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New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: micwer ()
Date: November 6, 2006 18:34

SHATTERED
WANTED: S.W.F., LOVES KEEF
Issue of 2006-11-13
Posted 2006-11-06

The persistence of the Rolling Stones, like that of diphtheria or kudzu, is a riddle of nature. As a band, they are easy to mock: a collection of wealthy gents adding to their fortunes each year by replaying their tunes of sexual dissatisfaction and satanic dread. The Stones are not so much a band as a corporate juggernaut like Citibank or Microsoft, and an enduring medical miracle: Can your grandfather even climb a tree, much less fall out of one, bash his head, survive, and still remember the changes on “Sister Morphine”?

As a matter of fiduciary responsibility, the Stones almost always play vast venues like Giants Stadium––a date at the Garden is considered très intime––and the Baby Boomer fan comes to the event with three beers, two or more indulgent children, and the keys to the minivan; the Boomer then watches Mick and Keef on huge screens as the real Mick and Keef scuttle around on the stage. Martin Scorsese, who is working on a documentary feature about the Stones, wanted a much smaller venue—something less Leni Riefenstahl, more Ingmar Bergman––and so the band agreed to play a couple of nights at the twenty-eight-hundred-seat Beacon Theatre, the Art Deco gem on the Upper West Side.

The theatre’s orchestra section was made even smaller because Scorsese had set up seventeen large movie cameras; there were also three runways built to thrust out into the crowd, the better for Mick to do his prancing thing. Perhaps the most important equipment required, however, was a suitable-looking audience. Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation had taken up a block of tickets for one of the concerts, but it would certainly not do, for Scorsese’s purposes, to have John Podesta playing air guitar in the front row.

And so the movie people had advertised for, and summoned, a flock of camera-ready fans through Shidoobee, a Stones Internet message board. In order to be considered, Shidoobees, as the fans call themselves, had to submit a photo and then wait to be called. If they were selected, they would be paid seventy-five dollars to attend the concert. The producers were evidently underwhelmed by the sexiness of the group on the first night, and so they took special pains for the second show, issuing a set of revised instructions to all would-be seat fillers:

You should be dressed trendy, sexy, hip. Do not come looking sloppy or disheveled. Women really glam it up, but not trashy. You can wear Rolling Stones shirts or other band shirts but please do NOT wear the following: no fan club shirts, no logos (Nike, Coca-Cola), nothing too over the top and outrageous (wigs, crazy hats, etc.) and do not wear WHITE. . . .
You will not be allowed to purchase alcohol. Again, you are not just attending a concert, you are working.
MOST IMPORTANT NOTE: You guys will be in the very front of the stage and will be the only people on camera for the documentary. We really need high energy. Dance, sing along, cheer on the band. They need your energy to play a really amazing show.

On the first night, a forty-four-year-old Shidoobee from Levittown named Debi Gula arrived at P.S. 87, where the extras had been asked to convene, wearing a black leather vest covered with Stones buttons and decorated, on the back, with an elaborately sequinned lips logo. “Since ’81, I’ve missed one tour,” she said. “The farthest back I’ve been was sixteenth row, in Hartford.”

Once inside the theatre, the hopeful extras stood in line in the aisle of the orchestra, waiting to be told where to go. An assistant picked through the queue: young ones, small ones, cute ones. A pregnant fan narrowly escaped being turned away.

“What are they looking for?” one woman asked nervously.

After a spry set from the legendary Buddy Guy, various assistants started rearranging the crowd in order to create just the right blend of sex, youth, and spontaneity. Gula and another woman were positioned at the foot of stage left, Keith’s side. Several grizzled Shidoobees who had been in the front row were moved to the rear, replaced by newly arrived statuesque young blondes in tight jeans and boots.

In the pause before the Stones came on, a few more women were brought in. A roving crew member murmured into a walkie-talkie, “I don’t have any more babes.” Albert Maysles, the surviving director of the 1970 Stones documentary, “Gimme Shelter,” stood at the front of the stage, smiling beatifically, using a handheld video camera to pan the crowd. Scorsese was nowhere to be seen. Within a few minutes, Jagger was preening and singing duets with Jack White and Christina Aguilera. In contrast to the highly managed vibe of the rest of the evening, the performance itself was stripped-down and raw. Some of the statuesque seventy-five-dollar women looked bored, some walked out. But when the band played “Satisfaction,” for an encore, many of the remaining pretty girls bounced up and down and even sang along.

Debi Gula made the cut for both nights, and she noticed the transformation from one to the next. “Diehard fans got screwed out of this,” she said. “Honestly, it sucks.” But when she was asked how she enjoyed the show, her eyes sparkled. “Did you see Keith give me the pelvic thrust? Some people think he’s God, others think it’s time to go to the bathroom when he’s on. You never get up when Keith sings.”


COMMENT
BEDFELLOWS DEPT.
IN THE ACADEMY
SHATTERED
TRUCE DEPT.


— Shauna Lyon

Source: [www.newyorker.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2006-11-06 18:34 by micwer.

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: danielb ()
Date: November 6, 2006 18:51

Nobody walked out of that show.

Nobody even left to use the restroom. Trust me I was front row balcony.

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: ohnonotyouagain ()
Date: November 6, 2006 19:14

I think the film should open with Mick doing the following voice over: "Hi, welcome to the movie. In this movie you will see us performing at a venue we don't normally play it, playing songs that usually never make it into the setlist, for an audience that is markedly different from our usual one. Did we mention that this is a realistic and gritty documentary? Well, it is. Enjoy!"

I'm glad they played some different songs in a small venue, particularly for the fans who got to enjoy it, but I have to say the level of fakery associated with this project is thru the roof. Maybe this documentary should be called No Direction Home as well, because it sure seems like the Stones are straying pretty far from the authenticity they once had.

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: oldkr ()
Date: November 6, 2006 19:33

boo moan hiss they hired models get over it , there were real fans in there

OLDKR

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: sweet neo con ()
Date: November 6, 2006 19:50

ONNYA wrote: "I think the film should open with Mick doing the following voice over: "Hi, welcome to the movie. In this movie you will see us performing at a venue we don't normally play it, playing songs that usually never make it into the setlist, for an audience that is markedly different from our usual one. Did we mention that this is a realistic and gritty documentary? Well, it is. Enjoy!"
********************

funny.....but true. it really has been SPINAL TAP-ish. Even the Rock & Roll camp on the Simpsons is not as far-fetched anymore. It's becoming difficult to make something up that is not true or will not be true.

that being said...I still love the stones. and even though having guests like Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera irked me...i'm ok with it...I'm not one those people that believes they constantly have to pay tribute to the the Blues either. Both seem calculated to appeal to different demographics.

I like Spinal tap.... winking smiley

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 6, 2006 19:51

Their 'extras' are quite pitiful nowadays: they are given 75 dollars and they look bored and walk away, when back in the old days when The Stones were doing a concert movie, they hired Hells Angels with loads of beer, and the 'extras' were so thrilled that they even entered the stage and everything.. But it made a good damn great movie.

Funny to learn how 'live' documents are done nowadays. Yes, that was a sarcasm.

- Doxa

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: MinorRipper ()
Date: November 6, 2006 20:00

I can't help but think (hope?) that Keith is pretty far removed from the day to day decision making going on at this point, and that Jagger/Cohl are calling the shots. I mean its great that they are still going and all, but Jesus Christ, paid stand in 'young' models?? Give me a break.

www.minor-ripper.blogspot.com

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: micwer ()
Date: November 6, 2006 20:08

MinorRipper Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I can't help but think (hope?) that Keith is
> pretty far removed from the day to day decision
> making going on at this point, and that
> Jagger/Cohl are calling the shots. I mean its
> great that they are still going and all, but Jesus
> Christ, paid stand in 'young' models?? Give me a
> break.
>
> www.minor-ripper.blogspot.com


I don't buy the whole idea of Keith not being involved in any of the decision making. It's easy to put the blame on Mick all the time.

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: S.T.P ()
Date: November 6, 2006 20:19

ohnonotyouagain Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I'm glad they played some different songs in a
> small venue, particularly for the fans who got to
> enjoy it, but I have to say the level of fakery
> associated with this project is thru the roof.
> Maybe this documentary should be called No
> Direction Home as well, because it sure seems like
> the Stones are straying pretty far from the
> authenticity they once had.


Yeah, I bet the number of people hired to look cool and cheer, wasn't quite as big back in '77 at El Mocambo...

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: Rip This ()
Date: November 6, 2006 20:19

...................The producers were evidently underwhelmed by the sexiness of the group on the first night, and so they took special pains for the second show, issuing a set of revised instructions to all would-be seat fillers......................OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: Beelyboy ()
Date: November 6, 2006 20:26

x



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2006-12-06 01:13 by Beelyboy.

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: angee ()
Date: November 6, 2006 21:35

From what I understand (from her written descriptions), the reason the real fan Deb made it back into the front the second night is because Keith asked that she be placed in the same corner spot near him that she was in at the first concert. Her enthusiasm easily distinguishes her from the rest of the pretty people, planted.

Thanks for posting the article!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2006-11-06 21:37 by angee.

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: drake ()
Date: November 6, 2006 22:11

The show was killer but I do have to agree about how upsetting it was to see so many hired actors/models, especially the 2nd night. The good news is that both shows were amazing and that the entire house on Wednesday was filled with fans (except the 60/90 actors down front in the pit). Seriously, everyone was singing along on every song. Scorsese will have to put in alot of footage from the 2nd night. It will be funny though to see a bunch of young chicks dancing and smiling but not singing along when everyone in the crowd is so loud!

-Drake

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: rooster ()
Date: November 7, 2006 11:04

They did it before(paradiso 95 Adam) Those models what a stupid idea it really is..there are enough handsome stones gals.

Re: New Yorker Article on the Stones
Posted by: tommct ()
Date: November 7, 2006 15:26

I am a real fan and would not need 75 bucks or instructions to pull off looking like I was having a great time. I don't need Satisfaction to get up because I would have been up from chord one, even if it was Srt Me Up.

This is very dissapointing in the management aspect by the Stones/Cohl and poor decission film making by Scorcesse. Obviously his plan had some problems.

The contest was a scam, ticket sales were a joke, but I am sure Shine a Light and I am not ta;lking about the movie, ripped it up.



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