Still from Peter Gabriel's 1986 "Sledgehammer" video showing a face made out of fruit.

Tickets, Old Records & the Consequences of Ill-Health

But Does It Scale?

While no one seems to like Ticketmaster (possibly not even those who work there), let’s face it: fatally flawed though the operation may seem or be, when it comes to providing access to a large number of people (and apparently an equally large number of bots), it (more or less) gets the job done.

Alternatives are few.

But Maggie Rogers created one.

For her U.S. summer tour she instituted in-person, box office sales.

That’s right: get in line and when you get to the window, pick your seats. And you are limited to picking two.

Rogers isn’t completely eliminating the refresh/refresh/refresh approach to getting seats.

But minimizing it.

Credit to her for trying.

Here’s something to think about:

Nowadays tour dates are announced several months in advance. (I often wonder how someone knows in, say, April what they will be doing in a particular night in December—there is something to be said for planning ahead, but while something like a vacation may need that sort of decision, it would seem that a night out would be less demanding—but then that goes to the point of how expensive tickets, in general, have gotten, so the commitment is like that of an inclusive resort.)

With that sort of lead time, it would be possible to have mail-order tickets, even were the U.S. Postal System reliant on the Pony Express.

There would actually be some benefits for those who are hoping to get seats for a performance occurring in the distant future:

  1. Given the number of people who are unfamiliar with the concept of physical mail, there are better odds for getting better seats.
  2. Who doesn’t like to get a positive surprise?

That said, buying at a box office is an interesting approach to what has become a highly contentious issue given the high stakes involved in the whole transactional miasma.

Credit to Maggie Rogers.

(A downside to this are the type of people who are a bane to waitstaff everywhere: The ones who, when asked for their order, (1) look at the menu as though it is something they’ve never seen before and (2) make a decision with such apparent agony that it seems as though this will be the last meal they will ever eat. Imagine being behind that person in line for tickets.)

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Mining with a Sledgehammer

“On the full moon, Thursday 6 April, Peter Gabriel releases the Bright-Side Mix of the title track from his forthcoming album, i/o.”

That from the Peter Gabriel website.

It has been a while since there has been new music from Gabriel.

That is, in October 2020 he released Live in Athens 1987, which, obviously, is music from 1987.

There were three releases in 2019:

  • Flotsam and Jetsam: “a digital only collection of B-sides, remixes and rarities”
  • Rated PG: “a collection of Peter Gabriel songs from the movies”
  • Growing Up Live: “In 2002 and 2003, following the release of his album UP, Peter Gabriel went on the road with his Growing Up tour”

In 2013 there was something newish: “Scratch My Back was originally released in 2010 and now makes its second coming, this time accompanied by And I’ll Scratch Yours, the concluding part of a series of song exchanges in which Peter and other leading artists reinterpret each other’s songs.” But in all cases, old songs in new skins.

2012 had the release of Live Blood, which has live tracks that were released on New Blood in 2011, and while the term “new” might imply this is “new” music, it is partially so, in that, as petergabriel.com tells us, “Following the artistic success of Scratch My Back, 2011’s New Blood delved deep into the Gabriel songbook.”

2003 brought Hit: “Thirteen years on from 1990’s Shaking The Tree compilation, Hit offers a much more voluminous overview of the Gabriel back catalogue.”

It has been nearly 21 years since there has been a fully novel album from Gabriel: the previously mentioned UP, released in September 2002.

Evidently Gabriel likes to mine his back pages.

Listening to “i/o Bright Side Mix” makes me want to listen to his earlier work, not because it has engaged me in the music of Gabriel, but because that tune is so saccharine in an infantile way, I want to aurally wash my ears out.

Yes, this is a classic Gabriel execution, where he sings and then the Soweto Gospel Choir comes in for the chorus, but “i/o” is simplistic such that it almost sounds like he created the song for purposes of teaching toddlers about the environment:

We all belong to everything
To the octopus suckers and the buzzard’s wing
To the elephant’s trunk and buzzing bee’s sting

Let’s just put it this way: A lot has changed in 21 years.

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Don’t Do This at Home or Anywhere Else

  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Severe asthma
  • Cigarette smoking

Those factors contributed to Coolio’s death last year, according to the Los Angles County coroner’s office, according to the Associated Press.

Dude was 59.

As you may not be familiar with cardiomyopathy, this from the Centers for Disease Control:

“When cardiomyopathy occurs, the normal muscle in the heart can thicken, stiffen, thin out, or fill with substances the body produces that do not belong in the heart muscle. As a result, the heart muscle’s ability to pump blood is reduced, which can lead to irregular heartbeats, the backup of blood into the lungs or rest of the body, and heart failure.”

Asthma, of course, is a chronic lung condition that causes airways to become inflamed and narrowed, thereby making it difficult to breathe, especially as there is often an excess of mucus. One of the triggers is smoke.

While this should be cautionary, it is difficult to imagine that anyone would do that to a compromised body.

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In Other Health-Related News. . .

Robert Deal, a.k.a., Mick Mars, co-founder and lead guitarist of Mötley Crüe, announced last October that due to having ankylosing spondylitis, he “will no longer be able to tour with the band. Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigors of the road.”

The Mayo Clinic has it:

“Ankylosing spondylitis, also known as axial spondyloarthritis, is an inflammatory disease that, over time, can cause some of the bones in the spine, called vertebrae, to fuse. This fusing makes the spine less flexible and can result in a hunched posture. If ribs are affected, it can be difficult to breathe deeply.”

Mars will turn 72 next month.

While Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee were initially conciliatory about Mars’ retirement from the road, last week Mars filed suit against the Crüe and other related entities. According to the suit the members of the band held a shareholders meeting during which they decided to “throw Mars out of the band, fire him as a director of the corporation, fire him as an officer of the corporation and take away his shares of the corporation.”

Billboard reports that the band offered Mars 5% to walk away, “Rather than the 25% he is allegedly owed.”

On the one hand, it does seem more than callous that after 41 years with the band he’s been booted.

On the other hand, the Mötley Crüe Corporation is evidently no different than lots of corporations that treat people as fungible objects.

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