HALO – The Thing that Does have the Kids Going
This week we saw the release of Halo 3. a first person shooter video game running on the Microsoft X-Box and involving a certain “Master Chief”, an almost unstoppable one man force who rallies the troops to overcome the aliens hordes. This thrid edition of the game sold approximately two million copies and gerneated $170 million in its first day of release. Reminds one of the Harry Potter books. I just wonder when was the last time we had music that sold like that?
Now, I am going to dig out the numbers for music sold. None of what follows is based on facts and figures-rather just one persons perceptions. I attemtped for about two minutes to go to the RIAA site and explore what is being sold and what has been sold previously as far as music. I realized, however, this is not about units sold and income generated. This is about buzz.
My general impression is that music is not bought today. It is shared. Whether that is true or not, I just am not aware of any music trend that is inspiring kids to skip school, has stores selling albums at midnight, and that caused such a concern to authorities that they do not allow for such midnight events. That is what happened in the UK, with London not allowing midnight sales events for Halo.
I have not heard of any music events being feared like that lately. As a promoter that might be just as well, but I do like some element of excitement and insanity. Some enenrgy associated with the show I am promoting. I aint seeing much of anything today. I talk to my 17 year old and he wanders the web looking for the next big band. Granted he is stuck on slipknot, so he has his own problems.
No I just compare and contrast, and no doubt some of this is just nostalgia, but still it haunts me. Look at the shows that Al Gore put together this summer, Live Earth. I just did not hear much of anything about those shows. Twenty years ago everyone seemed to be tuned into Live Aid. You mention, “We are the World” and even today, people will know what you are talking about.
What about Rock Stars. who are today’s rock stars? David Lee Roth is close to retirement. Same with Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Ozzy. Who is going to continue that tradition? Damned if I know. We are talking 80s stuff here. In the 60s there were Beatles and Rolling Stones, and let us not forget Elvis. Maybe we just cannot repeat this stuff. I was always intrigued that recreation entails re-creating something. There is I guess a dash of the ‘eternal recurrence’ in the creative process. Anyway, I do not want repetition, just some sign of life.
At the end of the day, we are just at a different time and a different place and as Phil Lynott said,”And before we knew it, The old wave was gone and controlled”. At this moment certainly the old wave is gone and to some degree controlled. I guess that is what I am doing here. . .calling upon those spirits of the old wave to show us what can be done today.
And Halo, well that was just a jumping off point. Maybe that is the old wave, but not yet.