heaven knows I’m gouty now


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.


0 thoughts on “heaven knows I’m gouty now

  1. Bud

    Gosh. I went to lots of shows when I was 18, and I’d have *loved * something like Lollapalooza then. I mean, seriously. If someone had convinced a few bands like the Smiths, the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, U2 and/or the B52s to play outdoor shows across the country, I wouldn’t have been able to stay away (although it’s hard for me to picture Morrissey or Robert Smith in sunshine).
    I did go to Lollapalooza 2 (1992) in Raleigh and it was amazing. A whole day of excellent music and Gen X culture for $30. Nobody peed on me (lots of folks did slide around in the mud); what I remember most is dozens of beach balls flying around at sunset–to the sounds of Ministry (somehow it fit perfectly). Red Hot Chili Peppers were even better than I’d hoped they’d be.
    I’d consider going to a similar event today, mud and all. I hardly ever go to any shows now, though. I think the last live music I saw was Ben Folds Five circa 1997. The problem is that ticket prices are *ridiculous* now. Lets see: week’s vacation in Colorado or 90 minute corporate rock show?
    As for ‘kids today’ and us as ‘golden oldies,’ 1986 has a lot more in common with 2004 than it did with 1968. The kids I know empathize a lot more with our generations music than we ever did with the boomers’. Maybe this is just old guy talk, but there seems to be a real dearth of music that means anything lately. I know 19-year-olds today with Smiths and Cure posters. It’s hard for me to imagine 19-year-olds in 2025 with 3 Doors Down or Usher posters.
    Zen Frisbee could rock the house, couldn’t they? You don’t happen to have that compilation CD with ‘Rakeisha’ on it, do you? I’ve been looking for that song for about 10 years now….

  2. Alan

    I have Pixies tickets for Hull, Quebec on the 28th of Novermber but I am betting they can’t hold it together that long. Old fart reality might strike them in the face as well. Too young for a reunion too, too old to pull in the twenty year olds. Talking of old guy talk, I mainly listen to accordion-based English folk music now. Those electric guitars give off an awful racket.

  3. Piglet

    I must have been a geek. I listened to oldies stations and went to quite a few concerts featuring, eg, the Buckinghams, the Turtles, and Chubby Checker–and yes, they had to appear in groups of four or five to draw enough of a crowd between them.
    I also listened to the Beastie Boys, and used to joke about how hard it would be to someday invent music to offend parents who grew up with *this*. How naive I was in my youth…
    BTW, is that Ian on that poster?

  4. jon

    Oddly, The Cure is launching a festival tour this summer, called Curiosa. Odder still, I’m not really planning on going, even though the nearest stop is only 90 minutes away from here. A fat and happy Robert Smith, while good for him, is not particularly compelling for me. And though I still appreciate The Cure, the festival sort of *feels* to me like a Monkees reunion tour would have in 1986.

  5. Gina

    My husband (Greg) posts on here sometimes, and turned me on to reading this blog. I’ve been lurking for a quite while, but feel compelled to join in the fray today.
    I am a 37-year-old who was just crushed when Ticketmaster called our house last night and let us know that our Lollapalooza tickets are null and void. The Pixies weren’t on our bill here in the DC area (but they are coming in the fall and we plan to try to get tickets), but I was really looking forward to Sonic Youth and PJ Harvey.
    Of course, I saw the Cure a few weeks ago at a local radio station’s big outdoor arena event, too. And yes, Robert Smith is pretty puffy! It was kind of bizarre to be down on the field with the kids for the band prior to the Cure (the Offspring), but I was happily surprised that I was able to hold my own when the moshing came my way. I’m not as strong as I used to be when I attended Johnny Quest or the Sex Police shows, but I still know how to keep a low center of gravity and use my elbows when necessary. (Also, the 25 post-baby pounds that haven’t magically melted away probably helped me stand my ground!)
    Live music is just about the only thing I deign important enough to find a babysitter for our 2-year-old. I guess I’m just a sad, aging groupie!
    Oh, well. I guess I’ll just have to be happy with the tickets we purchased to go see the Wiggles in August! With lyrics like, “Fruit salad, yummy, yummy” how can you go wrong?

  6. chip

    Wasn’t the Monkees the first show ever at the Dean Dome, way back in 1986?
    I remember the Monkees on a big nostalgia tour in the mid-80s, with teenage and college girls providing a lot of their audience.
    Of course a lot of kids our age had seen the TV show in re-runs.

  7. DB

    Gina–I feel compelled to say that we, too, considered the Wiggles, but we didn’t go. They actually had a ticket giveaway on a local rock station and my next-door neighbor won. Guess they knew that people listening to 80’s music now had kids…
    We did, however, see Dan Zanes, formerly of the Del Fuegos (a band I never listened to, but which somehow gives him cred). It rocked. You should check out his records, which are for kids but which also don’t suck for adults. We got our son his first concert T-shirt there, and Dan stayed around to sign everyone’s merch.

  8. Gina

    DB – Thanks for the tip — I’ll have to get that album. We have a kid’s album called “For the Kids” that we really love — as I look it up on Amazon, I see that one of the songs is by Dan Zanes! Some of the other artists are Cake, Billy Bragg & Wilco, and Sarah McLachlan.
    Quinn’s 1st (and 2nd) concerts were They Might be Giants — once at an outdoor festival in DC and once at a local bookstore when they were hawking their kids book/album combo. (His first rock t-shirt was the Foo Fighters, though he isn’t given the chance to listen to them very often!)

  9. Ian

    I should know better than to speak for Bud. He was frequently sneaking off do to cool shit without telling us. Actually, if Bud wanted me to go to LLPLZA 2004 and sway to Morrissey with him, I’d be there like white on rice.

  10. Jennifer

    I was absentmindly watching something on MTV at my mother’s not too long ago and it wasn’t long before she asked me in all seriousness,
    “When did bands stop wearing matching outfits?”

  11. jon

    I have a friend who attended a Morrissey concert in Cincinnati sometime in the early 90s where, about three songs into Morrissey’s set, some adoring male fan tried to approach the stage to present a bouquet of roses to him. Overzealous security guards jumped on top of the guy and beat him a little harder than the situation called for. Seeing this, Morrissey stopped in the middle of his song, said something like, “Oh great, I really feel safe” and left the stage, never to return.
    With this in mind, how the hell was he going to fit in on the Lollapalooza Tour? He sure was great at one time, but as far as I’m concerned, That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore. Although I do kinda like the image of Ian and Mr. The Budster swaying to his music while sipping wine coolers on the lawn.

  12. jon

    Oh, and Chip – The Monkees were definitely ONE of the first acts to play the Dean Dome, but I seem to remember them making a big deal about James Taylor being the first one to perform in there. Am I imagining that?

  13. jon

    Chip: Oops, we were both wrong. As my mom likes to say, “We never guess, we always look it up.” So here you go, straight from the Dean Dome bio:
    “Kenny Rogers staged the first concert in the arena on April 12, 1986.”

  14. Ian

    Just for that, Jon, you aren’t invited to the Ian’n’Bud Summer of Love Festival 2004, featuring Kajagoogoo and Erasure.

  15. Lindsay

    I was with Bud at Lollapalooza 92 at Walnut Crick, and I most definitely peed on him.
    Anyway, more than defining the end of an era, I think the squelching of the festival was due to exactly what kiils most failed rock concerts: bad promotion/producing. Fr’ example: the NYC date of Lollapalooza was on a weekday. Since the headliners’ target audience mostly have jobs (of the non-McJob variety, we hope) they lost a lot of people who would otherwise have headed out on a Saturday afternoon to Randall’s Island, eaten maybe half a hit of acid and tried to recapture the feeling of hearing Ocean Size at dusk just after a thunderstorm passed whist peeing on Thornton Bud Long.

  16. scruggs

    Gina & DB. thank you X 3. We have been stalled on Baby Beluga and Toddler Tunes and sorely in need of new material for our 1yr old’s pleasure and for our sanity. So, I’ve just now ordered For the Kids, Zane’s Rocket Ship Beach, and TMBG (who, by the way, was the first show I saw at the Cradle the start of my freshman year).
    I was excited to see The Cure (who, incidentally, played at best a 50% full Dean Dome in 92) with Interpol are headed to Atlanta, but with tickets already in hand for the Pixies, the Blondie/Psychedlic Furs show, and (shhh, don’t tell anyone) Peter Paul and Mary, my retro dance card is full.

  17. jon

    Hey! Bud was at that ’92 Cure Dean Dome show TOO! I know, ’cause I was with him and Ian, among others. Wow, that dude gets around. But I did not pee on The Budster.

  18. Louisa

    Scruggs, not that I want to turn this into a side conversation (oh, wait, I’m doing it anyway), but check out Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang (www.gwendolyn.net). My daughter would drop out of preschool and follow them, if that was an option. And I find the music as listenable as Dan Zanes or TMBG. Actually, Gwendolyn had a Kerry fundraising concert here in LA, and my daughter and I went. I think it’s really important to get my four year-old on an Ashcroft Enemies List, if possible.

  19. Bud

    Lindsay, you’re peeing up the wrong tree, bubba.
    Jane’s Addiction played the first Lollapalooza, in ’91. I wish I’d been there, but I was in Statesville drilling holes in sheet metal. I met you for the first time a couple months later, at the Lodge.
    In ’92, I only found out you guys went the day after the show. I’d had two extra tickets and no one at the Purple House wanted to go–they were all convinced it was totally going to suck (I’m convinced Ben Folds was singing about the Purple House in “Battle of Who Could Care Less”)–so I ended up giving the tickets to this terribly awkward 18-year-old kid at my McJob, and conspiring with another co-worker to find him a date. I thought *he* was going to pee his pants with joy.
    I didn’t see him, y’all, or *anyone* I knew at the show, but it was one of the coolest days I ever spent surrounded by strangers (of course they weren’t strangers for long).
    That’s what I love, though, about acid in retrospect: you can have the beautiful memory, and I didn’t have to wash any pee off my leg.
    Your point about organization/promotion is right on. Where *do* folks our age go to drop acid and pee on each other?

  20. Bud

    Wow. The Cure at the Dean Dome. I’d forgotten it was poorly-attended. Still a pretty good show (if I remember correctly, an open question). They flat-out *rawked* a packed Cameron Indoor Stadium in ’89, probably the best show I’ve ever been to.
    Kajagoogoo and Erasure? Let’s add They Might Be Giants and, say, Cake. And I’ll bring the wine coolers. We’ll all sway. Afterwards, we can play EGDAP, and we’ll let Jon win, just like in the good old days.

  21. Bud

    Finally (about time, right?), Emily, you’re totally right. That was a cheap shot. 90% of everything is always crap, and I didn’t hang with people who had Corey Hart or Lionel Richie posters back then.
    But I find it hard to find the 10% of non-crap today. What are you listening to?

  22. Emily

    Honestly, Bud, I give in and listen to some of the crap, just because I need something to sing along to in the car. I’m also way too cheap to buy CDs, as most of my money goes to light beer and Metro cards (ah, college). But what I’m actually proud to listen to that’s current includes Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Coldplay, and RJD2. Everyone else’s lyrics leave quite a bit to be desired when I compare them to the older music I steal from my dad. My REAL favorites are mostly from the 80s and late 90s – the Gin Blossoms rock my world. (My biggest problem with Usher, besides the dancing and the constant shirtless-ness is his inability to use any kind of metaphor. I don’t want to hear “my chick on the side says she got one on the way” – come on, get more creative than that!)


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