LOST at the 2009 Comic-Con: One fan’s experience

26 07 2009
Comic-Con's cool logo

Comic-Con's cool logo


Hi everyone, I’m back with the story of my trip to the LOST panel at the 2009 Comic-Con.  I have to be honest…I’ve always been a bit of a comic book geek.  I collected comics through most of my childhood, and didn’t really stop until I pretty much didn’t have time for it anymore while going to college at Arizona State University.  In fact, had I grown up in San Diego, I’m sure I would have been to a Comic-Con much earlier than this year.  Regardless, attending the Con has been on my list ever since I first heard about it after moving to San Diego back in 2002.  When I came to realize that this would be the last LOST panel ever at the Con, I knew that the time was finally right to go.

 Getting Tickets

Ironically, it almost didn’t happen.  During all of the hype for LOST’s cliffhanger this past season, it didn’t even occur to me to go to Comic-Con.  It really wasn’t even until after the season ended in May that I came to realize that this year’s LOST panel would be the last.  Once it hit me, I immediately tried to get tickets.  Unfortunately, at that time, all of the 4-day passes had been sold out, as well as the Friday and Saturday 1-Day passes.  I could have bought passes for Thursday or Sunday, but at that time, I had no idea when the panel was.  If I couldn’t get a 4-Day pass, I didn’t want to buy a single day pass for a day when the LOST panel wouldn’t be there.  But rather than give up, I sent an e-mail to the “Contact Us” link on the Comic-Con site to see if there was going to be a wait list for folks that may have bought them last year but wanted a refund.  Initially, I was told that no additional tickets would be sold…but a few weeks later, I was told of a new method of getting tickets that Comic-Con had never used before…


That method was a combination of Twitter and eBay.  Basically, Comic-Con would tweet when they were going to release tickets that day, and then they’d put up a small set of tickets for everyone to try to get simultaneously.  The tickets sold very quickly.  Generally, they would all be gone each day in 60-90 seconds, sometimes less.  I tried every day for the weeks leading up to the Con with no luck.  The experience was actually rather frustrating; some days I felt as though I was just a few seconds away from getting the tickets, while some days it felt as though I had no chance.  In fact, as we came up on the last few days before the Con, I had pretty much resigned myself to the idea that I wasn’t going to go.  But amazingly, on the last Sunday prior to the start of the convention, I snuck in and got a ticket for Saturday!  It was a great feeling, and I became incredibly excited for what was to come.


After winning the ticket, I realized just how little I knew about the Con.  I had heard a bunch about the lines, the mass of people, even the smell…but that’s it.  I knew nothing about getting into the LOST panel and getting a good seat, how the parking might work, and generally how I might spend the day.  There were a lot of good posts around the web on attending the Con, and what to expect.  It helped me to know exactly what do in all respects: pick up my Saturday passes on Friday night, get in the line for LOST and Hall H ridiculously early, and bring my own food.  Everything was set to go for the day of the panel.

 Waiting in Line

LOST fans camping out at 3:00 am for the final panel

LOST fans camping out at 3:00 am for the final panel

Driving down to the Con at 2:30 am was pretty cool.  I’m used to driving on the 15 freeway during rush hour with a ton of traffic.  Obviously, at 3:00 am, there was no one to slow me down or make me feel as though I was going to have anything other than a great day at the Con.  When I got there, it was about 3:15 am, and the line was about what I expected.  Several hundred people were already there, almost all of them with camping gear, blankets, and pillows.  Pretty much everyone was doing what we all hope to be doing at 3:00 am: sleeping.  I only managed about 4 hours of sleep prior to getting up for the event, but I was too geeked at this point to actually shut my eyes and sleep.  I brought my iPod to entertain me, and I’m glad I did.  With everyone snoozing, there was no people watching to do, and no conversations to eavesdrop on.  I played some Solitaire and Mah Jongg, and listened to my favorite music.  It was essential to help me pass the time between the wee hours of the morning, and when the sun finally came up.

Wonder Woman is a LOST fan!

Wonder Woman is a LOST fan!

As the sun rose on what was a hazy San Diego morning, things came to life just a little bit.  People started to wake up and head out to get coffee and breakfast for their groups.  I had heard that if you didn’t get into the line by 6 am, then you’d be in jeopardy of not getting into Hall H for the panel.  But when 6:00 rolled around, the line was really not a whole lot longer than what it was at 3:00.  There were maybe an additional 2 lines, but I’m sure those people got in without any issue.  The fact that the line wasn’t very long actually made for an interesting story for the people just in front of me in line.  Apparently, these 2 had 4-Day passes, but no hotel room.  They had just left some party at 3:00 am and realized that they didn’t have anywhere to stay.  They knew that Hall H always had a line that camped out overnight, so they got in line simply to have a safe place to sleep for the night.  Crazy!  Once they woke up, they admitted to me that they had no intention of actually going to the LOST panel.  In fact, they were hoping to sell their place in line for $100.  I wasn’t sure how that might work out for them, but I didn’t think that it was completely out of the realm of possibility.


At around 8 am, almost everyone was milling about, and costumed fans began to wander the grounds, with many folks looking to get their picture taken with them.  It was at this time that I noticed someone very familiar in the very first line…it was Ed Hochuli!  For those of you that are a fan of the NFL, you probably know just who I’m talking about.  For those of you that don’t, here’s the quick scoop.  Ed is a very muscular man, who was known as one of the strongest referees in the league prior to last season.  Last season, however, Mr. Hochuli made one of the most controversial calls of the year, perhaps in several years.  And in fact, most objective observers say that it cost my favorite team, the Chargers, the game.  Click here if you haven’t seen the play and are interested:  http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d80ad0bfa/Broncos-fumble-analysis


In the end, the call didn’t end up hurting the Chargers, as they wound up winning the division over the Broncos on the last day of the season.  Plus, there’s this article on Hochuli that makes you realize just how good of a guy he really is: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=090507/hochuli

Ed Hochuli is a LOST fan!

Ed Hochuli is a LOST fan!

In any event, I had no ill will towards the man, and I was stunned that he was in the LOST line, camping out!  He was nice enough to chat with me for a bit, and shared with me that he’s a big fan of LOST, and of sci-fi in general.  It just goes to show how down-to-earth the guy really is.  I told him that I’m a Charger season ticket holder, and that I had forgiven him for the bad call.  I told him to enjoy the LOST panel, and wished him luck in the upcoming NFL season.


Just after my encounter with Ed Hochuli, the guys in front of me gave up on their plan to sell their spot in line and headed out to who knows where.  Apparently, one of them went to the end of the line and asked the last person if they wanted a spot further up.  There didn’t seem to be much interest.  Really, they should have waited it out a bit more.  Around 9:00 or so, the line got so long that I couldn’t see the end of it.  I’m sure someone would have taken them up on their offer then.  It was also around 9:00 that I saw Chris from the official ABC LOST podcast interviewing some of the fans at the front of the line.

Chris interviews the LOST fanatics

Chris interviews the LOST fanatics

Getting Ready for the Panel 

Finally, at around 10 am, they let us into the Hall.  Wow, was it big!  I knew that it sat 6500 people, but you don’t get a feel for just how expansive it is until you actually get in there.  My wife and I got seats in the second row of the second section.  In retrospect, we probably could have done much better.  The panel seemed to take questions from a line that formed on the left side of the hall.  We initially tried to get our seats as close to the middle as possible.  But had we just gone for something slightly to the left, we probably could have had something in the first section, and we could have been close to the Q & A section for photos of Jorge Garcia and Michael Emerson when they invaded the line.  In any event, we were close enough, and got some decent photos of the panel.

At about 10:30, Chris from the podcast actually came into our area, and my wife volunteered me to ask a question.  As I was about to ask Chris the question, he said that the question was for Damon & Carlton.  I actually had a question for them prepped in case just such an event happened, but with the way it worked out, I was caught off guard.  I ended up still asking Chris the question for him, which was just how much did *he* know about the final season of LOST.  I’m sure I won’t make the cut for the podcast.  My original question for Team Darlton was about Nestor Carbonell, and whether or not he was going to be a regular for Season 6.  (More on that later.)

At about 10:45, it felt like all of the hoopla was over, and it was go time.  We had sat in line for hours, we saw all of the sideshow stuff, and now we had our seats.  All that was left was to see what Team Darlton had in store for us.

Team Darlton Gives Us a Show

And what they had in store was cool right from the start.  The panel started off with a really sweet silhouette progression through all of the characters of the show, until it finally displayed the LOST logo, and the “final season” tagline.  Way cool, but I haven’t seen it anywhere online to share with you guys.  They followed that up with the LOST University clip that I shared with you in my last post.  Nothing new there, but still pretty cool.  They then went with a new clip, and one that I really enjoyed.  It was a video of what was supposed to be an old TV show, and they pulled it of really well.

It reminded me a bunch of the old “In Search Of” TV show from the 80s:

You can view the video from ABC’s site and get ready for new ones by going here: http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/index?pn=lostmysteries&v2  The next video is due to be available on August 4th.


After the great intros leading things off, Damon and Carlton took the stage and let us know that they wanted to celebrate the fans with this panel.  I found some good video on YouTube for you:

Here’s a video of the fan generated content they showed:

Here are some “commercials” that air in the middle of the next video.  First, there’s an Oceanic commercial:

“30 years with a perfect safety record”? Hmm…  Next is a “Mr. Cluck’s” commercial:

“Ever since I won the lottery, I’ve had nothing but good luck”?  Interesting.  I’ll comment more below.  But the panel continues here, first with Hurley asking about the commercials, and then with hilarity from Jorge Garcia and Michael Emerson.

Next was an “audition video” of Michael Emerson trying out for the role of Hurley:

After the “audition”, Jorge and Michael joined the panel, along with a surprise guest:

The panel continues here, with even more special guests:

Here’s the video they played before Josh took the stage:

There were a couple of videos I couldn’t find online, including the winner of the LOST theme song (which was very cool when set to video), and the ending tribute of all of the dead characters set to Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday”.

 Recapping What We Saw

At the end of the panel, we seemed to get plenty of answers, even if they were minor ones.  My favorite character, Richard Alpert (played byNestor Carbonell), will play a large role next season (rumored to be 16 of 18 hours).  Man #2, called “Esau” by many, is not really named “Esau” (at least that’s what Michael Emerson says).  Jacob has not ever appeared as any other main character in LOST in any previous episode.  Elizabeth Mitchell *will* be in Season 6 (although it’s not certain if it’ll be as a live character in the present, or in flashbacks).  Faraday will also be back for Season 6.  The Dharma food drop will be explained.  And some characters that we haven’t seen since Season 1 will return in Season 6.

The LOST panel fields a question

The LOST panel fields a question

To be honest, I’m wondering who those characters might be.  After all, even though Boone died in Season 1, we did see him again in Locke’s vision (which I believe was in Season 3).  But regardless, I’m excited to hear that they’re going to try to bookend things by bringing back characters from the beginning.  But the real head-scratcher and thing to question coming out of the Con is the 2 commercials from Oceanic and Mr. Cluck’s.  If we’re to take them at face value, then the crash never happened.  I’ve never really given that a ton of thought before, because I’ve always subscribed to the “Whatever Happened, Happened” theory.  But what if Jack and crew actually succeeded?  How could that make any sense?  Well, this post is on my experience at the Con, so that’s a question for another post.  Feel free to post your theories below though, if you’re so inclined.

 The Rest of the Day in Hall H

Once the LOST panel left, my wife and I decided to stick around in Hall H for the remainder of the afternoon.  We saw a Solomon Kane panel, which had some really cool special effects.  It was a little heavy on the blood and violence, but I would still recommend it based upon the footage I saw.  Next was a Mike Judge panel discussing his new movie, “Extract”.  For someone with such big chops for comedic writing, I was quite surprised at how uncharasmatic and unfunny he was in person.  If I was basing my decision to go to the movie based solely on the panel, I don’t think I would.  He was largely unentertaining. 

Woody Harrelson heads up the ZombieLand panel

Woody Harrelson heads up the ZombieLand panel

Up next was a panel previewing 2 movies: “Zombieland” and “2012”.  Both movies looked great in their own way.  Zombieland’s selling point seemed to be its unique way of dispatching with zombies.  I won’t get into it here for those of you that may not want to hear of such gruesome details, but it was entertaining in a brutal and demented way.  If you are inclined to like zombie movies, I think you’d like this one.  But really, 2012 stole the hour.  We were treated to an extended scene of carnage, where John Cusak’s character is trying to escape a massive earthquake and the wreckage it causes all around him.  It’s absolutely on-the-egde-of-your-seat stuff, with incredible CGI that makes you believe that LA is crumbling into the earth and into the ocean.  The scene, to me, was the definition of blockbuster.  I don’t think they’ll be much disappointment.  Finally, we were treated to a sneak of some Iron Man 2 footage, which looked spectacular as well.  I absolutely loved Iron Man last year, and rank it as one of my all-time favorite super-hero movies.  It’ll be hard to top the first one, but the footage looked like it was going to do its best.

Robert Downey Jr and the rest of the Iron Man panel

Robert Downey Jr and the rest of the Iron Man panel

Walking the Exhibit Hall

After the Iron Man 2 panel, we decided to walk the exhibit hall, and here’s where we had the least amount of fun.  All of the bad things I had heard about the Con…the crowding, the smell, the overall feeling of being “too busy”…they all happened here.  My wife and I went to the LOST auction table, but didn’t spend much more time there after that.  I think we spent less than an hour there overall.

What an experience! 

So that was my first (and probably only) Comic-Con experience!  Overall, I really enjoyed myself, and felt as though it was worth every penny of admission, as well as the early morning wait in line.  The panels were all fun in their own way, and if I ever go back again, it will be because there’s a panel on some TV show or movie that I’ve just got to see.  But you do have to deal with crazy crowds, especially in the exhibit hall.  And getting in line early is almost a must, especially if the panel you want to see is remotely popular.  But if you’re willing to put up with those things, it’s a great experience.  I would certainly recommend it to anyone considering going.  You’ve got to do it at least once, just to see what it’s all about.


And that’s it for now!  I’m sure that most of the info has been posted since right after the Con, but hopefully I shared some things with you that you didn’t get elsewhere.  I’ll be back soon to comment on the next Mysteries of the Universe installment, and maybe to discuss the 2 commercials shown at the Con, and what they might mean to LOST’s final season.  As always, thanks for stopping by and reading the blog!


EDIT: I found the tail end of the silhouette intro I was referring to, check it out below.

Also found the “In Memory Of…” video as well.  Not the best quality, but it gives you the idea:


Comic-Con, here we come!

24 07 2009

Hey everyone, Comic-Con is in full swing, and yours truly is getting pretty excited about making the trip to the convention center bright and early tomorrow morning to get in the line for the LOST panel.  I’ve heard stories about getting turned away if you’re not in line by 6:00 am, so I’m going to try to get in line around 3:00 am to make sure I get in.  I’ll be posting to the blog on Sunday with a full recap of my experiences(both of the LOST panel and the Con in general), hopefully with a ton of photos and maybe even a video or two.  And of course, most importantly, I’ll have the latest news from the panel, and my take on what any of it means.  If you haven’t already heard, Team Darlton will be there (showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse), as well as Jorge Garcia (Hurley) and Michael Emerson (Ben).  There will also be a special guest…whoever that may be.


I’ll also be tweeting from the Con, something I really haven’t done much of before.  But I had to sign up for Twitter to get the latest info on the Comic-Con tickets themselves, so it only seems reasonable to go full circle and use it to update everything I see at the Con as well.  I’ve added a Twitter Updates section to the front page of the blog, and it seems to update fairly regularly.  But if you want up-to-the-second updates on what I see at the LOST panel, subscribing to Twitter itself and following me is the way to go.  If you do that, my alias on the site is @hablodepablo.  I look forward to sharing everything I see with you!


By the way, it seems as though a LOST nugget has already been unearthed via the Con.  There’s a new ARG-type game for LOST that appears to have just been launched.  Typically, I’m not one to play along with these, but two things make me think a bit differently about this one.  First, it’s the last season of LOST.  This is the last chance we’re going to get for anything new related to the show, so I’m going in with reckless abandon.  Second, it actually looks like a bit more fun than what has come before it.  (That might just be me though.)  In any event, I’m going to give it a shot, and you can check it out too, by going here: http://lostuniversity.org/index.php


That’s about it for now…check back in a couple of days, or feel free to follow my tweets!

I’m Going to Comic Con!

19 07 2009

Hey faithful readers, just wanted to write up a quick post and let you know that after months of trying, I managed to secure a ticket to this Saturday’s Comic Con!  I’m excited to get into the LOST panel and give you guys a first-hand report of everything that goes on.

I’ve never been to one before, but I’ve heard stories about the mass of folks that will be there.  I’m a little concerned about getting my pass in time to get into the line, since I’m sure they will be a ton of people wanting to get in.

Anyway, I’ll take as many photos and videos as they’ll allow, tell you all about the atmosphere, and of course, give you whatever news that the panel shares.

I also signed up for a Twitter account to get inside info on the tickets, and I just may use it to give you all live updates from the Con.

Looking forward to telling you all about it!  Talk to you all again next week!

LOST News and some off-topic analysis

2 07 2009

Hey everyone, July is here!  For me, that means a day off for Independence Day, my wife’s birthday at the end of the month, and Comic Con on the horizon!  Yep, with the Season 5 finale almost 2 months in our rear view mirror, it’s time to start looking ahead.  The premiere of LOST’s 6th and final season is now about 7 months away (that still seems incredibly long, doesn’t it?), and Team Darlton has promised to reveal a bunch about how Season 6 will play out at LOST’s final Comic Con panel later this month.  I’m still frantically trying to secure tickets to the sold out event so I can bring you the latest news from the panel, as well as share with you what I believe will be a very interesting and possibly strange experience.

But even before we get to Comic Con, it’s actually been an eventful June for LOST.  In fact, I’d have to say that it’s probably been the most eventful June (at least that I can remember) in the history of the show.  For those of you that don’t want to know anything about the final season, avert your eyes now.  For those that are eager for any tidbits of info available, here’s what happened over the past month (some or all of which you may have already heard):


First, Matthew Fox confirmed to an audience in Monte Carlo that he indeed knows the endgame of LOST, and that he’s excited about how it’s going to end.  He mentions that the resolution of the Season 5 cliffhanger will be “surprising and probably fairly confusing”, that at some point in Season 6 there will be no more flashbacks, that he knows that Jack is going to go head-to-head with Locke again in the final season, and that he thinks the final scenes of the show will be “incredibly powerful, very sad, and beautiful”.  He also hints that after LOST, he’ll be done with TV, and will focus almost exclusively on movies.

Next, Team Darlton has confirmed that Emile de Ravin (Claire) will be back for Season 6 as a show regular.  That bit of news was informally known for quite some time, but the producers have now made it official.  You can read the full article here: http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/06/ask-ausiello-spoilers-on-lost-the-closer-weeds-true-blood-burn-notice-the-office-and-more.html

After that bit of good news, we were hit with the even better info that LOST’s final season has been bumped from the original 17 hours planned to 18.  The season will be bookended with a 2-hour premiere and a 2-hour finale.  (LOST viewing party at my place!)  You can read the full article here: http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/06/final-lost-season-gains-an-hour-.html

Finally, Team Darlton admits that they’re trying to get all of the original cast back together for some portion of the final season, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko) has expressed remorse about the circumstances in which he left the show, and is lobbying for a chance to return and give his character closure. 


When Adewale originally left the show, he was dealing with the deaths of both of his parents, and he wanted to return to London to do some directing. 


However, my impression of the split was not one that seemed to be very amicable.  I think that Adewale might have some fences to mend if he’s going to come back.  In any event, here’s hoping that they find a way to bring him back.  I’d love to see a few more scenes with Mr. Eko.


Off-topic Discussion

Alright, so I know that this is a LOST blog, but I’m going to take a slight tangent away from my favorite TV show, and discuss something else in the entertainment industry.  None of what follows has anything to do with LOST, so if you don’t care, feel free to check out here and not be concerned about what you may miss.

Still with me?  Cool.  Let me give you a bit of background before I get too far into it.  When I was younger (I think it started around 11 or 12), I remember one of my favorite events of the week was to listen to “American Top 40” with Casey Kasem.  I faithfully tuned in right at the start when Casey kicked it off with #40, and listened all the way through to #1.  Typically I was doing other things while I listened…watching a ball game, playing a video game, maybe even doing homework…but I always loved to tune in to the show.

Later in life, I began to grow reminiscent of those times and those songs.  I had a pie-in-the-sky dream that perhaps one day, when I had enough money, I’d go back and buy all of those old songs so I could listen to them whenever I wanted to take a trip down memory lane.  Of course, through the tail end of the 80s and throughout the 90s, that pie-in-the-sky dream was just that…a dream.  To go back and try to buy old catalog albums for just one or two songs…well, that would cost a fortune.

Enter iTunes.  When I heard about the theory and business model of iTunes, I couldn’t believe it.  I could finally go back and cherry-pick all of the songs I wanted for my life-long dream.  And instead of costing me $10-$15 per song I wanted, it would only cost me 99 cents!  With a cost-effective method in place for purchasing the songs, I now only needed a methodical way of accessing the old charts.  After a bit of digging, I found some books by Joel Whitburn that reprodcued all of the Billboard Hot 100 charts in a decade-long segments.  You can find them here: https://www.recordresearch.com/billboard_chart_collections/billboard_hot100_charts_the_eighties.php

Of course, I snatched them up for the 80s and 90s, started the same process for the current charts, and was on my way.  It’s been a great hobby, and I’ve now collected all of the songs that have ever hit the Top 10 for all of the 80s.  My goal is that by the end of 2010, I’ll have every song that cracked the top 10 of Billboard’s Top 100 from 1980 through 2010.  That may seem anal retentive or overkill to some of you, but to me, it’s pretty exciting.

Anyway, why the long-winded background story?  Well, I wanted to make sure that you understood the level of fanaticism I have about the Billboard charts.  My interest in what appears there is not just a passing fancy…I’m probably what you would call a “student” of the charts and its history.

Which is why it troubles me so much that the folks at Billboard have made what I deem to be a nearly arbitrary decision regarding excluding Michael Jackson from the charts this week.

You may have heard, after Michael Jackson’s death last week, his songs have been generating incredibly high levels of air time.  In addition, his catalog songs and albums have been selling like hotcakes, both at storefronts (where retailers are running out of his work), and online through digital downloads through sites like iTunes.  But despite the increased airplay and song purchases that would certainly put his music on the current charts, Billboard has stated that both The Billboard 200 and Hot 100 charts will not track Jackson’s renaissance, because those charts are for “current” music.  http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/chart-beat-bonus/chart-beat-dierks-bentley-seether-heidi-1003989497.story

Say what?

First of all, I’ve got a problem with the way in which they’re defining “current”.  Isn’t what the public chooses to buy and listen to at the present time the true definition of “current”?  Trying to define what’s “current” based upon what’s recent;y been released is an exercise in futility.

Didn’t remakes of “Auld Lang Syne” by Kenny G in 2000 (to bring in the new millenium) and “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Whitney Houston in 1991 (for Super Bowl 25) become “current” enough to chart on the Hot 100?  (The answer, by the way, is yes: “Auld Lang Syne” peaked at number 7 in 1999 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_G#Singles, and “The Star-Spangled Banner” cracked the top 20 in 1991.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitney_Houston#1987-91:_Whitney.2C_I.27m_Your_Baby_Tonight.2C_and_the_.22Star_Spangled_Banner.22 ) 

But what I think is the biggest indictment of Billboard’s decision is the fact that several different songs have re-charted at different times, based upon “current” popularity.

  • “The Twist” by Chubby Checker hit #1 in 1960, and then again in 1962.
  • The Contours hit the top 20 with “Do You Love Me” in 1962, and then again in 1988
  • “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers charted in both 1965 and 1990
  • Queen cracked the top 10 with “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1976, and then again in 1992

For each of the last 3 occurences, the re-chart came due to a song being part of a famous movie’s soundtrack.  But even if that were the mitigating factor for allowing those songs to chart but not MJ’s, it’s easy to make the argument that in this day and age, a re-release is not needed.  Digital downloads are as much a part of today’s culture as vinyl, tape, or compact disc was in their respective times, and the availability of Jackson’s work via that format should suffice.  In fact, Billboard does use digital download statistics in their figures for compiling the Hot 100, but apparently only if the music is “current”.

Of course, I do have one last example which cannot be explained by any of Billboard’s smeantics.  And that’s “Into The Night” by Benny Mardones.  For those of you that may not be familiar with the story, “Into The Night” was released back in 1980, to modest success, as the song peaked at #11.  In 1989, the song once again received heavy airplay, simply because DJs in Phoenix and LA wondered what happened to “the guy that sang ‘Into The Night'”, and started playing the record on-air for nostalgic purposes.

Billboard allowed “Into The Night” to re-chart in 1989.  Billboard has not allowed any of Jackson’s songs to re-chart, despite having 6 of the 10 most downloaded songs of the past week. 


(note that this chart will be outdated with respect to this post on 7/9/2009)

Airplay figures are hard to decipher relative to the Top 100 since Billboard does not produce a comprehensive airplay chart in a similar fashion to downloads, but that’s the point here.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how Jackson’s song’s resurgence *would have* played out on the charts?  Wouldn’t it have been interesting to see if he could conquer the charts posthemously?  (We know for a fact that we would have topped the Billboard 200, it’s much less clear with the Hot 100.)

Even if Billboard felt as though they absolutely had to stick to their guns regarding their chart methodology (which I’m not convinced explicitly excludes this situation), couldn’t they have paid homage to Jackson by providing us with a “What If” chart, showing how he would have done?

Overall, I’m simply disappointed that Billboard could not find a way to intgrate this unique situation into their charts as a way to provide a historical record of this event.  While Billboard struggles to explain their arbitrary decisions to audiophiles around the country (and even the world…Jackson has popped up all over the UK chart, which does not have the same restrictions that Billboard does), it seems to me that Michael Jackson, even after his death, is the one that’s showing Billboard exactly who’s “current”, and who just might be irrelevant.

So ends my rant, but if you want to read more on the charts, and specifically, this week’s Michael Jackson controversy, I recommend “Chart Watch” on Yahoo.  http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/chart_watch/35893/week-ending-june-28-2009-hes-still-setting-records/  I won’t be blogging about the charts anytime soon (at least not until after LOST is over, and probably not even then), so if this was at all interesting to you, I recommend you run on over there for a weekly fix.

That’s it for now, hopefully I’ll be back in about 4 weeks with an in-person report on the LOST goings-on at Comic Con!