Monday, May 03, 2010

U2's ethics cost so much I can't afford to see them in concert

After reading U2 Live at the Rose Bow(E)L - Blog, I thought about my own love/hate relationship with U2.

Back in the vacuous 80s, they were one of the few bands writing songs of substance. They've reinvented themselves effectively each decade, and they sound as good live now as they did at Live Aid in 1985.

And what about those ethics! Lead singer of AC/DC, Brian Johnson, was in the news a while back slagging Bono and Bob Geldof for their humanitarian work. For all the things to criticize, that struck me as bizarre: "Concentrate on the music!" I imagined Johnson berating them. "Africa will sort itself out!"

I think Brian Johnson just needs a lozenge.

But maybe there's a kernel of truth or legitimacy with assailing Bono's and U2's sense of ethics. Particularly, how they refuse to have corporate sponsors on their concert tours.

Hurrah for integrity!

No corporate stooges in their ranks! No U2 songs used cell phone ads or selling Gatorade or the latest model car that'll fall apart three hours after its warranty runs out.

U2 concerts are pure, man, not tainted by corporate bullshit!

When you're worth €100 million, that's not a touch stand to take.

While the "U2 Live at the Rose Bow(E)L - Blog" did a great job covering the myriad disappointments associated with U2's video releases, I got thinking about the live concert experience --

-- the experience I will no longer experience because, frankly, I can't afford to see that gawddamned band live anymore.

No corporate sponsors means artistic purity -- and higher ticket prices. I don't know about Bono, but $150 per ticket is steep for me.

If U2 -- or any other band touring on that level -- really wanted to make a show of spitting in the corporate world's eye, they should go totally corporate.

Bono should be singing into a Pepsi microphone while dressed in a Kentucky Fried Chicken jumpsuit.

The Edge should be playing Budweiser guitars and wearing John Deere hats.

Adam should be playing DuPont and Monsanto basses and Larry should be flailing on a Charlie Tuna Chicken of the Sea (dolphin friendly) drumkit.

The whole circular stage could be the top of a giant pint of beer -- sponsored by Guinness.

Every square foot of the stage flooring should be covered with logos like the rinks in pro hockey or the fields of play in European soccer, all of which would be visible in the DVD releases of the concerts.

This way, tickets to see U2 would be about $5 a piece. I'd take my whole family in that case.

If U2 paired up with Warren Buffet, I'm sure they could figure out a way to play concerts where they pay each audience member $10 to attend. That's a concert experience I would enjoy.

If Bono ever wants to go back to painting his face -- a la Mephisto -- he should come on stage made up like Ronald McDonald.

John Lennon sang "Gimme some truth!" I'm asking U2 to gimme a break!


Anonymous said...

Tickets cost so much these days because of TicketMaster and liability insurance.

Whetam Gnauckweirst said...

Bono should be working on those issues!

Anonymous said...

they followed your advice 13 years ago. Ever see popmart??

Whetam Gnauckweirst said...

Since the Inside the Hotdog Factory time machine is on loan elsewhere, the Popmart tour doesn't help me. But thanks!