The Rockstar Ramblings: Size Does Matter
Band Photo: Ozzy Osbourne (?)
As we stumble upon the summer tour season we constantly hear the phrase “big” tour. Whether it is in reference to the number of bands playing, number of asses in the seats, or size of the stage show, a lot of bands claim to own the “big show” title.
Bands like Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses, and Aerosmith (among others) for years have touted their tours in this regard and all (to some degree) have a right to throw their hat in the circle. This year is no exception: Kiss is following up a new album with what they are calling their biggest show ever, Metallica is again filling arenas on the road, and festivals drawing many bands are still going strong. Does tour “size” need to be qualified? Probably not, but what the hell….I personally haven’t given much thought to this until this week when I read the following: As AC/DC prepares for their Australian tour there is word that they will need forty-eight semi trailers to haul their equipment. Forty-eight trailers? I’ll let that one hang there for a minute…
Speaking of the land down under, Steven Adler is offering drum lessons in Melbourne, Australia. The title of the class is “Drum Mayhem.” Tickets are $25. No word if there is a two drink minimum.
In news outside Australia: From a UK interview Ozzy admits that he has no recollection of his three years on the MTV television show The Osbournes, claiming he was “stoned out of his mind.” This summer will bring us autobiographies from front men Steven Tyler, Bret Michaels, and Vince Neil. No word on plans for a book from Osbourne. For Ozzy I guess it goes without saying that if you can’t remember the past you can’t write about the past. Have you ever wondered who had the “really good stuff?” Ozzy clearly had the really, really good stuff.
Alice Cooper is scheduled to open Arizona State University’s graduation commencement singing his song “School’s Out.” President Barack Obama will follow with the commencement address. Surprisingly, (Cooper opening for Obama) this will not be as shocking as when we get the annual visual of Alice Cooper on the golf course wearing a polo shirt. Several years and still I am never prepared for that. Motley Crue performing this week on the season finale of the weekly FOX drama Bones is as improbable as Paul Stanley making the top 15 list of the magazine Classic Rock’s greatest lead singers. Oh wait, both happened? Congratulations guys, uh, well deserved.
Back to Ozzy: He appeared on Ellen this week to greet a nine year old prodigy named Yuto who is able to play his song, “Crazy Train,” on her guitar. Ozzy, with Ellen and a nine-year old discussing his songs; if it wasn’t official before, I think now we can all agree that Tipper Gore definitely lost the war.
Back to the original question, how (or) should we define how “big” a show is and what should be the barometer for these comparisons? After pondering this briefly (very briefly) I do think stage, arena size, and number of bands should play a role; however, I can’t get past the forty-eight semi trailers of equipment. Simply, that fits a lot of cannons and blow-up dolls. I do believe the boys from AC/DC have set the barometer, and that forty-eight semi trailers should be the measurement used going forward.
David S. Grant is the author of books Corporate Porn, Bleach|Blackout, Hollywood Ending, Emotionless Souls, and The Last Breakfast. His new novel, Blood-the New Red, will be available this fall. For more information please go to http://www.davidsgrant.com.
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