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"Tribute bands like Atomic Punks [Van Halen], Super Diamond [Neil Diamond], and Dead Man's Party [Oingo Boingo] can make upwards of $5000 for a single-set show, depending on the venue," says Zippy Twombly, front man in local Cure tribute band the Cured. "There are other tributes out there that will play for $200. We're currently somewhere in the middle, but we play just about every week....

"It took us a lot of struggle to get our bass player to wear lipstick," says Twombly, who was the only one to approximate the look of his Cure counterpart when his band formed two years ago. "But when we started doing larger venues like the Belly Up and House of Blues, the rest of the band threatened to hold him down and put it on him. We now have a clothes designer and a makeup girl, and we spend a lot of time researching the look. Luckily, the Cure has had so many members that it's easy for the band to look like one of them."

Do tribute bands lure groupies?

"Our audience is 75 percent women, most of them drunk and singing along to the songs. Nature will take its course, and if they're confusing us with the band they're really fans of, I'm not real good about correcting them." He draws the line at impersonating Robert Smith offstage. "That would be creepy, like Johnny Depp showing up at a club dressed like a pirate."

The Cured appear Saturday, November 4, at the 710 Beach Club.

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