Tribute is a riotously funny new rockumentary directed by the husband-and-wife team of Rich Fox and Kris Curry. The film is a rib-tickling rock and roll stew of “This is Spinal Tap,” “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” and VH1’s “Behind the Music.” Tribute introduces us to a varied group of young (and not-so-young) men who are so desperate to live their rock and roll dreams they’ll gladly pretend they’re someone else to do it.

There’s Sheer Heart Attack, a popular Queen tribute band in L.A. whose untimely breakup sends their number one fan – Mark Eldridge, a.k.a. Superfan – into a tailspin. Larger Than Life, a Kiss tribute from Modesto, CA, starts making it big only to find that their “Gene Simmons” is a little too into the role for his own good. Bloodstone, a pack of Judas Priest worshippers in Albany, NY, deal with their own share of drama and also the specter of Tim “Ripper” Owens, a tribute frontman who was tapped to join the real Priest. The Missing Links, a tribute to the Monkees of all things, are torn apart by a rivalry to rival Lennon and McCartney. Finally, perhaps funniest of all, there’s Escape, a Journey tribute who – in Frank Zappa’s words – are “only in it for the money.”

Self-described Queen fanatic Fox – who never got a chance to see the real thing live – began this rock and roll fantasy when, joined by partner Curry, he discovered Sheer Heart Attack. Fascinated by the intensity of the tribute world, and the strange confluence of music and acting that these groups represent, the team decided to start shooting. Now, over four years later, they have created an uproarious and finally glorious portrait of regular guys who, in their own way, live the dream everyone can relate to: not only being rock stars, but actually embodying their favorite rock stars.

Mick Jagger recently said, “The Stones would keep going even if they all died.” So who knows? Once the originals are gone, maybe a few of these tribute stars will end up taking over the roles for good.

Film Threat sat down with Fox and Curry for a freewheeling discussion on filmmaking, rule-breaking and the eternal power of rock and roll. Hello Cleveland!

Get the interview in part two of DON’T STOP BELIEVING: “TRIBUTE” FILMMAKERS>>>

Posted on April 2, 2004 in Interviews by

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