THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Live 8

Live 8 (12: 42 PM)

Are you watching this on MTV?? Like the limeys say…it's 'ORRIBLE!

Today the Web comes of age. Makes me want to hook up my PowerBook to watch it on my TV. What's up with the COMMERCIALS??? Couldn't these companies just make a donation to the cause, do SOMETHING, and let their names be scrolled across the bottom of the screen?

And when did we decide everybody's an idiot?

Just because you're young doesn't mean you're STUPID!

The fawning commentary makes me want to puke! And they're talking about the number of people in attendance. If I were a world leader, I'd be laughing. These kids are CLUELESS!

Not that it's light years better on AOL. Because you've got to deal with the dreaded REALPLAYER!

Is there anybody on the planet who doesn't hate RealPlayer? I mean I'd rather use WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER, that's how bad it is.

I clicked to hear a tune, and then I couldn't stop it. Had to quit my browser.

Still, you can see everything on AOL. And they tell you who's playing where, so there's not the dreaded "Ed Sullivan Show" effect where you've got to watch the whole damn thing, sit through crap just so you can see what you want.

But I've got one word for you AOL…QUICKTIME!

I'd like to tell you I woke up at the crack of dawn to turn on the TV. But we were up til three, and…all the music's going to sit on the Web for six weeks. So, it just wasn't worth it. Better to get my z's…

As for what I've seen so far…can we all agree we hate Madonna? That there's something patently offensive about her? Not only her attitude, but the nips and tucks that have made her look a bit like an alien…just too perfect for her age? But, the dancers were good. And how lame is it when I credit the dancers before the singer, who was shouting to tape as it was…

Dave Matthews Band. I love 'em, but the song they played that I saw on TV wasn't memorable. Then again, why couldn't I just hear them instead of lame VJ's talking OVER them. Like I really care how many hours some idiot took to drive to the gig? That's the number one topic in Philly…that's the mentality of the audience.

Watched a bit of A-Ha from Germany. Didn't know they had more than one hit!

Right now the Killers are on in London. Dig the energy, but it's hard to play this music and have it come across while it's still light out.

Bottom line, it's kind of like Watkins Glen. Everybody went because they missed Woodstock. And although it was good, it just didn't have the same vibe. There was only one LiveAid. I went to my friend's house to watch, I blew the whole day, it was exciting. Watching MTV is boring and offensive. Makes me think I should go out in the California sunshine and just cherry-pick the performances the scuttlebutt says were great on AOL next week.

But, I've got to see Pink Floyd.

Oh, one more thing. Did you see that guy from Linkin Park talking about the cause? Too many people are doing this for the exposure, and it shows. Works in England, we believe everybody with an English accent, everything done over there is cool. But in the U.S… But, listening to these people talk…I found out Rob Thomas may be uneducated, but he's not STUPID!

And one more thing. Can we all agree that rap music live sucks? I've got no problem with Snoop…but the energy translated about a yard from the stage, if that.

Re-RealPlayer (1:42 PM)

Rob Glaser:

Bob —

Why don't you like RealPlayer? Most people find the video quality much better than either Windows Media or Quicktime (technically it is for sure). What kind of Mac are you watching on?


Bill Wilson:

no Real Player

all Windows Media

nothing to do with Real

we broke World Wide Streaming # – so biggest live streaming event ever

also – our AOL streaming traffic has increased hour over hour since 8 am — including when MTV went on air at noon eastern


I apologize to Rob Glaser and Real. Turns out it IS Windows Media. So, let me direct my bile at THEM! I suddenly lost the feed. I want to see Roxy Music in Berlin, but I CAN'T, suddenly the feed became Safari-incompatible (that's what the AOL window said). I was told to log on to AOL directly, and I did, since I pay them every month, but that was positively USELESS! AOL software for Mac just SUCKS!

I'd fire up a PC, but where I am there are only PowerBooks.

Meanwhile, interesting that MTV didn't interrupt Linkin Park and Jay-Z… And, I thought Jay-Z was RETIRED!

Joss Stone…do we like her or does she offend us?

It's hard to dislike Green Day.

As for mislabeling Windows Media Real… I was excited, I didn't have my contacts in, I SCREWED UP!

Elton+ (2:19 PM)

Elton

He looks bad, overweight, with a newly shorn wig. But, unlike all the children playing on the other stages, even the now middle-aged Bon Jovi, as Elton pounded the keys, my heart started to pulse, I got that feeling, the one that infected me, that made me dedicate my life to this business. This is rock and roll. Elton is a star.

Sting

Notice HE didn't reunite the band, didn't get back together with the Police. And he didn't quite nail it, his voice doesn't have the power live that it does in the studio, still, "Every Breath You Take", despite being raped by Puffy/Diddy is a cultural anthem. If Ashlee Simpson could write a song a TENTH as good as this I'd forgive her. That's what it's all about, at the end of the day, SONGS!

Dido

What can I say, I'm a FAN!

This performance had the vibe of LiveAid. The secondary stars of the moment, just slugging it out. How come the English acts are still musicians, still about the music, and the Americans are all about STARDOM!

Proactiv

How low have we sunk. P. Diddy's a whore, but Alicia Keys, you don't have enough MONEY?? It would be one thing if your act was about just being one of the people, but you don those chapeaux, you put on the look, play the star, and then do commercials for ZIT CREAM???


XM

Okay, I keep getting e-mail to listen on XM.

I'm at Felice's, so I've got to listen on my computer, and all the stations they say to tune in, 40 plus, are just the usual crap, how do I hear the feeds on my computer, I don't want to go out to my car!!

Maroon 5

Some idiot VJ went on about how politically active the band is. Who's next, the caring Kelly Osbourne???

Meanwhile, knowing their demo once again, MTV is letting Maroon 5 play, they're not interrupting them.

Bill Wilson again:

On Mac — stream works on all browsers but has a conflict with Windows and Safari so we recommend IE, Firefox, Netscape, etc.

over 5,000,000 people have watched on AOL from 8 am to 4:30 pm and counting min by min

simultaneous video usage has broken the all time world wide record — again increasing min by min

The Who!! (2:42 PM)


Is this the greatest rock and roll band in the world or WHAT!

Screw Mick Jagger (and where is HE??). And screw BONO, enough with the glasses. THIS IS IT!

Oh, when I heard that synth intro to "Won't Get Fooled Again"…

They stole VH1's 9/11 tribute and they appear to be dominating here too.

It's not about outfits. It's not about dancers. It's about MUSIC!

One of the main criterions of rock and roll is POWER!

You feel blown back by the sound watching on TELEVISION!!!

And could anybody feel it more than Pete? The way he dips his knees, reaches down and strums those STRINGS! And the way, standing there, picks from the BOTTOM! And WINDMILLS!

He doesn't look like a rock star. He's not wearing the clothes of a rock star. But it's clear, Pete believes. And just watching him, being exposed to him, we believe TOO!!

Meanwhile, Roger, no longer the pretty boy, but an in shape adult, is no longer the sometimes offensive front man, but a soldier, in the rock and roll WARS!

Take THAT Linkin Park.

Meanwhile, Pete's WAILING!

And you wonder why the kids listen to classic rock…

Floyd (3:47 PM)

An INSTANT before they appeared, e-mail came in, it was Richard, in London, telling me they were hitting the stage. Can an antiquated major label system, still selling music on discs, trying to RESTRICT the passage of information, COMPETE in a world where people can communicate, exchange ideas, INSTANTLY? The goal is to ENABLE this exchange, not to inhibit it. Only the content industries could try to prevent the future.

And probably some inane licensing agreement caused us to be unable to see the complete Pink Floyd performance on MTV. Still…

This was the first performance ALL DAY that made me wish I was THERE! I wanted to get on a jet, a human transporter, that would have me in the audience INSTANTLY! And I wouldn't need to be in front, just to be THERE! You can watch music on television, but you just can't FEEL IT, you just can't get the VIBE! Which is why, despite the gouging, the concert business will never die, it's the only place where you can get that HIT!

It was the fact that Roger Waters was old. Had gray hair. Lines in his face. He wasn't a victim exposed on awfulplasticsurgery.com, rather he'd admitted defeat in the game of life. You can mess with your appearance, but you can never win the game, you're gonna DIE! SOMETIME! So, rather than fight it, you've got to try and enjoy the ride. And Roger was enjoying today's ride. He was singing along, even though it was Dave's part, even though he was far from the mic, because that's what people possessed by the music do. And Roger was possessed not only today, but his whole life.

And Dave, looking slimmer than he has in eons, was wearing his jeans too. His hair close-cropped. Everything was in service to the music.

Hearing "Money" reminded me of driving endlessly in the seventies, hearing this song emanate from the car stereo.

But when Dave started playing the intro to "Wish You Were Here", I sighed, out loud, at a high volume.

Somehow MTV stopped being in SERVICE to the music, and became an outlet unto itself. But me, I'm still enthralled by the tunes, that sound, that's what I live for, that's what makes me feel alive.

And when Roger talked about getting back together… It had none of the faux tone of the backstage Grammy winners, thanking the record company President, the hairstylist, God. It was just pure emotion.

And when they went into "Comfortably Numb", I was. My surroundings faded. It was just me and the music.

And that's the experience.

This was not Led Zeppelin at Live Aid.

This was not the U2 iPod.

This was not show.

This was not business.

This was music.

This was life.

In a world where Deep Throat is revealed and you say NEXT, I'd still line up for a ticket to see Pink Floyd on tour ANYWHERE! Just to revel in my head as the music swirled around me.

And wasn't that the Battersea power plant in the background, the one from the cover of "Animals"?

(Meanwhile, if only Paul McCartney hadn't had plastic surgery, didn't think every occasion required cheekiness, wasn't still playing his role from "Hard Day's Night". Oh, the Beatles music eclipses everything else played today, but even though he helped write it, it's now OURS! Stop mugging, stop having it be about YOU, don't you have ENOUGH fame and money? This show should have ended with Pink Floyd. The fact that it didn't isn't exactly a tragedy, but it shows that some things never change, stars and their handlers act like bullies, promoters cave, it's a street fight behind the facade. Or high school. Can't it truly be about the music ONCE?)

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NOTE: The views expressed in this editorial do not necessarily reflect the opinion of CelebrityAccess, Encore or its employees.

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