Billy Idol cover band Really Idol left keyboardist and backing vocalist Ashley Custer dancing with herself when the rest of the band (David Wilson, David Francis, and the Wheeler twins, formerly of Scarlet Symphony and Pal&Drome) announced their departure a few months ago.
The previous lineup was replaced by an all-star cast of cover band kings including Craig Knight, a professional Idol impersonator who made his career performing in Vegas; guitarist Johnny Demarco, a NAMM exhibitor for Roland; bassist Shawn Casillas, also a member of Social Distortion tribute act Total Distortion; and drummer Fred Shook, who plays in an Oasis tribute band called Foasis with Michael Twombly from Cure cover band, the Cured.
“Tribute bands are pretty inbred,” Custer says, “so everyone is in lots of bands.”
Really Idol’s white wedding will be held at the House of Blues (1055 Fifth Avenue, Downtown) on Saturday, November 30 in an annual ‘80s blowout featuring cover bands the Cured (the Cure), Strangelove (Depeche Mode), Murmur (R.E.M.), and Fears for Tears (Tears for Fears).
“Brent Meyer [of Strangelove] met with [Depeche Mode keyboardist] Alan Wilder and got sound design patches from him that Depeche Mode actually used,” Custer says.
“The Cured has had the drummer from the Cure play with them, and they just played for like 10,000 people at the O.C. Fair.”
Counterpointing the gloomy synths of Strangelove and the Cured, Murmur will be playing an acoustic set.
“Frontman Greg Vaughn is widely heralded as San Diego's best gunslinger shred guitarist and has even opened Padre games playing the national anthem,” Custer says, “but in Murmur he doesn't play any guitar.”
Vaughn is the subject of a documentary currently being filmed about his father's influence on San Diego gymnastics and physical fitness.
Meanwhile, Custer says that Really Idol and fellow faux-acts have already shot a pilot for a tribute band reality TV series which has caught the attention of the Independent Film Channel.
1055 Fifth Avenue, Downtown San Diego
How does the life of a mock star compare to a rock star?
Twombly of the Cured says it’s not so different.
“It’s my contention that girls will always like guys in bands. 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.”
Tickets are $12.50 to $25.