I enjoyed the closing ceremony – despite the weird retro IOC eurobabble that kept interrupting the rock concert (did people who actually saw the sport bits of the Olympics have to put up with that the whole time?). Dreading Paul McCartney doing Hey Jude at the end added a certain frisson to proceedings.
But it was my boy who had the best insight. Watching it again the next day with him, he asked how much it cost to attend the concert. £10, perhaps?
“No idea, but probably in the hundreds,” I replied, hoping to impress him with the magnitude of the event.
“Why would anyone pay that when you can just watch it on TV?” he replied.
I chuckled at first at his naivety. But then, on a second watch, he had a point. For most of the big acts were on TV, even for the concert goers. Hardly any of them turned up, being dead, or too old, or too cool, or too argumentative. Lennon, Bowie, McCartney, Mercury, the Pink Floyd people, the other Oasis brother. All either covered by nonentities or simply showed on TV. George Michael was there, but he seemed to have forgotten both the lyrics and the tunes of his songs. Ray Davies (the Kinks) and Annie Lennox likewise.
People sometimes say Britain lives in the past. Judging by our rock music, they have a point.