America may have an insatiable appetite for all sorts of gristly rock leftovers, whether it’s Tommy Tutone hitting the side stage at the state fair or the Police earning more money than early 20th-century steel magnates, if just as ruthlessly. But if you thought our critics could occasionally get cranky over this retirement-age chicanery, they’ve got nothing on Germany’s rock writers, who are apparently in open revolt over the fact that Mick Jagger and Phil Collins could disappoint them so much, with dinosaur acts lumbering through the country’s black forests just as German concert sales are reaching record numbers and CD sales are drying up:
However, the reviews — and ticket sales — have been mixed.
“The question is ‘why are they bothering?’,” said Harald Peters, culture editor and music critic of the newspaper Welt am Sonntag. “Some of these groups are just plain burned out. Others are just old and boring.
“They’re getting torn to shreds in reviews. I’m not saying all of them should have stopped at 40. But with some, it’s so bizarre and you wonder why. Do they need the money? Didn’t they get an education? Can’t they do anything else for a living?”
Other critics have mocked the ageing rockers and some newspapers published unflattering pictures of performers who have lived the rock-star lifestyle, looking older than their years.
Ticket sales for a Rolling Stones’ concert in Frankfurt in June were sluggish. The Peter Rieger concert agency then announced it would cut the capacity at the arena by 10,000 to 25,000 and reduced the lowest ticket prices to 59 euros ($81) from 82 euros.
Isn’t this kind of monumental stadium banality part of why so many Germans fell into
k-holes techno clubs in the early ’90s and never found their way out? That still seems like a pretty good alternative to me. While I agree with these cranky critics that reunion shows and dinosaur tours are mostly a sham, as a red-blooded American I do feel slightly affronted that these saucy fellows are taking pot shots at our much-vaunted rock history. Even if most of the bands mentioned in the Reuters article are, uh, British. Also, despite my weak spot for Phil Collins, rating Genesis higher than the Stones is the kind of insurmountable cultural difference that can only serve to keep us apart.