Monday, July 14, 2008

VH1 Rock Honors Who Fest - A 2nd-Hand Report

A friend of mine was lucky enough to score tickets to the VH1 Rock Honors show in L.A. over the weekend, where The Two (Daltry and Townshend) were joined by the Foo Fighters, Flaming Lips, Pearl Jam and other bands and actors to pay tribute to the band.

Since the one story I read today from E! misidentified Baba O'Riley as "Teenage Wasteland," I thought a partial report from someone who actually attended would be nice. So below is an excerpted email I got today.

I removed the gushing "Brandon Boyd of Incubus is so hot" stuff and wound up with the following (yes, my friend is a girl, and it's actually her friend's report, so I guess technically that makes this third-hand but whatev...):

Tai and I went around the back of Pauley Pavilion after the show and hung out waiting to see who would exit our way. Within seconds, a stealth Pete Townshend drove in on a golf cart, waved quietly to the crowd, and went home without fuss. We waited a bit more, then tons of other rockers came out. Roger Daltry signed a few autographs, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam spent some time with the crowd. We waved to Taylor Hawkins off in the distance. Kyle Gass (Tenacious D) waddled by (no wave to anyone). Jeremy Priven was in sight. Mila Kunis from that 70s show walked by. Sean Penn gave us a wave. Probably more I'm forgetting.

Last of all came "Mr. Vedder" whom everyone saw on and off again out in the distance. They gave us a small warning that he wanted quiet and no photographs. He came over to the rails and patiently signed autographs. I gave him Tai's ticket stub but I had nothing solid to put under the paper so he used my hand. It started slipping then he said, "No wait, please let me do this right" and proceeded to give Tai a very nice autograph all while holding my hand. How cool was that? Before he got to me, he kept telling the crowd, "Last one" so to insist on doing the autograph "right" was cool indeed. Thank you Mr. Vedder.

As for the show itself...AMAZING. Even though it was a tv event, it wasn't that awkward. I've been to worse. It ran much like a concert with only one or two gaffes, and they'd fill the time between bands with cool footage of the Who and all the rockers who were influenced by them. Powerful performances by all involved. I don't know if I should say more. I don't want to ruin the broadcast for anyone.

I know I sound like a kid, but that's how it feels to see these bands you've loved as far back as when you WERE a kid play great rock, then to see some of them 2 feet away (or closer). It was an amazing night in rock history and just plain fun.

Their photos are here.

The televised version runs on Thursday on VH1.

And, Rolling Stone actually put a good article together here. After this and their awesome recent article on Rush, I have to say I am starting to appreciate the magazine again. Anyway, thanks Tai for the report!

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