Tenacious D has been preaching it since 2002, but a tribute can be a wonderful thing. Tribute shows are way cheaper than tickets to see the original artist, and the set lists usually consist of a band's best-known anthems instead of a mixed bag of newer material.
Unfortunately, Chattanooga only sees tributes to a handful of artists, such as Journey, Bon Jovi, Elvis and Pink Floyd. That's why it gave me pause when I saw that a group of local musicians will play a birthday tribute to Bruce Springsteen at Rhythm & Brews on Wednesday.
I've never seen a local homage to The Boss, and after donning my thinking cap, I gave consideration to other artists I'd like to see tributes to. Here are five I think are most desperately needed and what they need to nail to be convincing.
• Getting it right: Without an energetically operatic frontman to nail Freddie Mercury's vocals, this would never, ever work. Also, he pretty much has to wear red suspenders and have an epic mustache.
• Set-list musts: "Killer Queen," "We Are the Champions / We Will Rock You" and "Bohemian Rhapsody."
• Does a tribute exist? Plenty, but Brian May and Roger Taylor put together an official tribute, Queen Extravaganza, in 2011.
2. Frank Sinatra.
• Getting it right: I staunchly oppose dress codes, but the Chairman of the Board definitely needs a suit and fedora. With the right vocals, a tribute would work, but a big band as backup would make this gold-star worthy.
• Set-list musts: "My Way," "New York, New York" and "I've Got You Under My Skin."
• Does a tribute exist? Way too many to list -- Ol' Blue Eyes is like The King, in that respect.
3. Dolly Parton.
• Getting it right: Vocals are critical, but without cheerful banter and a platinum blond 'do, this would come across as glorified karaoke.
• Set-list musts: "Jolene," "9 to 5" and "I Will Always Love You."
• Does a tribute exist? The U.K.'s Sarah Jayne (of London) is a dead ringer for Parton and appropriately bubbly, to boot.
4. Stevie Wonder.
• Getting it right: Nailing Wonder's warm, flexible vocals is clearly paramount, but if I don't see a pair of dark sunglasses on somebody's face, they're not getting my money.
• Set-list musts: "Sir Duke," "I Just Called To Say I Love You" and "Superstition."
• Does a tribute exist? Surprisingly few, but Britain's Shenton Dixon does a fine Wonder, as well as fine impersonations of Barry White and -- surprisingly -- Elvis.
5. They Might Be Giants.
• Getting it right: Two lead singers with advanced accordion, guitar and puppeteering skills who look just the slightest bit awkward onstage.
• Set-list musts: "Particle Man," "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)."
• Does a tribute exist? Sadly none, but the Giants sometimes open for themselves as a "tribute band" called Sapphire Bullets.
Who's on your tribute list? Send me an email, and we'll dream a little dream together.
Contact Casey Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @Phillips CTFP.