she took everything great about music and dance and spectacle and black pride
and shoved it in our faces
and flicked her long, wild wig at it
i was not a huge Beyonce fan, but last night not only did i, but we all saw the light.
we all saw the power of black girl magic.
she was graceful and fast and smooth and only got better as the clock ticked closer to two hours.
she didn’t rely on video screens or inflatable props
she was so magical that even the fireworks were all fuck this and felt like sparklers.
she had a whole damn marching band on stage with her, all of MC Hammers dancers, the twins from Cirque, an orchestra, and an all girl heavy metal band.
it reminded me of Kanye’s 808 n Heartbreaks redeux show at the Hollywood Bowl mixed with gasoline and twerking. it was the history of black college culture, hip hop, a cookout, and a family reunion when Destiny’s Child appeared and reminded us that you can come home again.
for years the rumors have been that Coachella would drop a boatload to get the Smiths to reunite.
all i can say after what i am still trying to process from last night ON TV
is fuck the Smiths.
beyonce showed us what giving 100% to the grandest idea you could think of looks and sounds like
only beyonce can captivate that giant audience.
im not sure if i was even half my age if i would spend $1k on this.
which is a lie, of course i would. it’s rarely about the headliners.
my favorite memories about coachella were rarely about the people on last.
it was about the good times in the tents, the people i met, the people i went with
the entire weekend.
i would love to see Lorde.
and the XX.
one day there will be a night where you just lay on your back, stare into the stars
i went with the wild and lovely suzie from canada. we had met once before in toronto and she said omg its tony pierce and promptly twisted both of my nipples through my cubs shirt.
i was press so i got vip and somehow we got another one for her. those were the days when wearing an indian headdress wasnt that big of a deal and before people could find Coachella sections at their local department store. you just wore fun things.
that year their two biggest headliners were Prince and Roger Waters. Waters did Dark Side all the way through and had an inflatable pig that accidentally flew away into the night and landed in some guy’s pool.
we partied with all these dudes from twitter and google and blogger and slept on the floor and drank and had a great time.
suzie reminded me a lot of Linda from college: full of energy, definitely hippy sensibilities, and spent most of the time in her bikini.
she called me a carebear, but i later found out she didnt mean it as a compliment.
maybe the best moment was right after i took this picture we swung around behind us and noticed the singer of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler was sitting at a similar picnic table.
suzie let out a scream and ran over to him. his posse didnt know what to do, but bikini girls can pretty much do whatever they want. so he smiled as suzie told him how much she loved him and how her mom got her into them and la la la.
back then you didnt really take a lot of selfies with your phone. it wasnt a thing. you brought little “cameras” with you, or if you were fancy, big cameras.
i was not fancy so mine was little.
Joey Maloney was and still is very fancy so his was big, and not only that, but he had a photo pass so he took these pictures of many of the performers. i think he was doing it for LAist.
i remember saying to myself, this will probably be my last Coachella because seriously how could it get any better than this?
because i’m the luckiest man alive, i got to see the Back in Black tour when i was in high school.
i was blown away.
ive followed them ever since, ive seen them maybe 10 times since and loved them with all of my heart.
the band has an amazing history and part of their uniqueness is, for whatever reason, they don’t play with other bands.
angus has never laid down a solo for any other band.
and brian johnson, only once, sang with another band live after he joined ac/dc, and that was with Billy Joel (!) onstage because billy wanted to do Shook Me All Night Long with the singer during one of his Madison Square Garden shows.
brian also was on a Sting song once but that was so bizarre that even in a blog that says “nothing in here is true” dare i even mention it since the reader might think this whole thing is farcical.
sadly it is not.
yesterday AC/DC put out a cold-hearted press release wishing Johnson farewell. they said that it was due to doctors orders. they claim medical professionals said Brian could permanently lose his hearing if he continued to tour with the hard rock group that he has fronted since he did the impossible: fill the shoes of Bon Scott in 1980.
not only did Brian take over for Bon, but his debut with AC/DC was Back in Black, one of the best selling records in the history of records which sold over 50 million units world wide.
my interns are telling me Back in Black is the 2nd biggest record of all time next to Thriller.
and then he fronted the group for 36 years, every record they made with brian sold millions of copies, every tour was a mammoth world wide arena filling moneymaker
how do you say goodbye to your singer with a short press release after all of that?
if angus wanted to do something he’d never done before (play with a new singer for a few gigs) did he really need to fire Brian to do it?
granted, things are tough for Angus right now, his brother and long time co-writer and BFF malcolm has slipped into dementia and is close to death.
at 61 years old he doesnt fly around the stage as fast as he once did
which must be depressing.
but could it be as depressing as being kicked out of the band and replaced by a screeching Axl Rose who is clearly only doing it to a) bring attention to the Guns n Roses “reunion” tour b) avoid Slash c) distract himself from making the Guns show the best it can be.
meanwhile Brian is saying he was kicked out. that as soon as he told the band what the doc said that they didn’t even listen to him when he told them that the doc wanted to figure out a way to work with the issue. all his stuff was shipped to his door and it was over.
so i have mixed feelings about last night at coachella when during the guns n roses headlining performance they brought out angus for two songs.
of course it’s great to see him and hear him and have him back in the desert where they rocked two, two-hour sets last year. and despite the fact that axl didn’t know parts of Whole Lotta Rosie, he did sound good.
but it all felt like a royal F-U to loveable brian
how am i supposed to like this, let a lone love it?
and why wasn’t Slash allowed a solo?
is angus losing his mind too?
is angus not a nice guy?
did malcolm balance him out and thats why we never heard or saw any of this?
now i gotta buy Brians book from 2009 and see if there are any clues.
i’ll have plenty of money because now i wont be buying any tickets to see ACDC with Axl fronting it
and the guest star was Taylor Swift, who my mom does not like AT ALL.
and we were talking and i had lots of questions and because i keep it real i told her that when i first heard “Shake It Off” i hated it and couldnt understand what was going on in her life that she felt like she had to make that song
and her face scrunched up
and i told her, it reminded me of the first time i visited LA. the year was 1984. i was here for the Rose Bowl to see Illinois play UCLA and – i’ll never forget – i was in the parking lot at the little outdoor mall in Marina Del Rey. they used to have an arcade there. now it’s a movie theater.
and i was in the parking lot and the dj said, “and now get ready because we have something here that you wont believe, but it’s true, it’s the new song from Van Halen. you have to believe me that it’s really them, because this sounds like nothing youve ever heard before”
and they played “Jump” and at first i was all, what the hell is wrong with eddie that he thinks he needs to put synthesizers in Van Halen of all things. and it was weird and poppy and it turned out to be their biggest hit of all. just like Shake it Off became your biggest hit of all.
and taylor unscrunched her face and smiled and said some stuff that i couldnt hear BECAUSE DREAMS ARE RETARDED.
and when i woke up i thought to myself, holy crap, taylor swift is going to do a surprise set at Coachella this year!
thats what this dream “means”. thats why Coachella hired Calvin Harris. that’s why they dont care if Guns n Roses turns out to be terrible like they were when they opened for the Stones way back when at the Coliseum. taylor swift is gonna full on do a little show and of course it will be a surprise because if they booked her for realsies everyone would take shit about Coachella, but if she just la la la oh hi im here, whats this a mic, whats this my guitar? oh hi. heres a little song you might know
and they do Shake it Off in the desert and then Bad Blood and all her mfing squad shows up and struts around
and then Slash struts around
it will be the biggest thing of all.
weekend one only, naturally.
and the only thing that could ruin this great plan is if i actually get tickets for weekend one, so to preserve this, i will just stay at home so all the kids can have their minds blown. youre welcome. ps f dreams.
in fact i turned around to take a picture for you.
why wasnt i going to Coachella? omg let me count the ways
im a million years old,
it cost a million dollars,
the kids who actually do go should be allowed to listen to their music unadulterated
beers cost a million dollars,
id rather see these bands play in clubs and arenas
Lord knows if Guns don’t kill each other they’ll play at the Hollywood Bowl at some point (which will also cost a million dollars, but i can take the subway there)
f lcd soundsystem who retired for like 1 second
f calvin harris
f the way they make you walk a million miles to get an uber
but look at that billboard.
it makes me wonder, will they come out on fire?
will Buckethead join them onstage?
will Tommy Stinson get to jam with Duff
will Elton John show up for Don’t Cry?
will Axl bring his crutches and american flag shorts?
will they let poor Steven Adler play?
and what about Izzy? The heart of those first few records. Will Izzy show up and make it a real reunion? i sorta want those answers and see it live, not through some webcast on my iPad mini as i uber the kids through Palm Desert.