How Much Bang for the Buck?
The Rolling Stones latest DVD drops with a bang.
By Margaret Moser,
4:25PM, Thu. Jun. 7, 2007
The announcement came via my Rolling Stones fan club email: The Biggest Bang DVD was on the way! Seven hours of Jagger huffing and puffing across the stage in front of a million people in Rio de Janeiro (take that, Woodstock!), plus clips from Japan, Buenos Aires, and Shanghai (for that well-heeled armchair traveler feel). For the Stones fanatic, there are six unreleased songs plus interviews with ... um, Bonnie Raitt, perennial Stones opener Dave Matthews, Cui Juan (who??), and Eddie Vedder (because no musicians younger than him know who the Stones are).
And the DVD features the Austin 2006 concert in its entirety! This is good news for those of you who love the Stones but didn’t get to see them. I specifically speak not to those who couldn’t afford the cheap standing area but forked over hefty amounts of greenback dollars for seats. $300 a seat, as the credit card bill shows. And where were the $300 seats? So far away you couldn’t have shot Mick Jagger with a sharpshooter. Shame on the promoters. They ended up recruiting people from steerage SRO to fill those seats so the crowd wouldn't look sparse in the stands.
I paid money to sit because I am too old to hike two miles then stand up for five hours. A rotten case of arthritis in my knee reminds me of that constantly. And although the stands provided handicap access, you were shit out of luck trying to see if you were in a wheelchair. I felt pretty damn lucky in my $300 piece of wooden bench, squinting at the stage antics of what I felt sure were the Stones.
There are some bands I never feel bad about downloading and the Stones head the list. Over the years – nay, decades – I’ve bought their vinyl 45s and albums, 8-tracks and cassettes. I’ve bought their CDs, remastered CDs, the greatest hits packages, the CD singles, and the DVDs (OK, and the bootlegs). I’ve bought enough t-shirts, framed prints, posters, purses, pins, pint glasses, and other geegaws to keep Jade Jagger in high-dollar pot the rest of her life. I’ve bought gas for the car, paid for taxis, plane tickets, limo rides, and hotel rooms just to see the Stones. And if I want a download of “Gimme Shelter” on my comp, the boys can cry to the bank where they’ll be anyway, depositing busloads of money from the current tour.
So why did I do it? The Stones gave me the soundtrack for my life from the first moment I heard the fuzz-busting chords of “Satisfaction” as a pre-teen in New Orleans. I use “Satisfaction” as my ringtone. I even lost my virginity with Let It Bleed playing. They are the band of my generation much as U2 is for the next generation. And I’ll probably end up with the four-disc set ($29.99 through Best Buy on pre-order) if only because it contains the Stones doing Otis Redding’s “Mr. Pitiful.”
Maybe then I’ll feel like I’ll have gotten my $300 worth.