Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Tomorrow night Barcelona's Palau Sant Jordi, the basketball arena built for the Olympic Games, will host the MTV Europe Music Awards. You may not care, but they're making a big deal out of it. The 13,000 tickets have been sold out for weeks. Christina Aguilera, Bon Jovi, Coldplay, Eminem, Enrique Iglesias, Foo Fighters, Moby, Pink, Robbie Williams, Whitney Houston, and Wyclef Jean will perform. Most of these really are top-name acts, in case you're one of those people like me who likes Van Morrison, the Stones, James Brown, the Blasters, and Dwight Yoakam and doesn't really keep up with what's on MTV. Bon Jovi played a free acoustic show last night up in the park on Montjuic before some 10-20,000 people, among whom I, of course, was not. The guy from La Vanguardia's back page who does the featured interview every day did Bon Jovi yesterday and baited him unmercifully about plastic surgery and hair implants. Bon Jovi kicked the guy out when he asked if he had ever met Pamela Anderson. This whole thing just shows that while a few self-proclaimed intellectuals bash American popular culture in the media, the Spanish people are very interested in Anglo-American pop culture and the Spanish media is more than happy to bow down to its big stars, despite their constant protestations. There's no way they'd bait, say, Eminem in the way they did to Bon Jovi, very much a second-rate star these days. Anyway, rather than kicking rude reporters out, Eminem would just kick their asses. I wish some real obnoxious redneck asshole like Hank Williams Jr. would come over here and put on a show that included the consumption of an entire fifth of Jim Beam and falling off the stage a couple of times. George Jones could be the special guest star, and he could drink two fifths of Jim Beam. Or Merle Haggard, who, we hope, would kick off his show with "The Fightin' Side of Me" and play it again as the encore. Or imagine what David Allan Coe, who really has been in prison, would do with an uppity Spanish reporter. I should become a concert promoter and hire all four of these guys to do a country music European tour. They'd love it; it would be just so typically American.