Wednesday, December 10, 2008
BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE $254
"NEIL YOUNG IS TOURING WITH WILCO!" "FLEETWOOD MAC IS BACK!"
There was a time when this type of news meant something to me, and I refuse to be called jaded. That just ain't it.
Below is a printable excerpt from an instant message that took place on Monday between me and my friend Mark. Tickets for the 2009 Fleetwood Mac tour had just gone on sale. (The "M" means Mark is speaking. The "S" means it's me. OK, thank you.) I left typos and grammar for effect.
M: Quick, get your fleetwood mac tickets before they don't sell out
M: its like this, the neil young show, i feel like i want to go because i used to love both neil and wilco, but I have zero interest in seeing them now. does that make sense?
S: yes. its a sense of obligation that would best be used elsewhere.
M: yes exactly. i question why I DON'T wanna go
S: i KNOW why i don't want to go. I'm questioning why i feel like i should.
M: so why don't YOU want to go to neil or fleetwood, assuming you loved both at some point.
S: a combo of-- seeing them both a number of times already, money, and in neil's case, he has officially released more albums i don't like than do like.
M: well the "seeing them a number of times" thing shouldn't matter because we both see people repeatedly without question. the money is an excellent reason $254! sick!
S: right, but in a case of those people I see repeatedly, I have reasons. Costello: always something different, Bowie: doesn't tour that often, Todd Rundgren: its cheap enough and this dates back to '75--no way out at this point. Crowes: my fave live band since 1995. what's Fleetwood Mac gonna do that will surprise me? Dreams? Go Your Own Way?
M: Not fall down.
S: Hahahaa. plus, stevie nicks sounds like bea arthur these days. If they did "The Pious Bird Of Good Omen" in its entirety, I'd go.
M: well honestly neil started pissing me off about 10 years ago. in 1999 he played The Theater at MSG solo and charged 100$ solo! 100$
S: right, so you are still bitter over being the jilted rock fan
M: then he came around with his stupid greendale thing, which also BLEW--convoluted boring movie soundtrack crap
S: Still, there's this feeling of "I might miss something." if i could just get beyond that, i'd probably never see another show over $40 again.
This continued. More IM-ing. A few phone calls.
What are we debating? Have loyal concertgoers just grown tired of the artists? Mark and I can't be alone in thinking this. Lindsey Buckingham doesn't tour that often as a solo act, yet he could only fill about 2/3 of the intimate Town Hall in NYC a couple of years ago. That ticket was $80. Have these legends lost their appeal simply because of the cost? Or, is it more of a feeling of betrayal? How dare these artists charge so much at this point in their careers? Hard to say when the Rolling Stones pack every inch of MSG at an average of $279 a ticket.
I'm sure there will be a flood of "I saw The Crotchmasters for $3.00 at Larry's Burp & Blow in Old Bridge, and it was the greatest live show I have ever seen," e-mails. Yeah yeah. Sounds great. But that's not the point. Fleetwood Mac isn't even touring with Christine McVie, for Pete's sake. We are in a depression and somebody out there has decided that $150-$200 is still reasonable for a concert ticket. In Neil's case, it's $254. Stop the madness. (and I don't mean me) Everybody knows, this is bullshit.