U2 Live at Red Rocks is on TV this weekend................ on PBS?!? - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-14-2002, 08:45 PM   #1
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U2 Live at Red Rocks is on TV this weekend................ on PBS?!?

How very... odd. The 'local' PBS station is in the middle of a pledge drive, and during their between-shows-promo-break, they have commercials for three upcoming beg-a-thon specials: the Roy Orbison celebrity concert dealie from '88, followed by the three Mowtown Tenors followed by...U2?!? WTF?

I mean, it's nice to see U2 get all sorts of exposure and all, but PBS?!? That's just kind of sad. 'You know you've become mainstream when...' And using it to sell the station? That is just sooooo wrong on soooooo many levels.

It'll be entertaining seeing the guy with those large, indoor/outdoor glasses, toupee-looking hairdo and cardigan doing the whole 'wow, this sure is great entertainment, and if you want to see more great concert presentations, like this U2 concert, SEND US MONEY' schtick.

Anyone want to guess what their pledge gifts will be? Did they ever sell tote bags from ZooTV?
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Old 03-14-2002, 08:57 PM   #2
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I just saw the Red Rocks show last week I think on either U of M's or Michigan State's public broadcasting station.

If you pledged like $120 to the station, you could get the CD...$150, the video, and for $200, you could have both.

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Old 03-14-2002, 09:08 PM   #3
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My local PBS station is also having their pledge drive, so I'll be on the look out for it.
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Old 03-14-2002, 09:19 PM   #4
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The Big Question is, will they show more than the 13 songs that are on the video? Red Rocks show was actually 19 songs! There is a video bootleg outthere of at least 18 songs. This was done by putting together a Showtime version and an MTV version of the RED ROCKS show to get the extra songs. Only "I Fall Down" from Red Rocks was not seen on either show or the Video that can be bought.
What time and day will this be shown? I want to tape just in case they show all 19 songs!
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Old 03-14-2002, 10:24 PM   #5
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When they showed it out here a few weeks ago, they showed the commercially available video, which I did not have. I was happy; I stayed up and paused during pledge breaks, and now I don't need to buy the vid. I only had the one I taped from MTV a hundred years ago.


You really can't be seriously taking offense at the "mainstreaming" and use of U2 to sell something! Did you watch the Superbowl? That's about as "mainstream" as anyone can get!! I'm NOT starting another argument about the band selling out, but they've been mainstream this entire go-round. It's not a bad thing.

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Old 03-14-2002, 10:49 PM   #6
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I've caught Paul McCartney and the Who concerts on PBS, so let's not dis it completely.
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Old 03-14-2002, 11:14 PM   #7
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it was great when i saw it on my local pbs here in so cali. it was the commercial video, so there was like 13 songs. the only thing that sucked was that every 20 minutes they'd break away and go to 2 hosts asking for people to pledge. the breaks were like 7 to 8 minutes.

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Old 03-15-2002, 02:27 AM   #8
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Dude, don't diss PBS. They still provide lots of good programming - documentaries, music and performing arts specials, Nova, Frontline, and for a BritTV fan like me, they're still one of the few sources for getting overseas programming. Plus, they're not quite selling you something. It really is a contribution, and your pledge is tax deductible. I've been volunteering at PBS for about a year, and I've been watching it my whole life, ever since Mom sat me in front of Mr. Rogers after daycare.

That said, I do have to admit I feel pledge drives have become incredible money-whoring events in the last few years. At least where I am. They tend to throw out all their regular programming and concentrate on a few one-off programs which pull in the cash and which they run ad nauseum until they stop being money makers. I remember the day when they'd put their support behind their regular programming, and not run Suze Orman or the Wrinkle Cure 24-7 during the pledge drives. They've been hurting quite a bit lately though especially since they have more competition from cable (A and E, Bravo, BBC America, Discovery Channel, the History Channel) and I can't totally blame them for trying to get what money they can. On the current pledge drive for my local station, they're still probably only going to get about 60% of their goal.

Um, rambling a bit here. Though one last thing. I'd absolutely LOVE it if they showed the Red Rocks special here. I don't see it on the current schedule for this pledge drive though. Now that is definitely quality programming. I'd much rather have them get a truckload of contributions from some good ol' U2 support than from the Wrinkle Cure or that Secrets to Successful Lovemaking show. Really, for PBS at least, showing Red Rocks wouldn't be selling out.
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Old 03-15-2002, 07:22 AM   #9
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This was on public broadcast last weekend in the boston area too... I was at my parents house and my father calls me into the room to "check something out" ... I was totally impressed that he recognized them etc, especially since it's such an old show etc... he only knew because of the info summary you get from digital cable But still, it was pretty cool!
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Old 03-15-2002, 09:58 AM   #10
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hey no knocking PBS! I like that channel!
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Old 03-15-2002, 10:15 AM   #11
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They were on last week on PBS here. Wow were they young! (And they did have some old guy in a cardigan talking about it afterwards)

I like to see their stuff used to support a good cause (which, IMO, PBS is.) Yeah, the pledge drives are tiresome, but they need to raise money somehow and it's a hell of a lot better than than 20 minutes of commercials for every hour of programming all year 'round like most cable channels. Now THAT'S money-whoring.

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Old 03-18-2002, 05:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by starxrossed:
PS: In June on your local public tv stations, there will be more Bono treats.

- Faye


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Old 03-18-2002, 08:22 PM   #13
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I'm in no way trashing PBS - as I said, I was watching it when the promo came on.

It just doesn't seem very Rock and Roll, especially as PBS has the image of being the icon of stuffy literati throughout North America. All the concerts I've ever seen PBS stations play are either classical, operatic, or OLD (50's, 60's) pop star rehashes, such as the Three Motown Tenors thing. And, of course, endless Riverdance. This station once did a mini beg-a-thon that was a week long, and aired nothing BUT Riverdance. It seems kind of sad to me that U2 somehow, apparently, fits in with those other categories.

And I know PBS is funded by it's viewers, but I have a long standing objection to their tactics, stemming back to when I was a kid, watching the station from Buffalo where they'd regularly pull out the line "boys and girls, if you don't get your parents to send us money we won't be able to show you Ernie and Bert."

Oh, and the two pledge break 'hosts' (I was wrong, by the way - it was the middle aged bearded guy who does the Red Dwarf marathons, though he WAS wearing a sweater) seemed SUPREMELY uncomfortable doing their bits. Maybe I was just reading too much into it, but they just didn't seem to have much of a clue. Actually, from their banter, it sounded like one of their cameramen was a U2 fan and had told them this was good, but neither of the hosts really knew who U2 were.

Incidentally, it sounds like the concert didn't garner many pledges, so maybe it wasn't much of a fit for PBS.
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Old 03-19-2002, 12:10 AM   #14
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LOL, starxrossed, you've got the patter down. What you said is totally true, I've just been hearing it so much lately I thought it was funny to see it here. I usually work as a volunteer during the pledge drives and am fully aware of how much they need the money. I'm just a little disappointed by what they've had to resort to lately. They find a few programs that get lots of pledges and then run them ad nauseum during the pledge drive. I'm glad they can get the money, but I just wish they didn't have to bring regular programming to a complete halt. There's not much that can be done about it I guess. When you show a music program that only brings in about $4000, but the Donna Dewberry One Stroke Painting program brings in an average of $25000 each time you show it, you'll keep showing the painting. I wonder if this is why Dallas has not shown the Under a Blood Red Sky concert. I've heard that PBS in Houston and San Antonio both showed it. I hope they show this other Bono stuff to which you are alluding. I'll probably try to ask when I go in this weekend.

And if you think the on-air guys suck, you can contact the station and try to audition as on-air talent. The people on-air talking during pledge drives are usually station staff, but I know that here in Dallas, there are several who were just volunteers who decided to audition so they could talk about programs they were particularly interested in.

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Old 03-19-2002, 12:19 AM   #15
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what Sula said!

Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
hey no knocking PBS! I like that channel!
I watch PBS a LOT. I've seen some great "concerts" as well as learned a lot from many other of the programs shown (I've learned a lot about cooking!). Yeah, they're a bit too liberal in spots for my taste, but when one does not have cable, PBS is one of the best things on TV!

I'm keeping my eye out for Red Rocks as well...I just know I'll hate it when they cut in for the pledge breaks--GAH!!!
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Old 03-19-2002, 12:28 AM   #16
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PBS run a lot of great concert shows. Austin City Limits is an excellent show. And if U2 aren't mainstream enough by now, I don't think PBS are gonna do anything to change that.

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Old 03-19-2002, 03:18 AM   #17
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First of all, PBS is not a network. It is a program distribution company. The U2 Red Rocks program was distributed by American Public TV which is the company I work for.

Secondly, yes, the stations ask for money, but contrary to popular belief, public television is not government funded. They beg for money because that is what keeps them on the air. If you wish to continue to have public television which brings our nation some high quality educational programs as well as interesting documentaries/series/comedies from other lands, it would be nice to pledge. If you pledge during a program like U2, it shows that people enjoy this type of program and it will ensure that more programs like it will get aired. Yes, they ask for $120 for the video, but the point is you're not buying the video, you make a contribution, the video is your thank you gift, and your contribution is tax-deductible. It is a good thing to do. I never understood this until I began working here.

PS: In June on your local public tv stations, there will be more Bono treats.

- Faye
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Old 03-19-2002, 03:22 AM   #18
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I would donate money if they showed a Lovetown show.

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Old 03-19-2002, 07:20 AM   #19
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This is a good thing. It means U2 are being accepted now by a wider range of people, even some of the 'snobs' who watch PBS! (No they're not all snobs!) U2 are now mainstream and a household word, not to mention among rock's royalty! Yes, The Who and McCartney have been on there for years, and now PBS wants U2 and thinks their audience wants them. This is both a compliment to the band and their fans. U2's fame and popularity grows and spreads and prospers like cudzu on a southern highway. Yipee!

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Old 03-19-2002, 09:49 AM   #20
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Unfortunately for public television, they need to show what gets them money, and so a lot of times during pledge you will see programs that are very annoying, because for some bizarre reason I can't understand, people give money to shows like The Wrinkle Cure. It's a long standing debate on whether the regular programming would bring more money if pledged or these special pledge programs. Anyway, concerts have been a big part of public television, and we distribute most of them, so far there's been: Pearl Jam and Sarah McLachlan and we distribute things like Sessions at West 54th and Hard Rock Live. As far as the U2 concert, it wasn't offered to stations as a pledge show, but they can use it as such if they want to. Some are choosing to target their younger audience. We had an opportunity to distribute the Boston show, but the first time around VH1 beat us to the money, and the second time it came to us, it went to the pledge program dept and they turned it down because a lot of people won't pledge it.And just cause U2 is on public tv it doesn't necessarily mean mainstream (come on, they are on VH1 and major networks!), it means the public tv audience is changing and people who like rock and roll are getting older and therefore watching more. It's not as stuffy as you may think either. I find it rather amusing that public tv gets away with more explicit language and generally explicit programming than the networks. Just my few cents and perspective on the whole thing. I'm ecstatic when we get U2 shows or shows by other bands I love, it means I get to write the press kits and get some goodies if available. We also try to get our hands on rare things to offer as thank you gifts, but sometimes licensing is a huge issue and we are unable to.

- Faye
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