Friday, September 21, 2007

Satire: Neil Young Returns to St. Louis; Fans Secure Second Mortgages to Buy Tickets

Tickets for Neil Young’s upcoming concert in St. Louis go on sale Monday, September 24. Young will perform his Chrome Dreams, Continental show on November 18 at the Fox Theatre, and the show will include both acoustic and electric sets. Ticket prices range from $58 for upper, upper, upper (bring a Sherpa) balcony seats to $184.50 for posh, orchestra pit seats.

Some of Young’s fans could not be more excited.

“I can’t wait for the chance on Monday to gladly shell out $184.50 for a ticket to see a performer who hasn’t released a classic album in about 30 years,” said Franklin Greenback, an investment banker from Chesterfield, an affluent suburb of St. Louis. “Triple-digit ticket prices seem more than fair for a performer whose sound or subject matter hasn’t really evolved since 1976. The service charges are reasonable as well; in fact, it’s only $23 for the moderately priced $184.50 orchestra pit ticket. The tickets are practically being given away, with such low prices.”

Other fans do not share Greenback’s opinion. “The farkin hell you say,” Robbie Poorman of Valley Park eloquently lamented, in between sips from his can of Pabst Blue Ribbon as he imbibed at a local pub on Friday morning. “If I wanted to get reamed like that, I’d go see a proctologist. I love Neil, but daddgummit, that’s a lot of Blue Ribbons.”

Still other fans are finding creative ways to support their Neil Young habits.

“My wife has agreed to cut our three children’s meals down to two a day, and my wife, the little angel, is stopping her medication for a few weeks. Lupus isn’t that serious, right?” said Jessie “Slappy” Pellegrino. “With these steps, I can afford two of the $79 middle balcony seats, and only have to shell out $22 in service charges. Plus, from the middle balcony about 50 rows back, Neil will look like a closer blur than he will for those shlubs in the upper balcony section. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with such a musical legend; there is nothing more inspiring for an audience than seeing an artistic genius through squinted eyes and binoculars.”

In general though, many of Young’s fans are sorely disappointed at the high cost of tickets for the show; from various Internet checks, it is also not readily apparent whether any of the proceeds will go to charity. VC Almond, a college student from Florissant, confirmed that he was unable to find any information indicating that at least a portion of the ticket revenue would go to charity.

“Don’t get me wrong," Almond said. “Neil’s done great things with Farm Aid and the Bridge School, so maybe some of the revenue will go to charity but it’s not being publicized. And if that’s true, anyone who writes a satirical article criticizing Neil would surely be the biggest asshole ever.”

The bone being thrown to fans in the form of a free copy of Chrome Dreams II if they purchase via the phone or Internet isn’t soothing the disappointment either. “A free album that I’d download for free or steal from a friend anyway? Big deal,” said Almond.

Greenback, however, remains bewildered by these complaints.

“It’s a bunch of potheads, poor liberals, pseudo-artists, and college kids pissing and moaning about the prices. And those aren’t Neil’s type of people, anyway,” Greenback stated.

The investment banker is likewise unapologetic that some fans of the musician view the ticket prices as crass exploitation of Young’s fans.

“Let those bums fight it out in the upper balcony steerage section. I’ll be enjoying the show from my orchestra seat, along with the lawyers, doctors, trust funders, and other corporate VIPs, as we listen to Neil’s songs about political injustice, personal desperation, doomed junkies, and other things we’ve never experienced. After all, isn’t that what music’s all about?”

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