Tribute bands are hotter-than-ever ... clubs across the country can't get enough of them. MICHAEL JACKSON; JOURNEY; RADIOHEAD; BILLY JOEL; BRUCE SPRINGSTEIN; GENESIS; THE CURE; DEPECHE MODE; THE POLICE; QUIET RIOT; FRANK ZAPPA; PINK FLOYD; and, MEATLOAF, among others, ... are all represented with their very own tribute-band. In the beginning, the actual bands often disowned them, but, the Genesis-tribute ensemble, THE MUSICAL BOX, has actually been legitimately endorsed by the band members themselves. There's another one, right here in New York, called TALK OF THE TOWN, which handles music from both THE CARS and THE PRETENDERS ... and, they pull it off tremendously well.In fact, according to TOTT spokesperson MARY BETH CRONIN, "We've actually begun a dialogue with GREG HAWKES from the band, and, he's been an incredible source of inspiration." In fact, he might even be involved in a new single the band is recording right now, though that has not yet locked in.The 5-members of the band, COSMO LoCRICCHIO; JAY SHARKEY; JOE BIVONA; BILLY REUTLINGER, along with Cronin, are planning a massive tour this spring and summer on the North East. "Let's not forget the The Cars were am amazing band in the early 80s ... and, though part of the group re-united with TODD RUNDGREN last year, for a small tour ...calling themselves The New Cars ... their music lives on majestically. Watch for a date at Steve Walter's Cutting Room next month.