Monday, May 24, 2010

"The Email"

This has been floating all around the Blogosphere; a letter written to Bob Lefsetz, writer of the Lefsetz Letter received this e-mail Lefsetz linked to a New York Times article about VIP packages.

Bob -

I have contemplated for weeks to write you and finally deciding to do so now based on the items coming out about prices.

I attended a few Bon Jovi shows this past winter/spring and wanted to share some insight. The 1st one was in a nosebleed section and i felt a million miles away. The band is a long way from their catwalk days where every fan mattered. It felt like they only cared about those upfront. The stage was distracting & unimpressive and everyone in the balcony sat on their butts.

A week later after being unemployed for 8 months I scored a new job. I felt elated. I decided to treat myself to something special, a VIP ticket to an upcoming Bon Jovi show. I was surprised to find tickets available to a major market show still available. The price tag, $1100. I would like to state that I am foolish for paying this but felt as if I deserved it after my ordeal.

So I fly in, get to the arena for my VIP treatment and for the next few hours, was treated like shit by everyone from arena staff to band staff to Jon Bon Jovi’s brother. Someone (a heavier girl) wanted a picture with Matt BJ…and he rolled his eyes in a manner that was disgusting. A friend overheard one of the crew guys referring to the fan club as the "fat club"...out loud, in front of people! It was like scheduling a meeting with Michael Corleone and getting Fredo instead.

When I bought the ticket, I honest to god thought there had to be more than what they were advertising. Couldn’t they at least give us Hugh (the guy who has played bass on every bj record but jbj refuses to be a part of the group)?

The group managing BJ at this time is flat out insulting. I take my seat and the guy next 2 me asks what I paid, I tell him and he begins to laugh out loud. He goes on to tell me that he paid nothing, was given free tickets by the management team and that people like me pay for his tickets. He had been drinking but I couldn’t stop listening. He went on and on and told me that the band makes all their money from people like me who are dumb and foolish enough to spend the money (which was confirmed by the NYT article). He said that by me essentially buying 10-12 tickets it allows them to give freebies out to give the illusion that a show is a sell-out when it really isn’t.

The next 2 hours I don’t remember anything. I was so sick to my stomach I couldn’t even enjoy the show. I don’t remember any of it. I felt raped. I felt violated beyond words. Not to mention the bad experience backstage where I was offered a wondrous chance to take a picture with a certain members guitar.

Until the day I die I will let everyone I come in contact know about the experience, how its not worth it, how I was hurt and how I was lied to and taken advantage of. I'll never see this band again, buy their music or send a single cent their way. They may have gotten my $$$ but they’ve lost my loyalty forever.

PS: Don’t publish my name as I don’t want to be harassed for speaking out.

PS2: My comparison of Matt Bon Jovi to Fredo is an insult to Fredo. If Matt went out fishing in a boat and was shot, people wouldn’t be shocked, they’d celebrate. Hell, I’d pay $1100 to watch that.

THIS comes after the discussions on various boards about how stadium promoters are adding more acts to the Jovi shows in the hopes of getting more BIS (butts in seats), and how 2-for-1 offers are starting to crop up.

My opinions? If you can afford the $1000+ for the front-row package, and don't mind the spend, then go for it. If you think that it's way too much for not so much return on your investment, or you feel that hearing someone else got the same tickets for free, skip it and buy someplace else in the arena.  I also have to say, I'm not sure how this writer was "lied to".  The very slim "perks" that came with the ticket were all spelled out in the package -- it just sounds like he has buyer's remorse.  Which is fine, of course, but it's not like he was promised a meet-and-greet.

I think the "fat club" remark was uncalled for, though I totally believe it happened and continues to happen. I never cease to be amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to make others feel badly. Just a note to Matt & Co., it's those "fat club" people that buy all the crap that's hawked on BSWJBJ (though now they have to open the store to the unwashed masses due to -- I assume -- lousy sales numbers) shell out the big bucks for the VIP packages and "good seats", and generally support the band no matter what the management is up to.  Just sayin'.

I also think that while I don't want anyone getting shot, the writer sticking up for Fredo did make me chuckle.

~ Hath


Lee-Ann May 24, 2010 at 10:06 AM  

I've received a few rather distressed tweets and DMs since I posted this on my blog... but by and large the comments on blogs, forums, social networks, etc have been along the lines of "What do you expect? It's Bon Jovi". Lonn Friend has received around 80 comments since he posted this on his Facebook, and he aptly remarked: "What is fascinating here that in 70 some odd posts, virtually no one talks about the music, the songs, the live performance, the standards by which Bon Jovi became one of the biggest bands in the world". That's perhaps the saddest thing about it.

alicefayenjbj May 24, 2010 at 9:05 PM  

i had a friend who had the Package through backstage and she was so upset that she left before the end of the show. She got there and Guy she said took them backstage was rude and waited until one of the opening act (Dashboard) Walked all the way past them then goes..."Oh that was so in so." Tico sat in the dinner area and ignored the fans sitting there, who left him alone while he was eating...which from past experience was a shock. She was taken to her seat and was sitting there talking to the Fan Club members around her then an usher came in and told her she was in the wrong seat...once she was moved she was sitting with people that were not in the fan club but Ticketmaster VIP's. One of the girls stole her autographed program and she said the whole experience was not worth the money the way they were treated.

Had to tell her that things have changed and it's not like it was in the past.

Anonymous,  May 24, 2010 at 9:06 PM  

It angers me to think that BJ's mgmt has such little respect for the fans. Obviously they've forgotten that those "fat club" fans pay their wages. However, I'm a firm believer that when one needs to be humbled, they will be humbled. I can only hope that the mgmt team gets that humbling soon.

I had a chance to chat with Matt in Seattle & both my best friend & I had pictures taken with him. I never got the impression that he felt 'put out' by any requests that fans asked of him. Maybe we were lucky - it was the start of the tour. Either way, I found him to be quite nice. I did talk to him about pricing, lousy seats, etc & he said he's very aware of how folks feel but ultimately, those decisions are out of his hands. He does care about the fanclub & it's members but his power is limited. I believe that. After all, he's the main man's brother & he's relegated to riding the buses like the rest of the crew. Hmm, I wonder about that.

I would probably fall into the 'fat club' catagory but I was never made to feel that way by anyone I encountered on the BSWJBJ VIP tour. And when we were fortunate enough to end up in the same place as the band, I never felt that way either. Quite the opposite actually. The smiles & greetings we received were heartful. And for the record, we didn't approach the band or really acknowledged them but they acknowledged us. That keeps my hopes up that the band truly remembers the fans. That it's the mgmt & the business of making money that dictates the lousy treatment of the fans.

I feel badly for the person who feels he was ripped off. I'd probably been pissed off too to know I'd spent so much money for some ass to get a free seat. The politics of the music business I guess.

Sorry for the lengthy post but wanted to share my experience with your readers. I guess just to let them know that periodically, good things do happen to Bon Jovi fans.

The Goddess Hathor May 25, 2010 at 12:18 PM  

@Kenobi, I didn't even notice about the lack of discussion about the music. I think (in general) love 'em or hate 'em everyone can agree that the boys put on a hell of a show. Seems like, though, that might not be enough if you get treated like crap by the Jovi Machine.

@Alice, thanks for sharing your friend's story.

@Anon, I'm glad that not every experience is a bad one. You know what they say, though; it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

~ Hath

Cindy aka Miss Moose May 26, 2010 at 9:37 AM  

I do believe they treat the fans like crap a lot of the time. When they had the fan pits during the Lost Highway tour, a friend and I both had the pit tickets. We lined up like we were told and were actually in the front of the line. (We are both healthy girls, LOL). Matt stopped the line halfway up and told us we had to wait for the prior group to leave. Then another BJM person lead a group of younger, thin, pretty girls up and they were put in the pits in front of us. That was the last time we paid for pit tickets. It is also not worth missing part of the show. I agree with Hath, if you have the money (or you are willing to go in debt) for the best seats and the VIP then go for it. I always say if I ever won the lottery I would like to have front row seats just once. To each his own, but when you do pay that money, don't bitch and moan because you think you didn't get your money's worth. You knew when you bought them what you were getting.

For me, if I am going to pay 3000 bucks for tickets, Richie had better be naked and over or under me!!!!!!

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