Aspen-Minute One

Up until ten days ago, there was NO snow, Felice and I had to cancel our T’Giving week trip to Vail. But then it started dumping and four to six feet fell and it’s SPECTACULAR!

Wish you were here. Speaking of which, David Gilmour told me Pink Floyd wasn’t going to reform. To prove the point that the Zeppelin thing has stuck with me. The reviews have been good, then again, anybody who goes is gonna say it’s great, just like when you ask someone on the lift whether they like their new skis they say AWESOME!

To iterate my point, if it’s a one-off, I’m cool. If it’s the prelude to a tour… God, whatever happened to debate, whatever happened to a search for excellence. Is our society only about the money? Does someone who stands outside the crowd get no recognition, no traction? These are the issues facing not only the music world, but all entertainment spheres. Hell, the country itself. What did Ari Fleischer say after 9/11…people need to watch what they say?

Speaking of watching what you say…did you see the permanancers at MTV went on strike? God, when the twentysomethings start rebelling against MTV, you know there’s a problem. Remember when MTV was like a record company, everybody wanted to work there, everybody wanted to get close? Would this have happened if Freston was still in charge? Who legendarily took care of his people? Fuck, they’ve got to get the Viacom stock up. If people are fucked in the process, who cares.

At least the people are fucking the record companies at this point. After years of being screwed. The label heads and some of the acts just can’t understand it. How much is an album worth? Not what you say it is…

Still, I’m fascinated by the iMeem thing. So, you can stream every song? But why isn’t it a most favored nations thing, why should Universal get more? And what about indies, indies get fucked?

So, we barely made it here. No one shouted out that they were gay, like on the "Almost Famous" plane, but it was pretty frightening. Because there was no VISIBILITY! We danced into the darkness and then the pilot pulled back up. It’s a weird feeling, the wheels go back into their husks, you’re suddenly flying again. The pilot said he’d give it one more go before we went back to Denver. I’m absolutely astounded we made it. We dive-bombed in, not being able to see a thing, and then…there we were, right above the runway.

So we’re gonna hang for a few days here and bond. Agents, managers, promoters…but no record label people, and no LiveNationites either. The labels’ budgets are so tight they’ve got no one to work their 360 degree deals. As for LiveNation, they can’t even order office supplies. That’s the rumor anyway, and perception is everything in the music business.

Perception is that Led Zeppelin killed. That everybody wants to see them. I’ve got no problem with that. I’m just waiting for the next Led Zeppelin. Hell, they can be blues-influenced. They can jump off from Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. Although hopefully they’ll pay the writers of the songs…

Meanwhile, maybe the days of superstars like Madonna are done. Hell, it looks like she killed LiveNation. The company’s stock dropped by half once they signed her, the analysts didn’t buy it. And look what the analysts have done to Warner Music… And to think she was the linchpin, the cog in their cash-out plan. Sign Madonna, a few others and sell the whole mess to ignorant pricks on Wall Street. How did they wake up? Richard Branson signed the Stones and sold Virgin to EMI…why is it not working now?

Because the guys on Wall Street are smarter.

Are the guys in the music business smarter? What do they know? Are they the stewards of greatness, or is greatness history and needs to be redefined.

I’ll be discussing all of the foregoing on the chairlift. Too bad you won’t be there. I’d like to experience your passion. I’d like to hear what you’re into. And we all love the classics, but can we find some damn new acts that we can turn people on to that they’re elated by? Something you get with one hit?

Just before we got on the plane to Aspen, Frank Riley said he wanted to be in London for that five seconds, just after Zeppelin took the stage, before they started to play. Remember that rush? Used to be an everyday occurrence. Now it’s a rare resource, which is why we’re glomming on to Zeppelin, reliving our glory days. Hell, we used to believe in the RADIO! We needed to tune in, to find out what was going on. God, I’m starting to feel like John Lennon, who sang that all he could believe in was Yoko and him.

There was a collective consciousness then. It’s gone now. Guess all I can believe in is Felice, Felice and me. And the war isn’t over.

Over and out.

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