Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No More Bill Graham

When I was a teenager, we went to concerts as much as we could.  If we had the money, the ticket, the transportation, nothing stopped us.  Days on the Green, which were all day affairs at Candlestick Park with headliner after headliner were fantastic ways to spend Saturdays in the summer.  General admission tickets to the Cow Palace crushing person against person, all with the same focus, the talent on the stage.  Dancing, singing, feeling, screaming, laughing, loving, all for the common experience.  I have incredible memories of those teenage years.  

Today, the game has changed.  I'm not sure why, but it's definitely changed. More and more concerts are only for 18 years and older, which puts parents and kids at odds.  It actually pisses me off.  Why should it be that the venue operators, the promoters, and the talent can't make it "safer" for all.  It's not strip shows.  There's no gambling.  They are all worried about liability.  Why did this mutate into drug infested, drunken OD evenings and events?  Why can't the powers that be take back control?  Why is it just expected and accepted that tons of illegal drugs are going to make the rounds at concerts?  

Let me go back to my being pissed off.  The artists aren't denying the sale of their music to people under 18.  No, they are all collecting tons from high schoolers.  So, if their money is good enough for iTunes sales, why can't it be good enough for live concerts?  High schoolers are taking all sorts of risks to get to see their favorite artists live.  Fake ID's are the rage and it isn't necessarily for alcohol like in yesteryear, they just want to get into the venues that they are barred from.  

The focus could be changed.  There could be a zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use.  The performers could encourage it, the venues, and promoters could be vigilant and make it uncool.  Bracelets could be worn.  Parents could have to sign a release from liability, but ultimately it just sucks for all that are clamoring to see their favorite artists.  AND I know many of you probably think it's ridiculous and this is just how it is today, but I don't accept it.  If you have to be high and drunk to appreciate the music, maybe the "talent" isn't as good as all that.  

As I began, I went to many different venues, saw all kinds of artists, and never was age an issue.  Why should it be for our kids?  

Sidebars:  My baseball season ended over the weekend.  Really sad. The Dodgers and the Cardinals ended their seasons and so did I.  Jim Leyland pushed out of the manager's position with the Cards.  One of the great and last of the true baseball men.  Don Mattingly is having his doubts about staying with the Dodgers.  He should find a team that values him.  So, the World Series begins tomorrow night, I'm out.  Until April.  Basketball season starts soon and for the NY Knicks...it will be a very long season. The Voice still intrigues.  The Good Wife  still annoys. Yay to New Jersey for legalizing same sex marriages and Governor Christie for dropping his legal opposition to same sex marriages.  

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