It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll — at $15,000 a Seat

What kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where people pay $3,000 a ticket to hang with 999 other assholes and have to commit to five shows, for a total of 15 grand, for the privilege?

That’s not exclusivity, that’s a clusterfuck. Of assholes who’ve gotten so rich they have to go to a tribal celebration of their good fortune in raping and pillaging the world. These same pricks driving their Priuses have portfolios of stocks loved by the Bush Administration, oil companies, other human-unfriendly enterprises, but they want us to believe they care about us peons…HOGWASH! Not that this show’s limited to Republicans, Democrats can be business sharks too, greed knows no party line.

How did everybody get this money? Certainly not via hard work. Oh, there are a couple of entrepreneurs who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, but most of our rich run public corporations, and have their cronies on the board approving their exorbitant salaries. Or, they’re investors, making nothing, but siphoning off a huge slice of the GDP for their effort. Hell, did you read Michael Kinsley’s article on Avis? It wasn’t a vehicle to rent cars, but for the financial community to MAKE MONEY!

We Try Harder (but What’s the Point?)

(NY Times) or: (International Herald Tribune)

So you’ve got your house in the Hamptons. And to keep up with the Joneses, you think of buying a ticket to this affair. You can’t want to go…NO ONE is a fan of all these bands. Shit, better to buy a ticket to the one gig you want to see on the secondary market. But no, you’ve got to go to say you were there. That’s the live concert experience we’ve got today, that’s why Madonna sells out. People want to be able to say they were in attendance, they’ll pay ANYTHING not to enjoy the music, but to be able to snootily tell everybody they know that they went, that they’ve got everything, a 10,000 square foot house, more cars than drivers, kids in name prep schools, colleges… It’s not about what’s inside anymore, but personal branding, creating an image that will make you look good in society.

Oh, there have been rich people forever. But now the golden age that they said could never come back has. There are the super-rich, and us. To the super-rich, price is no object. They’re the ones keeping us from getting close, not only to the stage, but to recreational haunts… And, the media says we can get rich too, it’s the American dream. Believe me, that’s untrue. It’s still about who your parents are, where you went to school and who you know. Those voting for the repeal of the estate tax will never PAY an estate tax, with the exemption presently so high, but they want to make sure those lording over them, eviscerating their unions, their health care, their job security…that their progeny can have money for EONS!

Used to be that acts were worried about their image, they wouldn’t play a gig like this for fear their hard core fans would abandon them. Then, they started taking the corporate money. But after Mitzvahpalooza, it became clear that privates were no longer, well, PRIVATE! That everybody knew what you were doing. But rather than this causing acts to shy away, now performers are EMBRACING these affairs that their fans can’t attend. God, DAVE MATTHEWS? Doesn’t he have ENOUGH MONEY? (And believe me, he’s gonna have quite the payday, because it’s just him and Tim Reynolds, the rest of the band is staying home.)

Tom Petty? God, I guess since the Last DJ didn’t spin his record, he’s just on a dash for cash. He wouldn’t let MCA release his record for $9.98, but I guess that was back when he knew how much ten bucks really was.

James Taylor? No surprise, this is the guy who had a tour sponsored by a heart defibrillator. Is there NOTHING you won’t do for the money James? You went on a solo tour, asking us to believe, but how can we when YOU WON’T!

Billy Joel… Hope he doesn’t drive himself to the gig, his Mercedes always seems to find a tree in the Hamptons. Hey Billy! Instead of taking the bread, how about staying home and writing some decent new music?

Prince… I don’t get this. He usually goes out at a reasonable price, this doesn’t fit with his image. Then again, maybe the promoters are making a donation to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I’d be afraid to show up at an event like this. For fear my car would be egged. Oh, they’ll have to employ every off-duty cop for miles, to keep the hoi polloi from protesting this testament to excess.

Or maybe people just don’t care anymore. They’re so accustomed to being ripped off, to being abused by the man, that they’ve tuned out. Maybe that’s why CD and ticket sales are in the shitter. The public has cried "uncle". Rather than participate in this Gordon Gekko world out of touch with what made these acts popular, their roots have abandoned them. Gonna make it tough when it comes time to sell a new record. Oh, wait! None of these acts CAN SELL A NEW RECORD!

Really, why would you go. You want to dance in front of other white folk to Prince’s funk-based concoctions? That’s one of the great things about a Prince show, the ETHNICITIES! You feel like you’re in it together. But I don’t even think Russell Simmons will show up at this event, that would be testing HIS cred beyond its limit. God, can you imagine all those investment bankers and their wives in their designer duds dancing? It would make Elaine Benes’ moves look GOOD! When the video makes YouTube, they’ll be a LAUGHINGSTOCK!

And did I miss a memo here? Were tickets to see these five acts that hard to get? Why can’t you just scalp one, buy one from StubHub for the gig closest to your home. Hell, every one of these performers is on tour CONSTANTLY!

But NO! You’d rather drop 30K! Yup, you can’t go alone…

If there was any doubt that this business was long in the tooth, that it was in decline, this set of gigs proves that the slate needs to be wiped clean.

Each one of the attendees won’t buy 100,000 discs apiece. They won’t fly to Iowa to see these bands perform. They won’t even show up NEXT YEAR! It’s not about the performers as much as the event. In other words, if you sell out to these people, you’ve got no base, no career.

But the agents couldn’t say no. The managers couldn’t say no. The ACTS couldn’t say no. They NEEDED that seven figure payday… Ever hear of leaving some money on the table? Taking less now so you can make more later? That lesson was either never learned by these acts, or it has slipped their brains.

But these were real acts once, they had credibility.

But most of the jerks who’ll go to this show were never fans, they were never bitten by the music bug. They were too busy doing what their parents told them to, staying away from those less financially fortunate or studying so hard to get ahead that they had no life.

The people who go to this show are the ones who started growing their hair long in 1970. The ones who got into the Dead in ’75. The ones who took their kids to the Spice Girls. These aren’t rockers, they’re lifestyle kings, collecting chips on the road to heaven, where they hope there’s a roped off area reserved just for them.

God, some of the best live moments are down in the pit, with the sweaty masses, as some act tries to prove it ALL NIGHT!

But Bruce Springsteen would never play a gig like this. And, I bet you most of the attendees would say he’s a god. But they didn’t make him a god, they got the memo last. The middle class, the urchins followed Bruce from venue to venue, spread the word, needed to believe. These people weren’t along for the ride, they just want to scoop the cream off the top. They’re not about building, they’re about taking what they want from others.

The public is watching. Despite the fat cats saying people don’t care, that they’re envious of the rich, Joe and Jane Public have contempt for not only Paris Hilton, but the maybe nameless assholes who’ll go to this show.

If you’re rich and you’re smart, take my advice, stay away.

But if you go… I just don’t get it, for $30,000…why not spend a little more and hire one of these whores for your own little affair? At these prices I want to be RIGHT UP CLOSE! And with 1,000 people in attendance, most won’t be next to the stage. Then again, it’s not about the music… These people think THEY’RE the stars, that their riches make them every bit as important as these performers. This is untrue. Clive Davis is not the star, nor are Lyor Cohen, Jimmy Iovine, Michael Rapino and Marty Bandier. They’ve got power, and they’ve got money, but it’s all dependent on those skinny little guys and gals standing on stage, strumming their instruments and getting people to believe, to transcend their hellish every day lives. That’s the power of rock and roll. It won’t be at Social@Ross, because you’ve got to know how to struggle, how to fight, how to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, how to do what’s right, how to never forget your roots to fully appreciate the sound. If the people going to this show ever had middle class roots, they’ve abandoned them. And that’s why one must decry a production like this, and those who partake.

The East Hampton Social – "The Ultimate Rock’n’Roll Fantasy"

2 Responses to Social@Ross »»


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  1. Pingback by Hidden Track » Wednesday Intermezzo: Heady Camera Phones | 2007/05/23 at 04:40:25

    […] Large Hearted Boy] The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Squeeze – Part One Lefsetz Letter takes on the $3,000 concert series Two great David Lee Rot […]

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  3. Pingback by Blogged In » Paul Simon tribute concert | 2007/05/24 at 18:46:30

    […] mes Taylor, but for $3000 each? Wow. And if you want a rant on the subject, here’s Bob Lefsetz. So by that standard, paying $150 for a ticket to last night& […]

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks »»

  1. Pingback by Hidden Track » Wednesday Intermezzo: Heady Camera Phones | 2007/05/23 at 04:40:25

    […] Large Hearted Boy] The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Squeeze – Part One Lefsetz Letter takes on the $3,000 concert series Two great David Lee Rot […]

  2. comment_type == "trackback" || $comment->comment_type == "pingback" || ereg("", $comment->comment_content) || ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>

    Trackbacks & Pingbacks »»

    1. Pingback by Blogged In » Paul Simon tribute concert | 2007/05/24 at 18:46:30

      […] mes Taylor, but for $3000 each? Wow. And if you want a rant on the subject, here’s Bob Lefsetz. So by that standard, paying $150 for a ticket to last night& […]

    This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.