Did you know that in ten states it’s against the law to impersonate a music band?
New Jersey recently became the tenth state to pass a “Truth in Music” bill. Led by a lobbying effort from vintage singing groups like the Drifters and Sha Na Na, musicians have pushed for legislation making it illegal to use the name of a famous band unless it includes at least one original member or unless management holds a trademark.
In an interview with the L. A Times, lead singer of the original Sha Na Na, John Bauman referred to the indignity suffered by the people who originally created the music when impersonators misrepresent themselves as the real thing as “heartbreaking”.
The statutes read roughly as follows: “It shall be unlawful for any person to advertise or conduct a live musical performance or production through the use of a false, deceptive or misleading affiliation, connection or association between a performing group and a recording group.” Impersonators are subject to stiff fines.