Ok the Stones and Bon Jovi were never exactly the 'alternative face of music', their ambition and optimizing of earnings are not the best kept secrets in the world, but I don't recall so many 'fleece the public' packages on offer for tickets as at this years shows! The 80's was the age of merchandise, the 2010's the gig ticket. I don't know if it is a symptom of the desperation that corporate music is slipping to, but tickets for their Hyde Park gigs (a gig that for the Stones in '69 was free) are now selling for anything from £200 to £10,000. For Bon Jovi you can get suitably named Diamond Circle VIP, Rock-Star Red Carpet VIP, Hot Seat VIP tickets, whilst the Stones are doing something similar to optimise earnings in their final few years. The options include Dinner Packages, General Admission (nothing new in either of those) - but Tier's 1 - 3, then the 'Rock Garden' (also tiered!) and if the 'Unwind Backstage' package doesn't tempt you - perhaps live the dream with the 'Kings of Rock' package! And only this week you could have seen the Stones for about £10 at their usual intimate warm up show, this year at the LA Echoplex nightclub (what i wouldn't have given for was a chance to see that!). But having seen them before on Arena tours I certainly won't be rushing to go. The set is pretty standard and formulaic with almost the same generic moves. Miss You will feature part way through, Keith will do a 2 song interlude which will probably feature Connection, and Jumpin Jack Flash, Brown Sugar and Satisfaction will close the show. It is still a great experience - and anyone who hasn't seen them i would say pay - but as with lot's of things in life - once is enough.
I have whinged about 'reformed' (re constitued!) bands and anniversary tours before - but ..... with Metallica doing Master of Puppets Anniversary, The Pixies, Public Enemy, The Levellers and many more in the last 12 months, surely the music world is regressing? Sometimes the band even play the album on stage following the same track listing?! I really can't decide where i stand. Do i hate that the album is reduced to a commodity that they can then reissue with bonuses as well? and follow that with a 'generate a pension' tour? Or do i begrudge the fact that they are cashing in on older items when they should be trying to push new boundaries? Or do i begrudge going to see these bands and knowing i won't see tracks from other albums that i love? I really don't know. Where do i draw the line. I am certain that by the time of the 20th Anniversary tour of 'Oooopppps' I did it again Britney certainly won't be as hot!
Fuck’s sake. Is there no band who won’t jump on the lets get back together or we never split band wagon? At least the Pistols in 1996 were absolutely honest. 'We’re only after your filthy lucre' I think the tour was called!
In roughly the last 12 - 18 months just off the top of my head (any others let me know! )
Bush, the Pixies, Soundgarden, Faith No More, Rage Against the Machine, The Police, Led Zeppelin, and Fleetwood Mac.
Possibly even the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block (Do they count? And to add insult to injury in the same year as we lost REM and the White Stripes...)
Now The Stone Roses, Garbage, Suede and everyone else seem to be happy to pitch up, overlook old differences and let bygones be pay cheques. A lot of these are Late 80s Early 90s revivals – Surely the now officially not racist Morrissey can put his differences with Johnny Marr behind him? That would please a few flower waving wish washey anti Maggie liberals!
But then maybe I am a hypocrite. Not only was I at that filthy lucre gig at Finsbury (I swear I was there!), but I also had the honour of shaking the Mozza’s hand and thanking him for making another reunion possible. One I never thought I’d see. The New York Dolls back in 2004. So perhaps in spite of my overwhelming apathy for the Smiths and Pink Floyd I should bite my lip and let the diminutive surly Glaswegian gadgie her day in the sun – oh sorry her rain in the sun!
I never thought it would happen, With me and gigs ... so many gigs coming up and i am probably not going to get to them all. Decisions decisions. I am loathed to miss any gigs unless i have to - I have been blown away by so many bands who i nearly missed - both support acts and artists who i was ummm ing and errrr ing about going to see. If it hadn't been for a chance gig i would never have seen the AMAZING Michael Weston-King. The only pity in that case (and in the case of Loudon Wainwright) is that their albums just don't do the person justice. To see them perform in the flesh is so amazing, yet the majority of their LP's leave me cold! So if Michael Weston King is touring his 'I didnt raise my boy to be a soldier' album near you - any time soon, don't pause to listen to the album JUST GO!!!!!!
An Alien, A legal Alien. An Englishman in Dublin.