The InsiderOne Daily Report

  Wednesday, March 28, 2001


InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: In the dream, I'm at a rock concert in a huge football stadium. I'm there with SonicNet features editor Gil Kaufman, who used to work for me. As is the case in my real life, in the dream I no longer work for SonicNet. We're sitting near the field in an area where all the rock critics are sitting. Many, many rows of rock critics. They have flown in from all over to see this show, which I assume is the opening of a monster tour by a superstar. I see critics from New York and other cities. Many rows above us (this is very hierarchical) I see Greil Marcus sitting with some other critics (Robert Christgau? Dave Marsh?) who date back to the early days of rock criticism. It reminds me of the time when I was one of hundreds of journalists who descended on Kansas City for the 1984 opening of the Jacksons' "Victory" tour. This feels like the same kind of spectacle. I look out onto the field. Where is the stage? At first I can't see it and assume it's at the opposite end of the field. I think of Woodstock 1999, where there were two stages, and if you were at one end of the field looking at the East stage, you couldn't see the West stage. Where, on the final day, Gil and I walked from one end of the field to the other, through the fans; we felt like we were walking across a battlefield, passing exhausted or dirty or spaced-out or crying kids. How can anyone review the show? I wonder in the dream. Then I realize we're facing a rounded wall, perhaps 40 feet high, that's the back of the stage. We won't be able to see the show at all! Next I find myself hovering, above the crowd, in front of the stage, looking at it as if from a helicopter. And now, suddenly, I understand that Elvis is going to perform. They don't want the rock critics to see him, I assume, because he is so old and ugly and bloated. I wonder if he'll lip-sync to his old recordings, and they don't want the critics to know that he can't sing anymore. But wait! I remember that Elvis is dead. How can Elvis perform if he's dead? Now it's halftime, like at a football game. Some not-popular bands, underground bands, are going to play and warm up the crowd from small stages set up around the field. In the middle of the field is a stage where a punk band, the Murder City Devils, are going on. Gil is a fan; he wants to see them. We start making our way through the crowd toward that stage. That's almost all of the dream, except for the very first part where I'm inside the office area of the stadium, trying to get an audience with Bruce Springsteen's manager Jon Landau. I am able to talk to him very briefly, and he isn't friendly. I ask him for passes to the show, but he doesn't give me any. That part came right before I found myself in the audience with Gil. Hmm. Rock critics waiting to review a show by a dead rock star from a vantage point where they can neither see nor hear the performance. Now I get it.

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Michael Goldberg is the president of He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.

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