“We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969…” – Don Henley, Glen Frey, Don Felder, “Hotel California”
“It’s is a free concert from now on…” – John Morris, announcer, Woodstock, 1969
Let me begin by affirming what many already know – I’m an old codger, a Baby Boomer who saw lots of bands in my youth for prices that most now pay for their morning coffee. Example: a couple of friends and I saw the Rolling Stones in 1975 in the Greensboro (NC) Coliseum for, I believe, six bucks each. A few months later we saw the Beach Boys (with opening act Billy Joel) for five bucks.
Those days are never coming back, brothers and sisters.
I’m prompted to write about this subject by a Facebook conversation I watched with some interest, some amusement. I’m friends with many musicians on FB. I like being friends with musicians for two reasons: 1) I’m a musician myself, so I understand the head space pretty well; 2) musicians are people full of heart and spirit, so while I don’t always agree with them, I find their views authentic and admirable (with a few exceptions – kiss my ass, Ted Nugent).
This particular FB convo centered around their outrage that the “Eagles” (well, the current incarnation with Vince Gill filling in for Glen Frey) is charging $203 for the cheapest seat for their concert at that same Greensboro Coliseum where I saw the Stones for $6. The musicians in the conversation expressed outrage at the band’s greed. This, of course, expanded into a critique of loathsome “legacy” acts (classic rockers, generally) and their geriatric “dashes for cash” supported by foolish audiences composed primarily of – yep, Baby Boomers. Occasionally someone would offer a defense of a particular artist, but largely the criticism was – well, pretty harsh – and generational.
All this sparked a few thoughts which, to paraphrase Sheriff Andy Taylor, I’m bound to share and you’re bound to read. Continue reading