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Purple title card: WNET Thirteen; the Knitting Factory, The 11th Hour, 26:10; 10/12/89. Countdown.
Reel opens to a large darkened stage with streams of fireworks shooting out, people can be heard screaming
The Rolling Stones Start Me Up (live)
Music starts at Rolling Stone concert, The Steel Wheels tour, circa October 1989. Jagger and the boys at their finest.
Host Robert Lipsyte narrates over Rolling Stones concert - he states the Stones are in town this week and if you go see them you'll be "hip" but if you watch The Eleventh Hour band you'll be "AvantGarde"
Charitable funding for the show by announcer and overlay the Eleventh Hour graphic.
The Eleventh Hour graphic and show opener
Host Lipsyte standing on Eleventh Hour stage with a full musical band, welcomes viewers to the show and introduces himself.
Host Lipsyte talks about tonight's topic. He states that over 130,000 people paid $30 each to see a Rolling Stones Concert at Shea Stadium. However, at "The Knitting Factory" club on Houston Street this week, about 1300 people paid $7.00 to hear such bands as The Ordinaires (who are standing on stage with him).
Lipsyte cuts away for a visit to The Knitting Factory in New York City, a cutting edge club in New York City.
The Ordinaires ? (live)
The band plays live at club, The Knitting Factory.
Two guys, Mike Dorf and Bob Appel walking down the street, conversing.
z'in on female trumpet player from the experimental rock band, The Ordinaires, electric guitar strapped to her. Z'out on rest of band performing.
Dorf and Appel in front of The Knitting Factory club on Houston Street in New York City, day time, one is unlocking metal garage type door the other holding coffee. Large sort of handwritten "Knitting Factory" awning over front door.
z'in again on female trumpet player, then zoom out to band performing.
Close up hand opening padlock on garage type door, red gate
Close up Cello player
Dorf and Appel roll up the garage door to club.
Close up on hand strumming electric guitar with pick
Var shots The Ordinaires performing on stage at The Knitting Factory
Bicycle parked outside Knitting Factory. Male heading down steps into the building.
Two owners of the Knitting Factory, Mike Dorf and Bob Appel in their office talking casually with unseen unknown interviewer about their inspirations to open the club and how it all evolved.
Bob Appel at soundboard
Mike Dorf in office talking into phone headset, leafing through papers, talking about power and electricity bills and payments.
Dorf and Appel continue talking with (unsee)interviewer. Dorf explaining that when they found the site, it was a "dump" and people told them it should be named The Dump!
Cut to wide shot of audience sitting at tables inside The Knitting Factory.
Audience shot, waiter serving drinks
Appel talking to unseen interviewer about how artists sometimes try out new material at the Factory - it's not always good.
Audience seated at small tables listening intently to the music
A band plays on the small stage at the club,.A flutist, harmonica, harp and steel drum players are seen
Patrons in the club sitting, drinking beer, conversing. Bartender making espresso. Dorf and Appel narrate that they make most of the money for the club from the bar, and they don't charge a minimum. A lot of people, jazz lovers, drink tea!
The Ordinaires performing at the Knitting Factory.
Circular pan of the colorful artistic ceiling as Dorf and Appel narrate about how tourists came in and took pictures of the ceiling.
Back in the office with Dorf and Appel talking with unseen interviewer
Dorf seated at electronic sound board. CU Audio meters green and red move on sound board.
Close up hand at sound board, sound signals moving.
Dorf and Appel sitting still talking with unseen interviewer about how they're schedules are filled, they don't sleep much, lots of stress but they love it!
Back in the Eleventh Hour studio, Host Robert Lipsyte introduces a live performance by the Ordinaires.
The Ordinaires Kashmir (live)
Led Zeppelin cover song
The Ordinaires performance ends and Host Lipsyte introduces Kurt Hoffman, Sax player; Stanley Booth, Author of The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones; Gene Santoro, Cultural Critic for the New York Post and The Nation.
Wide shot of the studio, Host Robert Lipsyte seated around coffee table with guests.
Kurt Hoffman 10:55
What's the name of this band? Well, well, sure. Yeah, I mean, Shea Stadium. Well, I like a more intimate space. Really? I mean, I think it's it's really good to make money like that. But yeah, I prefer playing in smaller clubs. Really. It's more intimate more, you get more of a sense of the music. But I don't know. Yeah, sure. Global fame.
Robert Lipsyte 11:17
You're ready for that?
Kurt Hoffman 11:18
Well, I do when the time comes. Yeah,
Robert Lipsyte 11:21
Stanley, you were with the Rolling Stones for a very long time and writing about this kind of attitude, what was their attitude, like,
Stanley Booth 11:28
I think that is still their attitude, they much prefer to play an intimate space. But if you're gonna make $70 million playing music, you're not gonna play little clubs. You know, it seems in the beginning, when the beginning that's where they played in tiny little basement clubs, which weren't even pubs, they were just a place where you'd go in London and rent a room for the night. And they would come in and listen, that's where it was very traumatic thing to them when they stopped playing, sitting down, you know, started playing like, like little theaters, you know, cinemas in London and towns around South of England. They had to stand up and play and it was very difficult for them, and they never thought they were going to make any money. They never thought they'd do it for a living. doing it for quite a living now. No.
Robert Lipsyte 12:19
I mean, there was a perception that, you know, critics critics, like yourself, Gene you know, are create the excitement in the interest and the hype?
Gene Santoro 12:28
Well, to a certain extent, that's true, especially when it comes to the mainstream press. I mean, right now, today for, you know, the day after the the concert. On Tuesday night, I think every New York City paper had the Stones concert on its front page in some form or another. I mean, 66,000 people pack Shea Stadium. That's news.
Robert Lipsyte 12:47
Yeah, the distance between the ordinaries and the Rolling Stones right now seems seems large. But do you think that, you know, they can be anointed?
Gene Santoro 12:56
Well, it can happen to you, it's really hard to predict that kind of thing. I mean, I don't have my crystal ball with me today.
Robert Lipsyte 13:02
The way it works, does it happen that way?
Gene Santoro 13:06
I don't know. I don't know how it happens. I don't think anybody really knows how it happens. Bands work hard. Some of them managed to build up following some of them managed to capture the attention of record companies and the machines that are necessary to put them in view of a public that size. And others don't. Sometimes there are musical reasons for it, and sometimes there aren't. It really doesn't matter, you know, it's it. It's not something that's easily predictable.
Robert Lipsyte 13:28
Kurt how long have you guys been together?
Kurt Hoffman 13:30
We've been together for eight years.
Robert Lipsyte 13:31
How old are you?
Kurt Hoffman 13:32
Robert Lipsyte 13:33
32. So I mean, you're not the 20 year old that the Rolling Stones were when they kind of started standing up instead of sitting down. Let me ask you about the ordinaires. I mean, it's one of those self deprecating names, like average white band are the replacements?
Kurt Hoffman 13:50
Well, perhaps Yeah. But it's kind of like the Jordan errs, the Elvis Elvis Presley's a backup singers.
Robert Lipsyte 13:57
But in a sense, what did you have in mind for yourself? When you named yourself like that when you created yourself?
Kurt Hoffman 14:03
Well, nothing much. I mean, you know, we just really are really interested in doing the kind of music we do, which is why we're, you know, eight years down the pike and not the Rolling Stones yet, and I doubt we'll ever quite be the Rolling Stones, though. You know, they could never be the ordinaires
Robert Lipsyte 14:18
But also you have day jobs, and they don't. Yeah, that's that's, I think that might be true. Yeah. But also, in a sense, musically. They are downtown darlings, Gene. That's true.
Gene Santoro 14:32
Well, I mean, just to back up for a minute, I was thinking that I'm not sure that the Rolling Stones would get to be the Rolling Stones. If they started right now, in the same way at the same time, they might be I mean, a band like REM has certainly gone the hard way and made it made it very big right now, but the whole setup of the industry is very different now than it was 20 odd years ago when the Rolling Stones started. I mean it's a much more structured and organized industry from the top to the bottom from the manufacturing process. To the way it's sold in the store.Let's
Host Lipsyte pauses the interviews to show clips from The Rolling Stones, Steel Wheel Tour.
Wide shot of enthusiastic fans , arms up, waving, screaming - Circa August, 1989
Rolling Stones female fan in a crowd, mic pointed at her, states, "They're the world's greatest rock 'n roll band in the world".
Male fan in crowd, points finger and says, "Number one"
Rolling Stones Start Me up (live)
Cut to clip from Rolling Stones performance. Mick Jagger with full head of hair wearing Sticky Fingers leather jacket performing at his finest.
Rolling Stones Time is on My Side (live)
Archival performance. "Prop Embassy". Robert Lipsyte narrates about their current tour and gives a sort of history of their success.
The Rolling Stones on magazine covers, Time and Forbes.
Performance clip from The Stones "Steel Wheels" tour. Great shot of Keith Richards performing with cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Close up of Mick at mic.
Hand unzipping fly on faux pair of pants and dollar bills spilling out.
Rolling Stones Mixed Emotions (live)
Promotional clip for The Steel Wheels tour, The Rolling Stones performing "Mixed Emotions" for a Budweiser sponsorship commercial. Girl shot from behind and butt down, in short tight ripped up denim jeans holding onto a Bud sashayed away.
Wide shot The Eleventh Hour studio, Host Lipsyte with guests for continuing interview.
Kurt Hoffman 16:38
Yeah I guess so. yeah. I saw arto. Lindsay did a Budweiser commercial on the radio. I was really surprised. I guess I heard it. Yeah. Well, I don't know. I don't know if you'd have to think about it.
Robert Lipsyte 16:48
Gene, what you're talking about this corporatization of rock the Budweiser commercial? Does this have anything to do with the music itself?
Gene Santoro 16:58
It has right now everything to do with the music itself, because it has everything to do with the way the music industry is set up. MTV, for example exists partly so that at least partly so that the record industry and Madison Avenue can have a place where they kind of get together in a real way. I mean, the the videos on MTV are ads for record company product, as they call it and the ads on MTV or ads for other kinds of products that Madison Avenue is Hawking in a particular audience that MTV reaches. The directors who direct both kinds of ads are often the same people. They use the same cast of characters back and forth. So it's pretty indistinguishable. The trick of MTV is getting people to watch what are essentially ads and thinking that it's programming. And it's a real nifty trick. MTV turned a nice profit last year for the first time on the strength of around a quarter of a million viewers a day.
Robert Lipsyte 17:51
Now, your strength at the moment is the ordinaires is it considered on the cutting edge of music? It's elitist music, I guess in some ways, and it kind of avoids this, the Budweiser commercial. And the populism of it. But this is where you want to go. Ultimately,
Kurt Hoffman 18:09
I don't know, that's certainly not our main goal. I mean, certainly we would like to support ourselves playing music, you know. And so of course you want to, you know, get out there and fly to as many people as we can. But you know, no, our first goal isn't to be multimillionaires.
Robert Lipsyte 18:24
Well, you have an MTV Video out now,
Kurt Hoffman 18:27
which was one way to get out to a lot of people, you know, without moving nine people in a van to every city in the universe is
Robert Lipsyte 18:33
Van ordinare, as you call it. Now that you've seen the change in the Rolling Stones from you know, guys who sat down to a kind of corporate spokespeople, has that changed the music.
Stanley Booth 18:48
I think it's had a very profound change on the meaning of the music. I mean, what Jean is saying is so very correct and true, it seems to me. The people who have ruined politics in this country are now ruining the music business by making it a matter of sound bites and exclusive arrangements for interviews. And when I started touring with the Rolling Stones, it was like a small band of people, maybe a dozen. I mean, they started out doing with maybe like six or seven. But it was a small group of people sort of going out into gymnasiums, and they weren't playing exclusively these mausoeums you know, I mean, to me it is I saw stones the other night in Birmingham, and I went to a Rolling Stone show and I did not dance, nobody dance, because if you had danced, you would have fallen down the side of the damn Stadium, you know, and killed yourself. To me, this is not rock and roll. I mean, it's it's certainly a very tight expert show they're doing, but it is not. There was nobody saw anything there that would change his or her life. Well, I mean, there used to be an element.
Robert Lipsyte 19:57
Yeah, but I mean, does that mean that there's no way in In this kind of what becomes popular music to escape this Faustian bargain, and if you're going to be able to quit your day job, if you're going to be able to have the freedom to express yourself totally the way you want to express yourself, you're not going to be able to do it anymore. You're gonna have to sell out as such, is
Gene Santoro 20:18
Certainly that's, I think the goal of places like MTV, and it's certainly one reason that it was kept going at such a loss for four years. I think that's what the industry would like to have happen. Yes, whether it's going to happen, I don't know. Because records are funny thing. Music is a funny thing. Culture is a funny thing, every time you try to stomp on it, it has a way of like shifting out from underneath your feet and coming up somewhere else, you know, and hopefully, that'll happen with this as well. But right now, certainly, there's a lot of pressure being exerted in that direction, because it's a lot of money rock and roll music in general in this country, so $5.57 billion in 1987 $6.2 billion worth of stuff in 1988. That is a lot of money
Robert Lipsyte 21:00
Sound good to you. Okay, so is there something kind of silly about this sort of abstract thinking? I mean, when you guys are still struggling to find your audience? Oh,
Kurt Hoffman 21:09
we think about that. But I was just thinking, you know, there's also a lot of shades in between, you know, playing enormous stadiums where you can't dance and, you know, flying a, you know, a reasonable size hall or, you know, I mean, there's a lot of places, there's a lot of people that make money without going to the largest venues possible.
Gene Santoro 21:28
And there are some people who try to subvert the process like REM, who do shows in arenas and deliberately tried to undercut what an arena show means by by taking the conventions of an arena show and twisting them, you know, instead of the usual, we're happy to be playing here in New Jersey, or whatever it is, they'll have a goofy little slide that comes up behind them that says hello, where the band REM we're happy to be in parentheses, fill in the name of your town, you know, and stuff like that. They'll play with it, they'll try to try to make it something different try to sort of implicitly criticize it. Sometimes the audiences get it sometimes they don't
Robert Lipsyte 22:01
hope the ordinaires find that middle road Gene Sentoro, Kurt, Stanley Booth. Thanks so very much for being with us.
Interview concludes and Host Robert Lipsyte thanks his guests. He introduces a performance by the Ordinaires.
The Ordinaires If Love Should Appear (live)
The Ordinaires performance ends. Host Lipsyte announces the show and introduces himself. Show end.
Show credits over show graphics.
Charitable funding by announcer and overlay the Eleventh Hour graphic.
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