A Tribute To The Tribute Acts

And so the singer turns up in the small holiday resort in the foreign country that their agent has sent them to on a twelve week season-long booking to entertain British holiday makers, the taxi collects them from the airport and whisks them straight to the bar to which they are contracted and they are ushered straight to the managers office where their employment terms and conditions are laid out, no questions allowed, we have you here now, this is what you will do for us…

“Monday is Michael Jackson night”
“Eh?”
“Monday you will wear this wig…” (throws black greasy wig with one part of it burned off across desk) “…and you will sing the hits of Michael Jackson”
“Oh”
“We have some make up in the staff toilets, you will need to black up on Mondays”
“I thought Michael Jackson was white”
“Good point”

and so it continues…

“Tuesday night you will wear this spangley vest and these tight white trousers” (throws spangley yellow vest and tight white trousers across desk) and you will sing the hits of Freddie Mercury”
“Freddie Mercury?”
“Yes, you will also need this ridiculous self adhesive moustache”
“I can grow one myself if you wish”
“You have forgotten already, on Monday you are Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson did not have a Freddie Mercury moustache, if you can grow a Freddie Mercury moustache within 24 hours every week then we could make that part of the act, people can pay to come and see your Freddie Mercury moustache growing through the day every Tuesday”
“I’ll use the stick-on one”

“Wednesday night you will wear this suit” (throws business suit across desk) and you will sing the songs of Michael Bubble”
“Michael Bubble?”
“Yes, I just haven’t met you yet, that sort of crap, Michael Bubble, you English love him”
“I don’t think I know any of his songs”
“We have the tapes, you have two days to learn them”
“Can I just say that this isn’t really the gig that I thought I was here for, I’m a juggler really…”
“Thursday night you will wear the spangley vest again…” (points to the Freddie Mercury vest) “…with a pair of jeans hanging off your arse and you will sing the songs of Robbie Williams”

And so it continues and every night of the week the bar owner places a placard outside his bar proclaiming that tonight the top recording star “xxxxxx” (replace with top recording star’s name depending on which night of the week it is) will be appearing live in a small corner of their bar singing to a backing tape of their hits and people attend the bar and drink lots of alcohol and when the poor kid who thought he’d come here to juggle things appears from the staff toilets looking for all the world like a juggler wearing a bad fancy dress costume, the crowd all cheer and whoop and holler as if it really was the real star recording artist even though half of the ones on the daily menu are dead now.

It gets worse, for at some point in the proceedings the poor kid who thought he was here to juggle things will start to believe that because its a Monday night he REALLY IS Michael Jackson, and he will start to clutch his crotch and go “Owwww!” and raise one sequined gloved hand to the ceiling and by the end of the season the poor kid who thought he had come to juggle things will be living his normal day to day life as one of seven stars of recording fame depending on what day of the week it is.

And so when they send him home at the end of the season and he turns up at the airport on a Friday afternoon clutching his economy stand-by seat ticket he will stand at the check-in desk and throw a strop because the flight is full and they won’t bump him up to First Class or let him in the VIP lounge and do they know who he is and how dare they treat Amy Winehouse (“its Friday, you will put this uncombed wig on, draw some tattoos on your arms with this biro and sing the songs of Amy Winehouse”) this way ?

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