THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Do Me A Favor

My phone and e-mail have been ringing about U2 and the Stones.

I have no desire to see them. Should I feel bad about that?

U2's indoor tour for "Achtung Baby" was one of the best I've ever seen. Right up there with the Who performing "Tommy" at the Fillmore East. But I just don't want to hang with those people. Newly-rich Gen X'ers reliving their college days. Telling themselves how they still believe on the long walk back from the arena to their SUVs. If you can afford to waste all that money on a U2 show you're inherently a disbeliever. You sold out to the system long ago.

Rock is about an energy. A limit-testing. Sure, Sly Stone's performances were a celebration, but there was this edgy sexuality that had you writhing. It was all about the moment. There was no nostalgia involved.

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Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to music business honchos like Michael Rapino, Randy Phillips, Don Ienner, Cliff Burnstein, Irving Azoff and Tom Freston.

Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.

But what's worse is the Stones. What would possess someone to pay $450 to see these old farts, going through the motions. Give the people what they want. Ray Davies said it ironically. The Stones are living it. And the people in attendance. With their one of everything. A mini-mansion, a vacation home, an SUV, a Mercedes, a Harley. This show is another notch in their belt.

These shows don't represent anything I got hooked on music FOR!

Music was an escape from society. A place where I went to lick my wounds. A place where like-minded people resided. Castaways from society. AM radio was for the mainstream. We had our FM. And our Fillmores. And our Bitter Ends. And our Roxys.

I don't think most people going to see the Stones ever partook of shows back then. It was just too dangerous. Go down to the East Village on a weeknight? On ANY night?

U2 and the Stones are business. If you doubt me, then why do you have to join a fan club to buy the theoretically good seats for U2's shows. Bruce Springsteen doesn't do this. And check the Stones' merchandise display. Who'd wear this crap?

Screw 'em all. The major labels. Clear Channel. Everybody justifying their behavior on the past. The music business is just as bad as the movie business. Needing to preserve its release WINDOWS!

Instead of Edgar Bronfman, Jr. railing how he's not getting enough money from XM I'd like to see him testifying in the press how great the service is. But if he was ever a music fan, he's forgotten.

Give Jimmy Iovine credit for his success. But isn't the 50 Cent movie just a replica of "8 Mile"? Haven't we literally seen this movie before? Even if people go, how good a taste does it leave in one's mouth?

The whole major business is moldy and decrepit. It's so far from the underpinnings of the modern era, what this edifice was built upon, it's laughable.

First and foremost it's about music. It's not about hair. Or appearances on TV. Or Grammy awards. It's about being in a club, in the dark, and hearing a sound that transports you.

I don't mind following my favorite act from club to arena. If they give a little time to me. If they're not touring arenas on their FIRST ALBUM! Give me a little time with them. Before the machine eats them up and they wonder what they're in it for to begin with.

Outside a Poquito Mas in Burbank today I heard the Subdudes' "Do Me A Favor" on XM's Cafe.

You've probably never heard it, never mind are aware of the band. But this is something I want to see live. A group of people doing it for the JOY! That joy is contagious.

The more ticket prices go up, the more they hype the big acts, the less I care.

Madonna. Give me a break. A desperate fortysomething worried her career is tanking makes a dance record. She's got no soul. If we cut her open I think we'd find wires.

And don't give me that male/female crap. Did you ever see Laura Nyro? She touched your soul.

But now I'm off point.

I'm just saying real music fans are tired. They don't want to go to the big shows. Everything seems like a rerun. Like Todd Rundgren said in the seventies, can't we go back to the bars?

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