are.
IPM: Do Boys of Summer ever slip in an original tune during any of your performances?
JW: No originals ever! That’s not what we’re doing here. Original bands always break up, we love what we do, and who we do it with.
IPM: Any chance the BOS will ever take your tribute overseas?
CT: Definitely a good chance!
JW: We are always looking for the right venues and shows, and touring overseas is a big yes in our future.
IPM: What are the three most requested Eagles songs, and do you play requests?
CT: “Hotel California,” “Life In The Fastlane,” “Lyin’ Eyes.” Yes-We play requested songs all the time!
JW: “Hotel California,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Seven Bridges Road.” Yes, we do requests on occasion. We try to stick to a set list, show format. But, once in a while someone requests a Don Henley solo song, or a B-Side. We just happen to have a large catalogue of songs.
IPM: Five years hence, what do you think the Boys of Summer will be doing?
CT: Playing the best of Eagles songs overseas!
JW: Nowadays, five years comes really fast. God willing and the way were going now, look for us to be busy and full of the love and respect for The Eagles as much in five years as we are now.
Upcoming Boys of Summer performances:
Jackson Rancheria Casino/Hotel, Jackson, CA, October 6th
Parducci Winery Concert Series, Ukiah, CA, October 7th
The Grove Theatre, Upland, CA, November 12th
San Manuel Casino/Rock N Brews, Highland, CA, November 15th
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