Thou shalt not pass
Phony band badges
You want access to Marky Mark’s undies? If you’ve got a backstage pass, maybe you’ll get there and maybe you won’t. With such twentysomething hopes in mind, prominent rock photographer Lynn Goldsmith has set up a company called Icons to market fake passes at shopping mall boutiques, record stores, and of course, concerts. And pop-idol worshipers are shelling out from $4.99 to $7 to get the slick ”All Access” badges for such acts as Ice-T, Ozzy Osbourne, New Kids on the Block, Hammer, Spinal Tap, and Prince. But just because you’ve got a glossy ”After Show” laminate hanging from your neck, don’t expect to be granted an audience at the Purple One’s well-guarded throne.
Some Spinal Tap devotees were dismayed to learn-when the old fogies cruised through New York City this summer-that only the puke-green stick-on ”guest” badges could transform Joe Blow into a VIP. ”You just explain (to security) the good-looking quality passes don’t work at all,” says Harriet Sternberg, Tap’s manager, ”but the ones that look cheap and have no color photos get you in the dressing room.”
If the passes can’t deliver access to the stars, what’s the appeal? ”It’s kind of like trading cards,” says Steve Stewart of Ice-T’s management. ”If you ask any crew person coming off any tour, one of their most valuable possessions is what’s hanging around their neck. That’s power. And if you can buy a reasonable facsimile at a reasonable price, I think that’s the attraction.” Obviously, for some besotted fans, any chance to rub up against fame is worth it-even if it means wearing a tag boasting ”All Access.” Not!