I found the quote above while scrolling through my Facebook-feed, and I couldn’t have said it better myself.
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you share my passion for music. “Rock stars” have made me the person that I am today. Their music has been the soundtrack of my existence, and that’s a pretty big deal.
My first experience of loss was when I was 7, and Elvis died. I remember it very clearly. It was a regular weekday and I went with dad to a local mall. He used to buy a newspaper, get a coffee and read the paper. Well, that day he met a friend there so while they were talking I grabbed the newspaper and saw the headline: “Elvis has died“.
Elvis was my first “real” idol. I couldn’t believe that someone like that could die. Stars, musicians, celebrities – in my mind, they weren’t like regular, mortal people. They were above that, somehow.
And in a way, I guess they are. They never die. For all I know, he could be alive and well, making music. I never met him anyway and probably never would.
But that first shock stuck in my mind. Death was something I had very little experience of at the time. All my relatives were still alive, nobody had died, loved ones, friends – all there. I felt like life was so long that it was almost “forever”.
Well, the second shock came three years later, when I was ten. The timing couldn’t have been worse. I was such a dedicated Beatles-fan, it was true love, like a teenage crush, just something that made my heart sing. Beatles and their music – that was like celebrating Christmas, New Year’s and my birthday every single day. That’s the best way I could describe it.
One day, our teacher came to class, looking like something really terrible happened. He didn’t say much, and he was usually a very talkative man.
He went straight to the record player that was in the left corner of the class room, and put on John Lennon‘s latest album, “Double Fantasy” and the first words of “Just like starting over” filled the room.
He lit a candle and said: “John Lennon has been shot. He’s dead”.
Our teacher was a big music fan as well. He used to play songs he liked for us. He was the one who introduced me to Simon and Garfunkel and many other classic artists.
I felt like throwing up. John?! Dead?! He was BEYOND DEATH. So many thoughts and emotions that I couldn’t get a grip of. I was still too young to understand, I cried all day.
My heart was in a thousand pieces, I knew every song, every little detail in every Beatles song, Lennon song…. I didn’t have any other hobbies or passions back then. I focused ALL my time and love on music. And there WAS no other music in my world, but the Beatles. I was still exploring other types of music, which maybe wasn’t typical for other 10-year olds who were interested in mainstream Top 40 type of music. I don’t know where that came from really…
I played Beatles records all day that day, and just cried till I could barely breathe. It was the end of the world. John Lennon?! The greatest of them ALL! “You’ve got to hide your love away” from the “Help!”-album felt like a voice from the other side.
My mother came home, yelled at me because I hadn’t done the dishes, which was my chore. She had no understanding whatsoever of my grief, she thought I was just being ridiculous. It only made things worse that I had nobody to talk to who felt the same and would understand where I was coming from.
The third really big strike was when Ronnie James Dio passed away. I remember being in Split, Croatia with my dad at the time, and someone texted me the news, cause I didn’t have access to WiFi.
I felt so horrible, wanted to just crawl up in a corner and cry, or just call someone, anyone, and vent for a few hours. But I couldn’t. I was in an environment where nobody would get it. At ALL.
My dad was the most wonderful person on the planet, but he couldn’t understand what he called “idol worship”. He used to say “they are just people, no better than you or me!”. What do you say to that? Dad and I lived on different planets sometimes…
I remember texting my friend Kevin in Florida about it, he was just as devastated as I was. The news of Dio’s death hit us all hard. He was one of the true greats of hard rock/heavy metal. Not only that, but this time I was an adult and had personal memories and references. I had met Dio as a fan and as a journalist, and he was always kind. It felt so wrong that he had to go.
Most recently we lost an icon – Lemmy, and one of the biggest pop/rock geniuses of all time, David Bowie.
I don’t think anyone was surprised that it was time for Lemmy to say goodbye, I’m sure he wasn’t either. With Lemmy, it wasn’t so much his music, cause I was never a huge fan of Motörhead, but it was because he was genuine and real. He symbolized rock’n’roll like nobody else, he lived like most people only dream of, with the integrity of very few on the music business. It was a HUGE loss. He was just the coolest, baddest of them ALL.
[Filmed this one summer at Sweden Rock when I was fortunate enough to be invited to side stage to watch the show]
I spent the evening at the local rock club, Dr Feelgood’s, with about 100 other fans, watching Lemmy’s memorial service on a big screen in the darkness, feeling sad but at the same time a feeling of peace and happiness because it was a celebration of life more than anything. The way it should be.
David Bowie… I cried again. I can’t imagine the music world without Bowie. The music he created, the spectacle, the piece of ART he made of himself…. will never be surpassed. They don’t make artists like that anymore. I still feel incredibly sad when I think about it.
I couldn’t watch his last video “Lazarus”. It broke my heart, I felt horrible. Will never watch it again. It’s just so bizarre. Even in death he speaks, it’s as if it was all perfectly staged and timed. “Let’s make this video, then let’s release the album on my birthday, then let me go and die a few days later and nobody will ever forget it – and I left my own goodbye message”…
At the same time… The band in the sky will kick heavenly ass, and I can’t wait to get my front row ticket to an angel choir consisting of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Freddie Mercury and David Bowie for instance.
For a musician, death is not the end. It’s the beginning of ETERNITY. It’s when they truly become bigger than EVER.
For a musician, dying is the way to sell more albums and becoming a legend.
It’s all the way it should be. Thank you for the music, all you guys and gals up there…. or down below, wherever you all gather for your afterlife jamsessions… Without you, I would be nothing.
I finally feel that it’s okay to cry. We all stand united in life and in death. I never say “Rest in peace” to any rocker. They weren’t made for resting in THIS life and they certainly won’t be resting on the other side.
I was watching Lemmy’s memorial service yesterday at the local rock bar, Dr Feelgood’s here in Malmo. We were about 100 people there who met up to watch it.
One thing kept coming up in the speeches, and that was how Lemmy made a point of making himself available to people.
So I dug up this old story that I wrote back then, in 1998, about my first concert with Motorhead and how great they all treated us. We were just there as fans. I was working as a music journalist at the time, but I had already done a phoner with Lemmy so this was not business, just hanging there like everybody else.
Anyway, here’s that story:
Motörhead and Dio – Tuesday and Wednesday… It’s been two rockin´ days and it feels good, it really does! I mean, This is what it’s all about – it’s about music, about dedication and communication between the artists, the fans and people around them!
In other words- I was finally HOME!
Let’s begin by remembering the Motörhead day, on Tuesday October 27th, 1998. It was only 4 in the afternoon when I drove down to KB where they were gonna be playing.
My pal and her boyfriend were already there, freezing half to death. The rain was pissing down, it was stormy and it was so cold that you could justbarely EXIST. You couldn’t even use your umbrella because of the storm and no matter what you were wearing, it was freezing cold!
Anyway, when we had been standing there for a while, watching people walking in and out of the tour bus, a nice guy with a laminate ran past us and shouted:
– You must be CRAZY standing out here!
– We ARE! I replied.
Then he went up on the bus and disappeared. A few seconds later he returned and said:
– What have you got to sign? I’ll bring it up on the bus – they’ll sign it for you.
It wasn’t quite the same as having it signed personally, but I could see the point – I wouldn’t want to stand there in the rain and the cold signing autographs either.
So, we waited for the guy to come out again, and a few minutes later he did – looking like a donkey with all that STUFF that we just tossed all over him.
[Picture: Lemmy signed my leather jacket – he actually found a clear spot to write on!]
Then, surprisingly, he told us to come inside. And once we got into the club he asked us if we wanted a cup of coffee or tea or something, still mumbling something about how crazy we were “standing out there in the freezing cold and rain”…
We were shown into a catering-room (that’s usually a small bar in the back of the club, called the Vinyl-bar – but when Motörhead and crew were there- it was a catering!).
He got us cups and told us to help ourselves. I was still shaking from the cold and my clothes were soaked to the skin! We thanked him very much for his kindness, I mean, people like that are pretty rare. He asked me what my name was and introduced himself, but I didn’t hear what he said, cause they were soundchecking.
He said he was the tour manager and that he’d be looking for us later at the show “we’ll get you passes or something...” . Well, at least we were on the guestlist, and that was all we wanted. The important thing was to see the show, first and foremost.
Then we all went home and changed to DRY clothes (but I was still freezing HOURS after that!), and a few hours later, we went back to KB (the club). It was PACKED – I haven’t seen so many people at a concert in a long time. But I noticed that lately,hard rock events attract a LOT of people, so mark my words…! :-D Hard rock is on the way back!! Again. Get ready for it people, it won’t be long now!
[Picture: Lemmy in the morning paper!]
The show was okay. This was the first time I ever saw Motörhead live, and Lemmy was really cool! So, in a way it was better than I thought, only that…well, Motörhead’s music isn’t really what I’d listen to every day.
But it was great to see so many PEOPLE! I couldn’t even move! But eventhough the MUSIC isn’t my thing, I can’t help being impressed by Lemmy because he is so GENUINE. There’s no bullshit about that man. What you see is most definitely what you get! Yeah, he’s cool..! :-)
Anyway, after the show I tried to find my pal and her boyfriend, and finally found them. They were standing right by the backstage-entrance. We hadn’t seen the tour manager, and we didn’t have passes. (So, NOW what…?) But the security-guy looked familiar for some reason, and my friend was convinced that I knew him (and I know I DO, I just can’t remember WHERE I’ve seen him before! Isn’t it such a drag when THAThappens?!) so… I took a chance and went over to him. I just asked something about the band, if they were still up there and if they were gonna come downstairs.
And he just went:
– They are not coming down. But you can go up there if you want!
Some guy tried to “cruise in” when the door opened, but got a loud and clear “fuck off”, while the three of us just went straight up to Motörhead’s dressing-room…! And the worst thing is – I STILL don’t know where I know that guy from… So embarrassing.
Anyways, when we got up there, Lemmy was at the bar, drinking something, Mikkey Dee was talking to some fans, and the rest were in the couch just relaxing. The few people who were there kept walking over to Lemmy asking for autographs or telling him how great the show was or whatever.
I was surprised that he was so short… I mean, he looks VERY tall on stage, but he wasn’t THAT tall.
We didn’t stay long up there, it was a very laid back atmosphere, people looked very relaxed. But I was tired and needed to get home, so we left early.
I was sitting on Facebook scrolling through the usual buzz… at 2 am in the morning. When something caught my eye. “Is it true that Lemmy is dead?” someone asked. I shook my head with a little smile thinking that it had to be the usual rumors, of COURSE. Lemmy just turned 70 on Christmas eve, surely he was very much alive. Right?
Then it started pouring in. Eddie Trunk, Ozzy, Sharon Osbourne, Blabbermouth and then EVERYTHING and EVERYONE, it spread like wildfire. There was no doubt about it. Lemmy has left us.
We’re losing our icons one by one… and I shouldn’t be surprised. In a way we should be more surprised he survived as long as he did with the lifestyle he chose for himself. But I still react with disbelief, it takes a long time to fully UNDERSTAND it.
Lemmy is not just another musician. He’s not just another rock star. He was the most authentic symbol of true badass rock’n’roll there ever was – he LIVED it, BREATHED it, his whole persona WAS rock’n’roll! He dedicated his entire life for it and became the symbol of rock for every single person on the planet who ever loved the lovely dirtiness of rock’n’roll. Always outspoken, never afraid of anything, not even death itself.
It’s going to be all over the place now. But I still won’t be able to quite take it in. Some people are just NEVER supposed to die… They’re above all that. I couldn’t believe it when Dio passed away and I took it so personal, it hurt like I had lost a family member.
I may not have been the biggest Motorhead fan on the planet, but Lemmy was so much more than Motorhead, it’s a very sad day….
His name, music and spirit will remain immortal. It’s just his body that gave up. Continue to raise hell Lemmy, I’m pretty sure there will be no rest on the other side now. Thank you for being such a badass and inspiration to us all while you were among us. And see you soon…
Sunday – last day of the festival – started out as a total nightmare. The last thing you want when you’re in a field in the middle of nowhere – is rain! And it was pissing down. Vera didn’t even have a rain poncho or umbrella or anything, so we had to wait until the worst rain passed to we could go and get her a poncho asap. She would have been soaked without it.
And this last day we didn’t get any VIP-treatment, no backstage passes like the day before. Well – I had my press pass, I had that all 3 days, but Vera didn’t so we were out in the rain. I wanted to see Sebastian Bach but as the rain kept getting worse, even I wondered if I really wanted to see that show that bad…
The minute he got on stage, I knew what to do. I didn’t want to watch it. Actually, I was pissed off. No disrespect to Sebastian as an entertainer but the “problem” in this case was that I’ve seen SO many shows with Sebastian since 1989, I lost count already in 1992… He has ALWAYS been this bundle of energy, TNT dynamite on stage – I’ve come to expect that. When it was pissing down like this at Donington 1992 he ran out on stage, slid and fell on his ass – but continued singing! That’s what a true artist does.
But at Graspop he looked like a primadonna who didn’t want to get his hair wet! I’ve NEVER seen Sebastian act like that before. In 23 years this was the first time he had that attitude and I was disappointed.
When he just stood there, doing nothing, looking like he just wanted to go back to the backstage area it felt like it was anything BUT rock’n’roll. And when he stated “Belgium! This SUCKS!” I was even more pissed off because I was thinking to myself, as the water kept running into my eyes and my clothes were about to get soaked even through the rain poncho – “It’s not YOU standing out here getting soaked mothertrucker! I’m not gonna stand here if you’re not going to make it worth the trouble!”
[Seriously – what the hell was THIS all about…?]
THESE VIDEOS (each was less than a minute long) WERE REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE BY “GET OFF MY BACH PRODUCTIONS INC” (=Sebastian Bach).
Further comments not necessary…..
So I left. The first time ever that I walked out on a Sebastian Bach or Skid Row show. Later on I heard from somebody who had stayed through the whole thing, that it got better towards the end of the show… Well, too bad my patience or the lack thereof, got the best of me in the rain and the cold. The last thing I need is an artist with a bad attitude.
The Marquee tent was a lot better. I had no idea who was playing in there, I didn’t care. I just wanted to stand somewhere where it wasn’t raining. The only problem was all the SMOKING in there. I felt like I was gonna puke. I get sick from cigarette-smoke, I really can’t handle it, it makes me panic. And people were smoking EVERYWHERE.
I couldn’t hide from it, it was the same outside actually. Every time I wanted to take a deep breath of fresh air, I got a cloud of someone’s SMOKE in my lungs instead, which almost made me faint a few times. Smokers just don’t understand what it’s like to be subjected to their smoke. Some chick at Sweden Rock told me that “this is a festival, we SMOKE here!”. Okay – people pass out in their puke on festivals too, so what’s that got to do with anything?!
So I had my nose stuck in my jacket the whole time, the only way to avoid taking a deep breath of nicotine when I least expect it… Shouldn’t have to be that way. Maybe someday smoking will be a thing of the past.
Jan from JOP showed up, they had just arrived. Had a short chat with him, then he took off to check out the sound board the would be working with. I texted JOP’s former tour manager Anett to ask if she was there cause I knew she was going to the festival. She texted back saying she was up on the stage (Ugly Kid Joe’s stage).
Everybody’s impressed with UKJ – it’s like time stood still with those guys. They are still as cool and as valid as they ever were. There is still the naughty boyishness in them, the middle-finger teenage punkish attitude. They sound great and most of all I’m super impressed by drummer Yael Biz. She is freaking amazing!
Here she is with Alex Skolnick in a different project, she kicks major ass:
Whitfield Crane sounds great still, so all in all it was great seeing them live again. It was raining when they were playing Sweden Rock Festival as well, but at least this time they were in a tent. :)
When they finished their set I RAN out of the tent cause I could hear that EUROPE had started playing. It was still raining but I absolutely wanted to see them. Here is my shaky video of the powerwalk from the tent to the main stage – prepare to get sea sick! ;))
To be honest, I haven’t seeen Europe in many years because I chose NOT to. I remember them from their hayday, from the “hair-days” when they were on top and I didn’t want to ruin my good memories by seeing a bunch of old(er) family-guys with short hair. Just didn’t feel right. However, seeing them at Graspop was different somehow, it was a festival so I decided to go check it out.
Now I regret that I wasted so many opportunities the past few years to go and see them. They REALLY made me proud to be Swedish! There was nothing about them that felt “old” in any way, they are still great on a big stage.
Joey Tempest was strutting – owning that stage. Unlike Sebastian he didn’t give a fuck about the rain. He put on a show like there WAS no rain! And he looked like he loved every second of it!
It sounded great – Europe is a perfect old-school arena-band. They know how to handle a large crowd and a big stage. I’m glad that I went to see them and it was WORTH standing in the rain for! Joey Tempest still knows how to entertain, I’ll be back for more.
[Still kicking butt!]
After their show, I met up with Anett for just a few minutes and took a walk around the area. It was cold and damp so I decided to go back to the tent. Jon Oliva’s Pain was coming up.
Jan was busy working, Hanneke (light-tech) as well but she was so glad to see me, she jumped down to give me a hug. “You are welcome to join me up there if you want“, she said, so when she show was about to begin, I went up there. Hanneke rocks, always happy always up to something, it’s impossible not to like that girl. :)
Saw guitar-tech Fabio on the stage, haven’t seen him in ages, hoped to be able to get together with “the family” later and catch up a little! That didn’t happen though. I don’t know why, but at least I got to hang with the funniest bunch in the backstage bar afterwards – Fabio, Hanneke and Anett. We were laughing and having a great time, always a pleasure to hang out with them! :-D
The Jon Oliva’s Pain show…. Jon lost a lot of weight since I last saw him, he looked good. The new band sounded good but… I’m not sure why the band (or Jon) has chosen to just play songs from one album (Hall of The Mountain King).
Personally, I think it’s a step back, because this band has created some great music under the name Jon Oliva’s Pain since 2005 and I missed hearing those songs. Going back to the Savatage years feels unnecessary and wasn’t my cup of tea at all. Maybe it pleases the hardcore Savatage-fans but evenso they must have followed Jon’s work the past few years and learned to appreciate what he does now, so I don’t know who this was for, really.
But that’s only my personal opinion, it has nothing to do with the execution of the songs or the quality of the musicians. That is, as always, top-notch.
A bit sad and disappointed that I didn’t get to meet Jon this time. Maybe some other time.
Instead, I went to check out the merch, it had stopped raining. Met up with Vera, grabbed a bite and got ready to see Motorhead. But by the time they went onstage, it was raining again. I went to the VIP-bar and for the first time noticed that they had direct streaming of the show on the TV:s back there. Couldn’t be more perfect! I was under a roof and I could still watch the show! :)
What can I say about Lemmy…? Not too many surprises there. He is cool. He is very cool. He sounds like Lemmy and he gives the crowd what they want. Motorhead is a sure thing. You always know that they’re gonna deliver and WHAT they’re gonna deliver.
After Motorhead, I met up with Anett, Hanneke and Fabio in the backstage bar and nobody was particularly eager to see Guns n’Roses. First of all, we all expected them to be late as fuck, as usual. Then – we expected them to suck, like they have the past few years. Everyone I talked to that day hadn’t planned on seeing GnR. “Maybe the first two songs or something…” – that was the general attitude. Nobody had high hopes for Axl & co.
No wonder, he’s screwed up so badly so many times that people just got tired of it. You can’t act any way you want nowadays because there’s always gonna be some other band that will steal your fans. Not even if you’re Axl Rose, will you get away with just anything.
We were just taking it easy back there when suddenly we heard this BANG and music from the stage. We all stood there with puzzled faces. “They started – already???” It was 20 minutes too early..???
I went out there to check if it was indeed GnR or something else. It WAS Guns…! They had opened with Chinese Democracy. I still didn’t think that they would deliver anything that would be worth staying for, so I stood there, far away from the stage with no intention of moving closer. I was sceptical.
The set continued with Welcome To The Jungle. At this point I was beginning to realize that Axl sounded freaking GREAT. He looked a lot better than the last time too – he lost weight and was actually MOVING on stage. Whooah!
A few songs later I was hooked. This was a different Axl than I remembered, and definitely a different Axl than I expected! It was as if he was pissed off at the criticism and had something to prove.
So you think I’m fat?
You think I can’t sing anymore?
You think I can’t deliver the goods?
WELL – TAKE THIS MOTHERFUCKERS!!!
He was on a mission and I was blown away! I’ve never even been a GnR-fan ever. Never in a million years did I think that Axl Rose, of all people, would get my attention and even have me contemplating to miss the early flight home…!
We had to leave but first Vera wanted to see “just one more song“. And then I ended up thinking the same “just ONE more song…”. And Anett, who was supposed to go with us so we could drive her to her hotel, didn’t want to leave at all..! She said she would grab a shuttle or something – at the time nobody cared HOW they would get back to their hotels or airports, it was just a show that you didn’t want to walk out from…!
It dawned on me, for the first time ever, why Guns n’Roses once became the biggest rock band in the world. THIS was the reason. Axl had a fantastic evening – he created magic!
I read a review in Metal Hammer UK that said he “had the passion of a dead sheep” at some other gig, and I had to wonder if this show at Graspop was just ONE great show that we would see in years…? Cause if the band would continue to sound like THAT and Axl continue to sing flawless – and communicate with the crowd – I would GLADLY travel to see GnR again.
But I guess you never know with that man. I’m glad and feel privileged that we got to witness a great GnR show that actually made people STAY and enjoy the show! I dragged Vera away from there somewhere after “Civil War” cause we HAD to beat the crowds and get out of there before all those thousands of people started heading for the exit.
We could hear Knockin’ on Heavens Door, Whole Lotta Rosie and Patience as we were walking to the parking lot.
The PERFECT ending to a PERFECT festival.
THE GRASPOP BLOGS:
Next up – Bang Your Head festival in Germany……….!
AC/DC and Walmart…. A match made in heaven? I think not.
AC/DC and wallets, backpacks, t-shirts, mugs, baseball-caps, stickers and so on – better? Maybe not, but somehow more accepted because it’s still kept “within the family” so to speak.
I guess in the word integrity in rock’n’roll means “staying away from whatever is mainstream”.
Van Halen doing “Jump” in 1984 caused a MAJOR protests. Oh-my-god. Blasphemy! KEYBOARDS in metal? What the f***. People back then could maybe stretch their tolerance to hammond-organs but no way in hell synthesizers had any business in metal.
When Judas Priest attempted it two years later with Turbo, they got the same reception. To this day, people feel like their heroes let them down.
Both bands were accused of being sellouts – because they were trying to cater to a wider audience. So they were treated like traitors. Being a metalhead means “keeping it in the family”.
I guess that’s why “real” rockers generally don’t like anything that has to do with stepping outside that frame.
Ozzy doing a reality-show, Judas Priest performing with James Durbin on American Idol, AC/DC selling their music to WALMART?!?! Where does it end, how much can metalheads accept?
We all know that it’s tough to be a musician these days. Nobody buys records anymore. Oh come on – honestly. When was the last time YOU actually BOUGHT a record? Possibly a collector’s item, but mostly, we all download or send mp3’s back and forth via e-mails or chats…. Artists can’t live on pure love and air only. :-) They need to survive.
I guess that’s why we’re seeing more of this now. KISS has always been a money machine. Funny enough, most of us have been perfectly okay with assisting them with that, by buying all kinds of “fun stuff” with the KISS-logo on it. But we did NOT like it when they did “I Was Made For Loving You“, because THAT was a HIT that NON-METALHEADS bought and liked. God forbid! Sellouts!
I guess that’s also why “real” rockers dislike bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard or Europe – because those bands actually appealed to everything and anything from kids to teenage girlies to actual music lovers. The reason why people think that Motörhead is a REAL metal band, is because generally, non-metalheads don’t like them.
You won’t see Lemmy in a reality show, he wouldn’t be caught dead doing anything like that. I guess out of most musicians today, he would be the ONLY musician I would say has true integrity that is solid as a rock. He is cool that way, I admire his attitude. It’s brave. I mean, alright, he let “Ace Of Spades” be used for a beer commercial, but that is somehow still rock’n’roll and very Lemmy. Its not WalMart!
Most bands nowadays are acting like whores. They would do anything for money.
One of the worst ways of moneymaking, is the “VIP packages” that are so big in America. Where they CHARGE fans to meet their idols. That is one of those things that I just have a hard time accepting.
What the fuck – I bought the records and the merch, I “liked” them on Facebook and added them on MySpace and Twitter, I’m wearing their freaking t-shirts and I’ve been crushed in the front row at their shows. And they can’t meet their fans for FREE? What’s wrong with that picture?
I realize that you can’t meet everybody, but usually, there are only a few people hanging around before and after the shows. Would it hurt inviting them in to listen to the sound check or have a beer on the bus? Providing they seem fairly normal of course…. I would never, EVER degrade myself to the point where I had to PAY a band to say hello to me, like some beggar. Fuck that.
I remember a girl from New Zealand who was a HUGE Billy Idol-fan that we met in Copenhagen years ago. She was traveling all around the world to see him. God knows how much she spent on tickets, hotels and all that. I should know – I did the same this year going everywhere to see guitar-hero Gus G play with Ozzy and Firewind. It’s not exactly cheap. But you do it for the love of rock’n’roll.
She had bought the most expensive “VIP-package” in several cities, Copenhagen being one of those cities,
I couldn’t believe it when she said how much she had paid, but I forget now the exact amount… Well – they let her in – ten minutes later she was out in the cold again! They “let” her take a photo with Billy and she wasn’t even allowed to use her OWN camera, she got an autograph and a poster and some other junk and after ten minutes it was BYE BYE BABY BYE BYE………..
I’ll never forget that. A die-hard fan like that should be invited in for FREE, get the red carpet for supporting Billy in every possible way. Not be treated like crap – because that was really shitty. I don’t blame Billy for that, he was super cool after the show.
“His people” told fans that Billy would not sign anything because he would risk getting a cold if he stayed outdoors. Billy didn’t give a fuck, he talked to everybody and signed anything people put in front of him.
The VIP-shit is some management’s idea – I would assume…..
But fans generally don’t complain about the “VIP”-bullshit. Cause it’s still “in the family”…
So I guess it’s cool to make money as long as you make sure it’s for the right people. Making money is okay when you’re a rocker, you just need to make sure you do it the right way. Cause integrity for metal-fans is about staying true to yourself, keeping it METAL.
Many people have taken on the heavy metal lifestyle because it’s always been an alternative to whatever is normal and mainstream. It’s a form of escapism, a full-time escapism where you just refuse to be a part of whatever society tries to sell as normal.
So I guess AC/DC stepped WAY out of line in that respect. But as integrity isn’t a big deal in today’s world in general. I guess they are laughing all the way to the bank (and Walmart…)….