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eaplatt

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About eaplatt

  1. So the whole tax-dodger discussion has been deleted? Not locked, not edited, but completely erased--because one or two posters acted badly? No explanation at all? This is abuse (and ham-fisted censorship) to those of us who actually replied constructively on the thread. Do our voices count for nothing? Someone like me makes a series of sound arguments, and all one wrecker has to do is get on the boards and raise a stink and presto! Everyone gets their words snuffed out. Which I'm sure saved him having to do much work on defending his arguments. I understand that there's a need for moderation, but is someone 'upstairs' aware that by censoring all our work, you've just helped out the likes of "Amused" and other Art Uncut symps? Like we used to ask on the playground: Whose side are you on, anyways? This place is going down hill, and fast. Just as well that my membership expires in a few weeks, because I've no real reason to participate anymore. Hope my fellow 'ganders enjoy the show in East Lansing tonight. I'm gone. -- eaplatt
  2. I'm too broke to be adventurous these days, but there's still plenty to do. I work full time, and college starts up again in August, so between now and then, I intend to cram down a lot of reading, as well as brush up a bit on some languages. Crunch time is coming with school; I have to nail the last few credits I need to transfer, and prepare applications for four-year schools (not that I expect any of them to take me, honestly). On top of all that, I'm still DJing with the KUSF crew, now that we're in "exile" and fighting the sale of the station before the FCC. I'm back to DJing on graveyard Monday a.m.; go to savekusf.org and follow the links to hear our archives and live shows (my handle is The BattleAxe). If the FCC rules against us, we'll have to look into doing an appeal, and the ruling could come down any day now. No rest for the wicked! --
  3. Well, we can't fault McGuinness for being honest there. Mind you, he just cost U2 a big chunk of their fanbase, but seeing as how they've been hellbent on destroying their fanbase in recent years, maybe this is all part of some grand scheme? "Cash grab" it is - and I won't be buying it, just like I refuse(d) to buy all the other overpriced "deluxe" U2 re-releases that have been pumped out over the years. To judge from the sales figures I've seen, I have a lot of company. All the other re-issues have apparently sold poorly; even supposedly "limited edition" versions are easy to find in the shops. So why, then, are U2 doing the same thing with AB and Zooropa? The band are obviously freaked out by the (relatively) low sales for NLOTH, to the point where it's got them unable to get their heads around putting out a new album; so, how is releasing another couple of overpriced re-issues supposed to help? All this sort of thing does is alienate their fans, fail to impress non-fans, sell poorly, and then the band take delivery of a big helping of negative karma down the road--namely, alienated fans won't turn out to buy your new material (especially if you've done the overwrought/overpriced multiple versions thing with that one, too.) If U2 were smart--and they're listening to their record label, so they're not very smart--they'd do the nice remastered disc thing, for sale at standard retail prices, just to keep the old back catalog fresh and shiny. Then do the bonus-material disc(s) in a separate, fan-friendly set that hasn't been created just to screw U2 fans out of more money. I guarantee you, the fans would buy something like that, but they're going to need to see real value for their money. Real life has shown that U2 fans don't turn out in droves to buy a lot of overpriced nothing. Also proof that U2 really need to stop listening to their record label (and McGuinness): Pretty much any "bonus" material released will almost immediately hit the Internet in some form or another--no one needs to pay sky-high prices to hear the stuff. If/when U2 ever get their nerve up and release a new album, they also need to not release the album in multiple overpriced packaging schemes, because that's a major turn-off to music buyers. So...let's say there's a new U2 CD released, with, um, a bad movie on DVD, or a magazine, or pictures, thrown in to a fancier sleeve and marked up the wazoo. Note to U2: No. One. Gives. A. F**k. About fancy sleeves or magazines or arty music video aka 'screen saver' stuff. Honestly. We could use a little more value, and a lot more respect, please. --
  4. And the problem with heavy hydration is then you want to pee--a bit of a problem for fans with GA tickets. Of course, experience has taught me that if you stay put on the field long enough, any urge to go wee will slowly fade, the longer you stay put. This, of course, means you're slowly dehydrating. Big fun! Yes, adding heat and/or humidity to the mix can't be good. Most venue have their concessions contracts locked in, but good, and there isn't much that a band on tour can do to change things (if they even notice). I know a lot of venues try to argue that their ban on all types of bottles and cans is for safety, e.g., cans and bottles can be thrown, and if they're full of fluid, can pack quite a wallop. Doesn't do much good to point out that the plastic long-neck $5 bottles of beer being sold by the vendors could also make a very nice projectile. --
  5. Oh, hmmm...was almost going to finally hammer together a list, but I'm a bit tired tonight. So, leave it at this: I first saw U2 in 1981, and the Oakland show earlier this month was either U2 show #54 or #55, so, yes, lots of shows in the years between. I really should put together a master list someday, so I can keep my dates and numbers straight! --
  6. PS: I got a nosebleed this morning, just from getting out of bed. Sensitive! If I had had a "bleeder" seat way up on top of "Mt. Davis" at the Oakland Coliseum, my head probably would have exploded. --
  7. A bad GA spot beats any nosebleed seat any day. I had GA for the Oakland show. Didn't get there at the crack of dawn; didn't get down onto the field until the first band started to play! Got a spot on the rail that separated us peasants from the "Red" VIP zone, so had a pretty good view of the stage (from the side) for the show. I didn't feel the need to suffer for hours to get into the inner circle--by now, if U2 haven't grasped the fact that I'm a fan, getting 'inner' won't do anything to convince them, y'know--and I didn't want to get squished by trying to be front-and-center, either. Being a bit off center at U2 shows can work nicely; less crush, good view, you can see the band, the stage/screens, and the crowd. Just pick whether you want to be on Edge's side or Adam's side. -- eaplatt
  8. 80 bucks for six things? Sounds about right for the store also known as Whole Paycheck. Sorry, looks like your link is busted, but you can still find it on Youtube OK.
  9. So, hmmm, I guess being a super-duper U2 fan means a person can't be employed, or in school, or live in the hinterlands, or have dependents, or (*shudder*) have something resembling a 'life.' I mean, there were fans camping on the BART bridge a full day before the show, in bad weather. How far do we let some people push the super-duper fan syndrome, to the point of excluding anyone who isn't equally nuts? Also, why blame the obvious blunders of the local organizers (both Live Nation and the County agencies) on the fans themselves? What sort of music fan springs to the defense of the likes of Ticketmaster/Live Nation, and attacks other fans for their misfortune? By the way, I noticed on Google news that Live Nation and the Anaheim authorities (stadium, muni, whoever) are being quite active in getting press out about transit and traffic issues--avoiding traffic jams, extra trains being laid on, etc.--which is in marked contrast to the way things were handled up here. I don't know if this PR-happy thing is the norm in Anaheim, but I can't help but wonder if the problems in Oakland have forced their hand (and press releases). If this is the case, it's a backhanded admission that they effed up with a big "F" in Oakland. --
  10. Tags: None [From the San Jose Mercury News online edition] Oakland Coliseum operator defends planning leading up to U2 concert By Angela Woodall Oakland Tribune Posted: 06/17/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT In July 2010, an Alameda County grand jury stepped up criticism over operations at the municipally owned sports and entertainment complex in Oakland, now called O.co Coliseum. Jurors issued a troubling list of lingering concerns over the "fragmented, uncertain and unclear" oversight exerted by the Coliseum Authority, an eight-person board of commissioners. Management improved incrementally since, but a June 7 U2 concert sparked criticism over operations after concertgoers found themselves stranded in a traffic snarl on Interstate 880 or fruitlessly searching for parking in sight of the Coliseum. Some of them gave up, forfeiting hundreds of dollars in tickets, baby-sitting, gas and other expenses. A man claiming to be one of the inconvenienced would-be attendees set up a website where others could record their U2 concert traffic stories. Patrick Missud also tried to rally concertgoers to demand compensation for, among other things, better security to "prevent road rage"; compensation of costs to people who didn't get to see the concert; and more parking. He cited the NFL's decision to compensate Super Bowl fans who missed the kickoff in February. But in that case a seating blunder was to blame. If the Coliseum did not respond similarly, relief would include "lots and lots of out-of-pocket losses," Missud wrote Wednesday in an email that landed in the hands of the Oakland Coliseum Joint Venture, which monitors operations. The Coliseum complex is owned by the city of Oakland and Alameda County and subsidized by taxpayers -- $21 million in fiscal year 2009-10 and about the same amount in previous years, according to financial statements. The Coliseum Authority created the Oakland Coliseum Joint Venture to monitor operations. But the principal owner of the Joint Venture is SMG, which received $616,312 during fiscal year 2009-10 to take care of daily operations and is not audited by Oakland or Alameda County, according to financial statements. SMG also lacked oversight, according to the 2010 grand jury, whose recommendation to appoint an executive director was fulfilled that same year with an interim manager and more recently a permanent chief. SMG executives, however, defended the company's planning for the U2 concert. The company opened the main lot at 7 a.m., hired 18 Oakland police officers to direct traffic and parking and had 58,000 of the 59,400 attendees in their seats on time, SMG General Manager Ron Little said. Police ushered drivers to overflow parking after cars filled the main lot by 7 p.m. Leading up to the concert, SMG, the Coliseum Joint Venture and concert promoter Live Nation put out multiple warnings about transportation by website, email, Facebook and Twitter. "The decision (unfortunately made by a number of ticket holders) to drive to O.Co Coliseum close to the starting time of the concert and during the height of the combined rush-hour traffic and concert traffic, rather than to arrive earlier or take public transportation, is not a basis for a refund," wrote Attorney Elliott Myles, in response to Missud's demands and threat of legal action. A lack of familiarity with Oakland and fear compounded the problem. One woman complained that she and her husband, who left the South Bay at 5:50 p.m., had to wander around a mile from the Coliseum "in the middle of the night" in Oakland. They parked across the overpass on Oakport Street where overflow parking is routinely directed during Raiders games. The woman meant that they were in danger because the roadways from there to the Coliseum are not designed for pedestrians and because the couple was unfamiliar with the area and didn't make their way east to streets where parking places stood empty. Police did not appear to have directed people to them. Little said SMG's control ends at city streets except for the overflow parking lots the company operates. In addition, BART had warned riders that the last train would leave at midnight, prompting many people to flood the walkways at 11:30 p.m. Service actually ended at 2:28 a.m. Yet BART alerted no one to the service extension. Myles also argued there's more parking at the Coliseum than other Bay Area venues, such as the HP Pavilion in San Jose and most major San Francisco venues, which must rely more heavily on public transportation. The closest in size is Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco 49ers. The stadium offers close to 10,000 parking places and has a total seating capacity of 69,732. The Coliseum seats 70,000 during concerts, more than any other venue in the Bay Area. Coliseum parking totals about 8,800 in the parking lot and about 1,100 in the two overflow lots. That leaves many thousands without a spot in both venues. And traffic around Candlestick is known to be difficult. The Candlestick website, however, provides better instructions than the Coliseum's site and gives tips about traffic, more meticulous maps and a video called "Candlestick Park Traffic 101." SMG Executive Vice President Doug Thornton said his company would consider following Candlestick's example. But, he added, June 7 "appears to be an anomaly." # # # [Originally published on mercurynews.com.]
  11. [From the San Jose Mercury News online edition] Oakland Coliseum operator defends planning leading up to U2 concert By Angela WoodallOakland Tribune Posted: 06/17/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT In July 2010, an Alameda County grand jury stepped up criticism over operations at the municipally owned sports and entertainment complex in Oakland, now called O.co Coliseum. Jurors issued a troubling list of lingering concerns over the "fragmented, uncertain and unclear" oversight exerted by the Coliseum Authority, an eight-person board of commissioners. Management improved incrementally since, but a June 7 U2 concert sparked criticism over operations after concertgoers found themselves stranded in a traffic snarl on Interstate 880 or fruitlessly searching for parking in sight of the Coliseum. Some of them gave up, forfeiting hundreds of dollars in tickets, baby-sitting, gas and other expenses. A man claiming to be one of the inconvenienced would-be attendees set up a website where others could record their U2 concert traffic stories. Patrick Missud also tried to rally concertgoers to demand compensation for, among other things, better security to "prevent road rage"; compensation of costs to people who didn't get to see the concert; and more parking. He cited the NFL's decision to compensate Super Bowl fans who missed the kickoff in February. But in that case a seating blunder was to blame. If the Coliseum did not respond similarly, relief would include "lots and lots of out-of-pocket losses," Missud wrote Wednesday in an email that landed in the hands of the Oakland Coliseum Joint Venture, which monitors operations. The Coliseum complex is owned by the city of Oakland and Alameda County and subsidized by taxpayers -- $21 million in fiscal year 2009-10 and about the same amount in previous years, according to financial statements. The Coliseum Authority created the Oakland Coliseum Joint Venture to monitor operations. But the principal owner of the Joint Venture is SMG, which received $616,312 during fiscal year 2009-10 to take care of daily operations and is not audited by Oakland or Alameda County, according to financial statements. SMG also lacked oversight, according to the 2010 grand jury, whose recommendation to appoint an executive director was fulfilled that same year with an interim manager and more recently a permanent chief. SMG executives, however, defended the company's planning for the U2 concert. The company opened the main lot at 7 a.m., hired 18 Oakland police officers to direct traffic and parking and had 58,000 of the 59,400 attendees in their seats on time, SMG General Manager Ron Little said. Police ushered drivers to overflow parking after cars filled the main lot by 7 p.m. Leading up to the concert, SMG, the Coliseum Joint Venture and concert promoter Live Nation put out multiple warnings about transportation by website, email, Facebook and Twitter. "The decision (unfortunately made by a number of ticket holders) to drive to O.Co Coliseum close to the starting time of the concert and during the height of the combined rush-hour traffic and concert traffic, rather than to arrive earlier or take public transportation, is not a basis for a refund," wrote Attorney Elliott Myles, in response to Missud's demands and threat of legal action. A lack of familiarity with Oakland and fear compounded the problem. One woman complained that she and her husband, who left the South Bay at 5:50 p.m., had to wander around a mile from the Coliseum "in the middle of the night" in Oakland. They parked across the overpass on Oakport Street where overflow parking is routinely directed during Raiders games. The woman meant that they were in danger because the roadways from there to the Coliseum are not designed for pedestrians and because the couple was unfamiliar with the area and didn't make their way east to streets where parking places stood empty. Police did not appear to have directed people to them. Little said SMG's control ends at city streets except for the overflow parking lots the company operates. In addition, BART had warned riders that the last train would leave at midnight, prompting many people to flood the walkways at 11:30 p.m. Service actually ended at 2:28 a.m. Yet BART alerted no one to the service extension. Myles also argued there's more parking at the Coliseum than other Bay Area venues, such as the HP Pavilion in San Jose and most major San Francisco venues, which must rely more heavily on public transportation. The closest in size is Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco 49ers. The stadium offers close to 10,000 parking places and has a total seating capacity of 69,732. The Coliseum seats 70,000 during concerts, more than any other venue in the Bay Area. Coliseum parking totals about 8,800 in the parking lot and about 1,100 in the two overflow lots. That leaves many thousands without a spot in both venues. And traffic around Candlestick is known to be difficult. The Candlestick website, however, provides better instructions than the Coliseum's site and gives tips about traffic, more meticulous maps and a video called "Candlestick Park Traffic 101." SMG Executive Vice President Doug Thornton said his company would consider following Candlestick's example. But, he added, June 7 "appears to be an anomaly." # # # [Originally published on mercurynews.com.]
  12. ...and that's Muni we're talking about here, which is a transit system where "on time" is only a theory. But I've seen many times where BART and Muni work together to get BART riders quickly transferred to the Muni train to the ballpark: fare gates open, conductors out with transfers and information, and so on. On game day, there's always some number of cops out to direct street traffic. I guess the moral of the story is, professional sports carry more weight with the powers-that-be (and the transit unions), and you can bet that if someone was as slovenly about transit/traffic at the SF ballpark as Live Nation and the public agencies were at the Coliseum last week, there'd be hell to pay--in the press, in City Hall, in boardrooms. But, hey, if U2 wanna let their A-list competition play concerts in a better joint (our ballpark) while U2 stick with the rapidly decaying pile of Brutalist concrete that is the Oakland Coliseum....well, they're the rock stars, who am I to argue with them? --
  13. I stood on the corner and sold drugs. OK, really, I work in a pharmacy, so I do sell drugs--legally. If I say it the first way, it makes people pay more attention. I work on weekends, so not much more done than other work days. Free time on the computer or reading--a bit more reading than a typical weekend, even, since the new roommate accidentally knocked us offline for a day or so. Reading on paleography (again), would love to get a degree in manuscript studies, would probably be just as unemployable then as I am now, but so what? Interesting stuff. -- eaplatt
  14. It doesn't hurt to vent about it, though I don't think there's any grounds for a lawsuit of any sort--not that it doesn't hurt to rattle the sabres at Live Nation (et al) a bit. Might keep them on their toes. Maybe. You'd think that Live Nation would pay more attention to this sort of thing, nowadays not so much for fear of having another Who-at-Cincinnati tragedy occur, but just because it's good for business. LN is always poor-mouthing to the media, bemoaning the fact that 40% of concert tickets go unsold, etc. So why make concerts such a hassle? And the bigger the concert, the bigger the hassle. Public transit is a big part of the picture up here--a lot of shows at places like Shoreline (in Mt. View) and the hockey arena down in San Jose don't sell out because there's no real transit to be found after 10pm. Oakland has been a concert draw for decades because the Coliseum/Arena is sited right alongside the BART lines. There are few artists out there who merit time and money spent on arranging time off work, paid transit, and all the other logistical hassles that come with a major show. U2 are probably the last band on earth that are worth the hassle. Live Nation can eat that unsold 40% on the other shows, and I'll buy them some ketchup to help it go down nicely. Nowadays, I mostly go to shows at smaller venues--and only the (original) Fillmore is owned/booked by Live Nation, so except for U2 concerts, I really don't spend much time in Live Nation's universe. The last show I saw was Black Dub (Daniel Lanois' new combo) at the Independent; very hassle-free. I am tempted to take in one day of the Outside Lands festival, but we'll see who's on the bill the day I'm off work! Guess that I'm quite past the age where I'm going to put up with the live music biz conceit that the fans will put up with any amount of crap to see their fave bands play. There are plenty of smaller venues where you an hear good live music in the Bay Area. Don't patronize Live Nation shows or ventures, except in dire situations (like another U2 concert), and if you do go to a Live Nation-run event, if it's bigger than a barn dance, assume that there'll be hassles galore to overcome on the way to the show. I think I just told you to be cheap and cynical! Meanwhile, Live Nation can cry me a river about their unsold tickets. They've only themselves to blame. --
  15. It doesn't hurt to vent about it, though I don't think there's any grounds for a lawsuit of any sort--not that it doesn't hurt to rattle the sabres at Live Nation (et al) a bit. Might keep them on their toes. Maybe. You'd think that Live Nation would pay more attention to this sort of thing, nowadays not so much for fear of having another Who-at-Cincinnati tragedy occur, but just because it's good for business. LN is always poor-mouthing to the media, bemoaning the fact that 40% of concert tickets go unsold, etc. So why make concerts such a hassle? And the bigger the concert, the bigger the hassle. Public transit is a big part of the picture up here--a lot of shows at places like Shoreline (in Mt. View) and the hockey arena down in San Jose don't sell out because there's no real transit to be found after 10pm. Oakland has been a concert draw for decades because the Coliseum/Arena is sited right alongside the BART lines. There are few artists out there who merit time and money spent on arranging time off work, paid transit, and all the other logistical hassles that come with a major show. U2 are probably the last band on earth that are worth the hassle. Live Nation can eat that unsold 40% on the other shows, and I'll buy them some ketchup to help it go down nicely. Nowadays, I mostly go to shows at smaller venues--and only the (original) Fillmore is owned/booked by Live Nation, so except for U2 concerts, I really don't spend much time in Live Nation's universe. The last show I saw was Black Dub (Daniel Lanois' new combo) at the Independent; very hassle-free. I am tempted to take in one day of the Outside Lands festival, but we'll see who's on the bill the day I'm off work! Guess that I'm quite past the age where I'm going to put up with the live music biz conceit that the fans will put up with any amount of crap to see their fave bands play. There are plenty of smaller venues where you an hear good live music in the Bay Area. Don't patronize Live Nation shows or ventures, except in dire situations (like another U2 concert), and if you do go to a Live Nation-run event, if it's bigger than a barn dance, assume that there'll be hassles galore to overcome on the way to the show. I think I just told you to be cheap and cynical! Meanwhile, Live Nation can cry me a river about their unsold tickets. They've only themselves to blame. --
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