Cover Me

The wave of local tribute bands isn't receding any time soon

Rosen is like most who play in these kinds of acts--a rabid fan who does it out of deeply felt love and respect, not for the money, which is ideal as And Your Little Dog Too usually winds up losing money every time it hits the stage. (Rosen tells of the time he wound up filling the Barley House by promising to mow the lawn of everyone who showed up; another time he lured in customers by giving away free pelvic exams, though well before he was actually licensed to do so. The resulting lawsuits sidelined And Your Little Dog Too for several months, during which time Rosen learned how to play "English Eyes" on comb and wax paper.)

Jack Orion--the sole member of Jack Orion, a Pentangle homage--insists he listens to nothing but that band's 1969 release Basket of Light. "When I was in my prime I flourished like a vine," says Orion, who swears that's his real name. "There came along a false young man which stole the heart of mine, which stole the heart of mine." Orion's East Garland home is a shrine to the band fronted by Bert Jansch, who actually lived with Orion for three months in the spring of 1987. The walls are littered with life-size posters of Jansch, which Orion says the front man put there so Jansch could remember who he was, and wallpapered with Billboardcharts documenting the time 1971's Reflectionhit No. 183 on the Hot 200--the highest charting ever for the fey, influential English folk-rock band.

Odder still is the story of Jim "Rik Emmett" Dowdy, a 43-year-old architect and would-be washtub bassist whose Highland Park home was constructed last fall to resemble the cover of Triumph's 1981 album Allied Forces, which features a silver flying-V guitar. Dowdy fronts Victory, a jug-band Triumph tribute whose set list features 18-minute versions of such Triumph masterpieces as "Air Raid" and "I Live for the Weekend."

Mullet the blue sky: And Your Little Dog Too's Stanley Rosen pays tribute to Toto.
Mullet the blue sky: And Your Little Dog Too's Stanley Rosen pays tribute to Toto.
Mullet the blue sky: And Your Little Dog Too's Stanley Rosen pays tribute to Toto.
Mullet the blue sky: And Your Little Dog Too's Stanley Rosen pays tribute to Toto.

"Makin' my way to the job each day, slave like a dog for my hard-earned pay," says Dowdy, who insists on being called by his nickname "Finger Talkin." "When the bell rings I'm ready to run, gonna get high, gonna have some fun. I know the boss--he don't think I'm good. But you know that I'm badly misunderstood."

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