Church of Coverbandology - continued
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I recognized the pastor, who looked oddly like Tom Cruise, from the show and watched as he took the “stage” and started the ceremony that strangely resembled a Baptism as the orange-clad rockers were led to the altar.

“Members of the Church of Coverbandology, we are here to welcome our new brothers and sisters. They will join the ranks of reigning cover bands and celebrity impersonators that will eventually rule the world. They will swear to an oath of supreme secrecy, donate 80% of their artistic income to the church, vote the way the Church deems and, in return, enjoy rampant international success…”

After the service, the Reverend Cruise took to the “stage”, stripped down to his white underwear and crew socks, and did an interpretive rendition of the Risky Business dance to the Beaver Brown Cover Band’s version of “Old Time Rock & Roll”. Afterwards, in a burst of chaotic muttering, the congregation rapidly blessed themselves in groups: “In the name of AC/DC”, “In the name of The Cars”, “In the name of Van Halen”, “In the name of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs” (Wait, there’s a Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs cover band?).
Then we watched as Julie and her Jett City band mates deadpanned: “In the name of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts”.

“Oh my God”, I whispered, “Julie’s in a cult! That’s why it was so packed tonight…and probably the reason the Eddie Van Halen guy didn’t get hurt after he fell on his head!!”
We watched as Julie and the rest of the worshippers placed jewelry, watches, dollar upon dollar and third party checks into baskets that were passed around, then we decided to leave in case anyone caught a glimpse of us. What were the three of us going to do if the hundreds of Coverbandologists that were in the church knew outsiders were watching their secret ritual?

I went back to Seattle and never uttered a word as we watched Julie slowly break away from our crowd and start to take increasingly frequent trips to “a special place in Oregon”. Her band started playing bigger and bigger shows and I heard through the grapevine that they were booked for a New Year’s Eve gig at the Coliseum in Rome. I noticed cover/tribute bands starting playing places like the Key Arena and Madison Square Garden, yet no one ever mentioned the Church of Coverbandology, not even South Park or the Stranger.

U2 was kicked off its own world tour and The Achtung Babies were signed on for the 36 nation gig. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were fired from Mr. And Mrs. Smith III, two not-so-good-looking impersonators were cast, and the movie soared to Number One. After President Bush overturned election limits and was “elected” to an unprecedented third term, he announced that a bedazzling lineup of country cover bands including Large and Wealthy, The Sharp Dressed Men and The Red Neck Women would be playing his 3rd inauguration.

It was obvious in 2008 that Coverbandologists outnumbered the Free-Masons and Scientologists, and seemed to run everything. With my safety in mind, I decided now, more than ever, to keep my mouth shut!