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"You would?" Perloff said, deftly seizing on the opening. The crowd erupted in laughter.
Then Lazarus and Perloff got into an unheard-of live auction. Perloff said he hoped for 9:30. Lazarus went from 9 to 9:15. Perloff: 9:30. Lazarus: 9:18. Perloff: 9:20.
Sitting behind Perloff, his lieutenant Duquette was in awe. In an industry that's loath to write down anything, where the deal is always done before anyone even hears about it, Duquette said he thought to himself, "He's negotiating on an open floor."
All in favor?
"Aye," the commission said in unison.
"The amendment passes."
Duquette was stunned. The team ducked out into the hallway to start making calls.
In the end, desired headliner Radiohead ended up preferring Friday, August 22 due to a date at the Hollywood Bowl, and Perloff went back to the Recreation and Park Department in January 2008 to ask for a third day. More money was floated, bringing the total to $1.2 million, but this time there was little dissent. Commissioners openly pleaded to be let in on the secret headliner in the hallways. Other commissioners simply wanted to make sure they could buy tickets online.
The New School of Rock is nearing its final exam.
Out above the wide, grassy fields of Speedway Meadow, the Polo Fields, and Lindley Meadows, swallows cruise in the fog. Red-tailed hawks protect breeding territory and children play pickup games of football. Soon, Radiohead will tear the sky apart.
"When the opportunity to book my number one favorite pick of all time came up — and this is where I get in trouble during interviews, but it's true — we had to try," Perloff said. "Their songwriting and their live performances are unparalleled."
Every fan has their own favorites, but among the rest of the lineup, Beck and Manu Chao will join Radiohead on Friday; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, and Primus will hold down Saturday; and Wilco and Widespread Panic will join Jack Johnson on Sunday. The Cold War Kids will debut some long-awaited new material, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings put on a live show like no other.
Conde is on-site and the requisitions are arriving: almost ten miles of chain-link fence, more than a thousand staffers, five hundred security officers, plus police, mounted police, two huge screens for "video reinforcement" of the main stage, and world-class technicians from Meyers Sound for the audio. Cowgirl Creamery will highlight their fresh, local, organic food market. Whole Foods will run backstage dining. Six stages. Seventy bands. Bike valet. Five hundred Porta-Potties.
The park department required that everything must be delivered using special forklifts with oversize tires that don't squish the turf. Only two exist on the West Coast, and Conde said they're old. "One will break down." She plans on shipping in another.
Interestingly enough, Perloff and Noise Pop's Kurland think that most people won't know or care who throws the party. "People would go to a Radiohead and Beck date by Live Nation, the same as anyone else," Kurland said.
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