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

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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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  • tim fontenot

    At least you people can complain [about the ticket prices]. Those below the Missouri line won’t see hide or hair of Neil Young.

    Tim in Louisiana

  • Mother Mary

    Sorry you missed your chance at real satire, Eric. The crack about the Sherpa? The nosebleed in the Fox at $85.00 a pop isn’t anywhere what Genesis and Police fans have to pay at Madison Sq. Count your blessing, kid.

  • daryl d

    Just thank God you are not fans of Madonna or the Rolling Stones! You would go into bankruptcy.

  • terrafirma

    Brilliant! But you failed to mention the whole other laughable side of the story. His zero talent music poser wife is opening for him. That extra special treat helps explains at least part of the ticket cost HAAAAHAAAAA.
    Don’t be surprised to see them announce some big charity donation that they’d been “planning all along”. Wink, wink. Rock’s greediest couple?

  • Rock’n’roll woman

    I’m not going sit here and defend Pegi’s talent, but if you think she and Neil are merely a $$$ grubbing celebrity rock couple think again.

    Back in the 80’s she and Neil founded the Bridge School for developmentally impaired children when they could not find adequate services for their own son, Ben, who has cerebral palsy. Every October they throw a benefit concert out at the Shoreline Theatre in Mt. View. The majority of the school’s operating budget each year comes from the proceeds of that show – BGP donates the use of the facility and all the artists appear for free. Running a school that depends on leading edge technology to assist children who cannot communicate can’t be cheap and I have no doubt that over the years Neil has ponied up funds out of his own pocket to keep it afloat.

    I’m groaning about the prices as much as anyone, but I am also grateful he’s playing smaller more intimate venues. I pretty much boycott large shows these days. Since Ticketmaster has decided to become Ebay and hold their own auctions it’s become impossible (at least where I am) to get decent tickets without paying a premium over and above face value, which I won’t do. I blame them more than the artists – TM/Live Nation is brutal in their stranglehold over the venues in this country. They do what they want pretty much unchecked (sorta like our government… :o) Springsteen can charge $85 a ticket because he always plays larger arenas – even the Devils & Dust tour was in 10K seaters. If he was playing 3000 seat venues I think you’d see him charge proportionately higher prices.

  • reality check

    Oh, here we go. Another Young apopogist. Saint Pegi started a boutique school for her son to have companions and they do a benefit every year for the twelve students they still only accept after 20 years, so no one is allowed to criticize anything the Youngs do. Give me a break. Ticketmaster is not responsible for Neil Young sticking it to his fans. His greed is. Or, no, he’s paying for the Bridge School from the proceeds, right? Well, he probably will now to save his sorry face since so many people are complaining.
    Yes, Neil has ponied up funds from other people’s pockets over the years to keep the Bridge school afloat. Like making his biographer agree to pay 10% of his book earnings to the school. Classy.
    The guy is freaking rich, rich, rich. He could live very well on royalties alone.
    He’s only playing small venues so Pegi won’t be so scared. And he’s double reaming people by having us pay to see his wife open. What a slap in the face. At least you had the decency not to tell us what a great musician she is.

  • B

    Hmmm, so much to contemplate…the truth is sometimes we just owe it to ourselves to splurge.
    You know what.. why am I on this site??.. this writer doesn’t deserve the time.
    I was on sites that like Neil…lost on the Internet .. what a waste of time..
    Back to reality…
    Rock on Neil…

  • realitycheck

    No,honey, it’s back to your little illusory Neil bubble. Where Pegi can pretend she’s a musician. Where Neil can talk about ordinary people as if he really knows or cares. And play with his trains. Where Ben can own and run a business, deliver eggs and give talks at business conferences. And where you can comfort yourself listening to someone who is not what he seems.

  • mydirtylandry

    I think we have a fine piece of satire here, ladies and gents. Although I would replace ‘potheads, poor liberals, and pseudo-artists’ with ‘tranks, lobos, and zipheads’. Perhaps there will be an additional convenience/service/processing/authentication/populace-gouging fee assessed at the door of said performance? Cheerio.

  • aha

    Well done! Timely, hilarious and too close for comfort.

  • Martin Lav

    The only thing affirmed in my mind with all this “net-noise” is that there apparently is no money to be made “blogging”.
    Poor people talking to bitter poor people, does it really make a noise when no one’s there to hear it?
    I’ll tune out now, as I’ve got a real job calling and I need to make money so I can gladly pay the to be entertained by Neil and Peg.

    LIVE MUSIC IS BETTER.

    Typing on a screen sucks!

  • http://hxchristian.typepad.com/metal_dad john (metal dad)

    i really enjoyed this piece, especially after complaining to my sons about the $15 ticket price i’m paying for us to see Dillinger Escape Plan, Behold…The Arctopus, and Genghis Tron next month. i always enjoy someone taking the piss out of rich “working class heroes” rock stars. imagine, no possessions, it’s easy if you’re a millionaire…

  • Ordinary Mom

    It is the ordinary folk that have proven to be resourceful so much that we continue to outwit the likes of people who underestimate our ability to survive during good times or bad.

    And when Neil comes to town, we’ll be there to welcome him! If he can’t make it to our town, then some us will drive to see him in another town.

    The point is that we are all together at Neil Young concerts, the haves and have nots. The only difference is that we don’t see the barrier that others create for us.

    Please don’t ruin the experience for us.

  • B

    Martin, you’ve got great logic and Ordinary Mom, maybe they don’t want to ruin the experience, so don’t let it get to you.
    Martin..do you visit Thrasher’s Wheat?
    Mom…visit Thrasher’s Wheat …it may be a little friendlier.

    I don’t like meanies, but they are all around us.

    See you in Chicago, or not!

    Peace
    B

  • simply fan

    hey I love Neil…and that’s all I gotta say about that.

  • Martin Lav

    B,

    See you over on Thrasher!

    Concerts getting great reviews by the way…..