They cancelled the 2004 Lollapalooza tour today, and when I found out who was on the bill, I gasped: Morrissey, The Pixies, the Flaming Lips, Wilco and Sonic Youth. Naturally, I assumed those bands would usher in a whopping fan base desperate to hear their heroes, but nobody is buying a fucking ticket.
And then it hit me, as usual: the line-up that would make your average WXYC DJ go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs is likely to make your 15-year-old yawn in disdain. We have to face facts: The Pixies, Smiths and Sonic Youth were all making records in 1986, which by my count was 18 years ago. When I was 19 in 1986, I saw the Smiths and the Cure play at the L.A. Forum.
But I was NOT going to see The Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Rascals, the Monkees or anything else from eighteen years before that, i.e., 1968. Those bands seemed like jokes to me, worthy only of derision or the clandestine, guilty sing-along in the car. These teens probably look at the Pixies the way I looked at Creedence Clearwater Revival: I knew I was supposed to like them, but I could really care less. I was way more into the Naked Eyes CD.
Someone said that music fans in their thirties were far less likely to stand around in a hot open-air mosh pit to see their old favorites, to which I say: no fucking duh. However, I don’t think Jon, Bud, Chip or I would have gone to a Lollapalooza when we were 18 either. I didn’t mind moshing to the Sex Police, Johnny Quest, My Bloody Valentine and the Heels’ victory over Duke in 1992, but there’s no way we would have driven outside of Chapel Hill to get peed on by strangers. If someone’s peeing on me, I’d rather know them.