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1969年的美国太精彩,对它的纪念已经成为一门生意

Morgan Enos 2020年01月05日

对音乐公司、电视授权方以及拍卖行来说,这门生意才刚刚开始。

1969年的关键元素:《逍遥骑士》、阿波罗 11号登月以及弗兰克•扎帕等音乐人。在50年后,出现了许多唱片合辑、拍卖以及其他方式来纪念这一年。
 
图片来源:EASY RIDER: LMPC VIA GETTY IMAGES; MOON: GETTY IMAGES/UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP; ZAPPA: MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES—GETTY IMAGES)

到了2019年,弗兰克·扎帕正拿着吉他演唱《Peaches en Regalia》,这首歌出自他1969年的专辑《Hot Rats》。自1988年起直至他五年后去世,扎帕都没有再唱过这首歌。而如今,他的全息影像和现实朋友们又一次唱起了这首歌,而且《Hot Rats》也将成为一份打包合辑。

这次名为“弗兰克·扎帕奇异世界”的全息巡演于去年春天开始,《Hot Rats》50周年纪念版则收录了当时录制的所有曲目,并于12月20日上市。它的发行也标志着老专辑大赚特赚的一年接近尾声。2019年发行的其他摇滚经典专辑还包括:披头士的《Abbey Road》、滚石乐队的《Let It Bleed》以及Kinks的《Arthur》(又名《大英帝国的衰败和沉沦》)。然而从许多方面来看,1969年这门生意才刚刚开始,对音乐公司、电视授权方以及拍卖行来说都是如此。

1969年可能被视为20世纪最重要的年份。从阿波罗11号到处于萌芽状态的互联网,从芝麻街到史酷比,它们共同组成了现代社会的DNA。同时,1969年的内容长盛不衰——令人震惊的是,Capitol/UMe推出的《Abbey Road: Super Deluxe Edition》将一张50年前的专辑送上了美国公告牌榜单第三名的位置。

UMe的总裁兼首席执行官布鲁斯·雷斯尼科夫告诉《财富》杂志:“这显示了公众对这支乐队持久的兴趣和热爱。爱好者无论以何种方式消费音乐,都可以接触到所有的艺术家及其专辑,这是我们业务的基础。”

随着1969年金色周年的光辉在夕阳掩映中逐渐褪去,很多行业纷纷表示想要举办55、60和65周年纪念。BMG的专辑业务高级副总裁迈克尔·卡奇科说:“我们把一些记忆重新卖给了人们。到2029年,这会成为又一个回首过往的绝佳理由。可以每10年纪念一次,5年更好。”

精品音乐管理及咨询公司CAD Management的创始人克雷顿·杜兰特指出:“他们必须想到10年以后的事情,这是最低要求。”(雷斯尼科夫说UMe已经为2019年的纪念活动筹划了25年。)

杜兰特认为现代人听音乐的习惯是主要动力:“流媒体推开了老专辑行业的大门, 1969年这门生意也借着这股东风迅速火热起来。”

Woodstock音乐节推出了50周年纪念专辑,这份由Rhino公司制作的打包合辑包括38张唱片,按照时间顺序收录了该音乐节上表演过的所有曲目。该合辑仅有1969份,800美元的售价也高得惊人。这无异于一次赌博,但所有合辑销售一空。

杜兰特表示:“他们充分证明可以借Woodstock音乐节卖出大量高端产品。而且人们会在超级流媒体上听很多这些黑胶唱片上的音乐。他们可以在很多不同的地方赚钱,不一定是唱片本身。”

Superior Music Publishing的总裁及创始人玛拉·库戈认为这是因为人们依然生活在1969年形成的音乐格局中。她说:“就流行文化而言,这50年很有意思,原因在于我们仍然处在摇滚时代。进入摇滚时代后我们就停在了这里。现在和摇滚乐刚刚出现时并不存在代际差异,人们都在听摇滚乐。”

It’s 2019, and Frank Zappa is shredding on “Peaches en Regalia,” from his 1969 album Hot Rats. He hadn’t played the song live since 1988, five years before his death. But today, he’s a hologram among his real-life collaborators—and Hot Rats is about to be a boxed set.

That hologram tour, “The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa,” ran last spring, and the 50th anniversary edition of Hot Rats, which captures every composition recorded during its sessions, sell onDec. 20. The release marks the end of a lucrative year for back catalogs; among other rock classics, the Beatles’ Abbey Road, the Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed, and the Kinks’ Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) were rereleased in 2019. But the 1969 business is, in many ways, just getting started—from music labels to TV licensees to auction houses.

Aside from 1914—the year Gavrilo Princip fired a shot that triggered World War I—1969 could be considered the most important year of the 20th century. From Apollo 11 to the first stirrings of the Internet, from Sesame Street to Scooby-Doo, its events coded the DNA of the modern world. And 1969 content is still evergreen—astonishingly, Capitol/UMe’s Abbey Road: Super Deluxe Edition sent a 50-year-old album to No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200.

“It’s a testament to the public’s unwaning interest in and love for the band,” Bruce Resnikoff, the president and CEO of UMe, tells Fortune. “It’s a fundamental part of our business to ensure that all of our artists and their catalogs are available however music fans consume their music.”

As 1969’s golden anniversary fades into the sunset, many industries are clamoring to stake claims on its 55th, 60th, and 65th anniversaries. “We’re selling people back their memories a little bit,” says Michael Kachko, the SVP of catalog at BMG. “In 2029, it’ll be another great reason to look back. Every 10th nniversary—every fifth, even.”

“They have to think about that 10 years out, bare minimum,” says Clayton Durant, the founder of CAD Management, a boutique music management company and consulting firm. (Resnikoff says that UMe had been plotting last year’s anniversary for 25 years.)

Durant says that modern listening habits are a major driver: “The 1969 business is booming right now because of streaming, which has opened up the back catalog business.”

He’s talking about Woodstock—Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive, Rhino’s 38-disc boxed set that contains almost every note played at the festival, restored to its historical sequence. The label released only 1,969 copies of the box with a whopping $800 price tag. It was a gamble, but Rhino sold every copy—and Durant says they’re playing the long game.

“They just proved that Woodstock can sell massive amounts of high-end merchandise,” he says. “And people are going to hyper-stream a lot of the music that is on the vinyl set. They’re able to make money from a lot of different places that aren’t necessarily the records themselves.”

Mara Kuge, the president and founder of Superior Music Publishing, says this is because we’re still living in the musical landscape that 1969 created. “This 50-year span is interesting as far as pop culture because we’re dealing with the rock era. We entered the rock era, and we stayed there,” she says. “There isn’t that generational divide from when rock started out. Now, all generations listen to rock ‘n’ roll.”

1969年8月,拉斯维加斯International Hotel and Casino门前的艾尔维斯·普雷斯利演唱会广告。
 
图片来源:FRANK EDWARDS—FOTOS INTERNATIONAL/GETTY IMAGES

Legacy Recordings在推广《猫王1969现场》打包合辑时就是这么想的。这份合辑收录了这位歌手在拉斯维加斯复出演唱会上的11张唱片。对他来说这一年被低估了,因为他还是一位活力十足、魅力超凡的歌手,和他生命的最后18个月中那个“胖子艾尔维斯”有着天壤之别。

Legacy Recordings的艺人发掘和培训部门主管约翰·杰克逊说,推广《猫王1969现场》不单是为了创造销量,也想让人们在流媒体上更多地听艾尔维斯的歌。

杰克逊解释说:“流媒体上艾尔维斯的听众年龄远低于35岁,这是让数字原生代进入整个猫王粉丝圈的关键。我们想让这些人在流媒体上更多地听他的歌,而且更加了解他的职业生涯。”

在西方世界真的有人不熟悉猫王吗?杰克逊说:“任何事都不能想当然。Spotify把2005年的音乐编成了‘老歌’曲目。来自1969年的音乐正在文化和社会认知的背后渐渐消失。你得做点儿什么让这些东西重新回到人们的脑海中。”

Legacy Recordings kept this in mind while marketing Elvis Presley: Live 1969, an 11-disc boxed set capturing the singer’s comeback shows at Las Vegas’s International Hotel. While the King was struggling to regain commercial momentum in 1969, it was an underrated year for him, as he was still a dynamic, charismatic performer—far from the “fat Elvis” of the last 18 months of his life.

John Jackson, the head of A&R at Legacy, says that Live 1969 wasn’t only meant to move units, but to coax people to stream more Elvis.

“It’s really about how you use this release to drive the whole idea of Elvis,” Jackson explains. “The demographics of people who are streaming Elvis are way below that 35-year-old mark, which is key for getting native digital people into overall Elvis fandom. We’re trying to get those people to stream more Elvis and become more familiar with his career.”

Is there actually a single person in the Western world unfamiliar with Elvis? “You can’t take anything for granted anymore,” Jackson says. “Spotify has ‘oldies’ playlists of music from 2005. Music from [1969] is starting to fade into the background of culture and society’s consciousness. You have to do things to get this stuff back into people’s heads.”

1969年的《逍遥骑士》海报,其中有卢克·埃斯库(最左边)、彼得·方达和丹尼斯·霍珀。
 
图片来源:LMPC VIA GETTY IMAGES

 

1969年对电视和电影来说也很重要

儿童节目方面,芝麻街和史酷比都诞生于1965年。芝麻街直播了50周年PBS特别节目,但参与该节目的代表拒绝就本篇报道发表评论。史酷比的周年纪念活动是发行蓝光专辑。

华纳兄弟家庭娱乐的公司发言人表示,50年后史酷比依然和我们的时代息息相关。这位要求不透露姓名的发言人说:“直到今天,一直都有围绕着那些角色形象不断推出的新作品。那些形象也继续和所有年龄段的观众产生共鸣。”(华纳兄弟称目标收藏者群体的年龄段为35-54岁。)

1969 was also big for TV and film

TV and film audiences are ripe for rediscovery, too—on the children’s-show front, both Sesame Street and Scooby-Doo debuted that year. Sesame Street aired a 50th anniversary PBS special; a representative from the show declined to comment for this article. Scooby-Doo rang in its anniversary with the Blu-ray set Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Series, packaged in a cardboard haunted house with collectibles.

Fifty years later, Scooby-Doo is still relevant to our era, a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment spokesperson who declined to be named says. “Up to the present day, there have been continued new productions built around the characters,” the spokesperson notes. “The characters continue to resonate with audiences of all ages.” (Warner Bros. cites a target demographic of collectors ages 35 to 54.)

1969年的《逍遥骑士》海报,其中有卢克·埃斯库(最左边)、彼得·方达和丹尼斯·霍珀。
 
图片来源:LMPC VIA GETTY IMAGES

与此同时,拍卖行Julien’s Auctions于去年12月16日拍卖美国队长摩托的复制品,丹尼斯·霍珀为1969年的经典影片《逍遥骑士》做宣传时骑的就是这辆摩托。制片方发现找不到这辆摩托后,又为这部影片重新造了一辆。尽管没有在银幕上出现过,但估计其成交价将介于8-10万美元。

过去几年,Julien’s Auctions一直在拍出Woodstock音乐节上的物品,比如The Who’s乐队成员凯斯·穆恩的低音鼓蒙皮,吉米·亨德里克斯用过的Fuzz Fac失真单块效果器。该拍卖行总裁及创始人达伦·朱利安说:“显然,Woodstock音乐节组织的不是那么好。许多人都没有把他们的东西保留下来,也没有想到今天这些东西会值这么多钱。”

同时也别忘了阿波罗11号登月

对收藏者来说,阿波罗11号是1969年的聚宝盆——人类首次登月带来了一些珍贵的东西。RR Auction的公关执行副总裁鲍比·利文斯顿说该拍卖行靠的是小纪念品,比如旗子和散杂货清单,它们“不适合博物馆”,但仍能拍到六位数的价格。

他说:“从林德伯格和埃尔哈特开始,飞行员一直都在保留飞行纪念品。我们拍卖的则是宇航员带到太空的那些东西。”

Meanwhile, at a live auction on last Dec. 16, Julien’s Auctions will offer a replica of the “Captain America” motorcycle that Dennis Hopper used in the publicity for the 1969 classic Easy Rider. (When the filmmakers lost access to the bike, they re-created it for the film.) Despite not being shown on-screen, the chopper, it’s estimated, will sell for $80,000 to $100,000.

And in past years, Julien’s Auctions has reliably sold Woodstock artifacts, like Keith Moon of The Who’s bass drumhead and the Fuzz Face distortion pedal Jimi Hendrix played through. “Obviously, Woodstock wasn’t a real organized event,” says Darren Julien, the auction house’s president and founder. “A lot of people didn’t save things thinking that they were going to be worth as much as what they are today.”

And let’s not forget the Apollo 11 moonwalk

To collectors, Apollo 11 is 1969’s golden goose; precious few items from the first moon landing are still out there. Bobby Livingston, the executive vice president of public relations at RR Auction, says that auction houses rely on small mementos, like flown flags and stray checklists, that “aren’t for museums” but still command six figures.

“Since the days of Lindbergh and Earhart, pilots have kept souvenirs of their travels,” he says. “We’ve been selling those things that the astronauts took to space with them.”

1969年7月,尼尔·阿姆斯特朗在月球表面留下了人类的第一个脚印。
 
图片来源:NASA/NEWSMAKERS—GETTY IMAGES

2017年,RR Auction以149,841美元的价格拍出卡帝亚送给巴兹·奥尔德林的登月舱金-银模型。拍卖记录显示阿波罗指令舱紧急逃生装置的拍价为147,572美元。被宇航员带上月球并由尼尔·阿姆斯特朗、巴兹·奥尔德林和迈克尔·柯林斯签名的旗子拍出了120,693美元的价格。

阿姆斯特朗和奥尔德林只在月球上待了两个半小时,留下的物品非常少,拍卖成交价自然很高。利文斯顿说:“我们这样的人都看过登月,我和同学们在电视上有幸目睹了这一幕。受此激励的人们接着创造了互联网。”

在2017年的另一次拍卖中,苏富比拍卖行把RR Auction的阿波罗11号物品最高拍价提高了11倍。尼尔·阿姆斯特朗用过的一个还带有月球尘土的小取样袋拍出了180万美元的价格,而且是在和美国国家航空航天局(NASA)以及联邦法院进行了拉锯战之后。尽管拍价已经令人震惊,但苏富比此前曾经希望其价格达到300-400万美元。这个取样袋后来被盗,但毫不影响这场拍卖引发的争议。

利文斯顿说:“可支配收入增多,价格也一路上涨。”

2019年,我们应该感谢美国国家航空航天局为大多数现代便利做出的创新,比如个人电脑、手机和GPS。鉴于差不多还有12个国家基本上或者完全没有互联网,杜兰特说即将到来的全球互联将带来数不清的1969年消费者——艾尔维斯粉丝、披头士粉丝、亨德里克斯粉丝、Woodstock音乐节粉丝以及美国国家航空航天局和芝麻街粉丝。

他指出:“随着5G投入使用,网素将达到现在的10倍,而这些遗留下来的歌曲和表演甚至还没有进入国际市场。受制于数字流媒体的规模,它们的所触及的范围仍很有限。”

杜兰特的结论是:“1969年这门生意永远也不会消失。”

50周年纪念只有一次,但1969年留下的所有音乐、艺术和科技都存续了下来。库戈指出,1969年时几乎没有1919年这门生意,没有人会对自动钢琴、打孔纸卷或者伍德罗·威尔逊的总统任期动怀旧之情。她笑着说:“我们这代人的复古不需要那么久远。”

关于1969年可以重新被包装,甚至是通过全息影像“复活”,我们做的也许还只是皮毛。在1989年出版的回忆录中,在扎帕说他的愿望是成立一家名为I.C.A.(世界奇谭)的全息影像公司。他还预言,21世纪的最初10年将被“怀念至死”。”

扎帕写道:“在接下来的25年中,怀旧周期会非常紧密地连在一起,以至于人们不怀念刚刚走过的那一步,就无法迈出新的一步。到那个时候,一切都会陷入停顿。”

但50年后,扎帕的全息图像以及1969年这门生意一点儿也没有要停顿的迹象。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

In 2017, RR Auction sold a solid-gold replica of the lunar module that Cartier presented to Buzz Aldrin for $149,841, a rescue arrow pointing out the command module’s escape hatch for $147,572, and a flag taken to the moon and signed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins for $120,693.

Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon’s surface for only two and a half hours—leaving a scarcity of items, which leads to ever higher prices. “People like me, we watched men walk on the moon,” Livingston says. “I saw it with my own two eyes on television among my classmates. The people who were inspired by that went on to create the Internet.”

In another auction that same year, Sotheby’s multiplied RR Auction’s highest Apollo 11 price by 12. A small lunar sample bag, used by Neil Armstrong and with moondust still on it, fetched $1.8 million after a tug-of-war with NASA and federal court. Despite this astronomical price, Sotheby’s was hoping to get $3 million or $4 million, and the sale of the bag, which had been stolen, remains controversial.

“That generation has come into disposable income,” Livingston says. “The prices just keep going up and up and up and up.”

In 2019, we can arguably thank NASA’s innovations for most of our modern conveniences—personal computers, mobile phones, GPS. Given that roughly a dozen countries have little to no Internet access, Durant says that impending global connectivity will bring innumerable new 1969 consumers—Elvis fans, Beatles fans, Hendrix fans, fans of Woodstock, as well as those of NASA and Sesame Street.

“As 5G comes into play, the connectivity of the world is going to increase tenfold—and these legacy acts haven’t even hit international markets yet,” he says. “They’ve only hit the cusp of where they could be because of the scale of digital streaming.

“The 1969 business is never going to die,” Durant declares.

Soon, it will never again be the 50th anniversary of something that happened in the 1960s. But the music, art, and technology 1969 leaves behind all but ensures its own preservation. Kuge is quick to note that there was barely a 1919 business in 1969—no nostalgic ache for piano rolls, or the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. “Our generation wouldn’t have gone that far back with our retro,” she says with a laugh.

When it comes to 1969, we may have only scratched the surface of who can be repackaged, resold, and even resurrected as a hologram. In his 1989 memoir, The Real Frank Zappa Book, Zappa expressed his desire to start a hologram company called I.C.A. (or Inter-Continental Absurdities)—and prophesied that the 2010s would be gripped by “death by nostalgia.”

“In the next quarter century, the nostalgia cycles will be so close together that people will not be able to take a step without being nostalgic for the one they just took,” he wrote. “At that point, everything stops.”

But 50 years later, Zappa’s holographic likeness—and the rest of the 1969 business—shows no signs of stopping.

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