It’s been obvious for some time that the Dalai Lama has rock-star status. A funny piece in yesterday’s Contra Costa Times gives us the particulars: Organizers of his appearances, often in halls made famous by ’60s musical attractions, face “many of the same issues as a typical rock show: entourages, backstage ambience, and who gets what dressing room,” the article says.
“There are VIPs to take care of (all four members of Metallica had second-row tickets) and other odd requests–including luggage storage for devotees coming from the airport,” the article adds. Says Sherry Wasserman, co-founder of Another Planet Entertainment, “It’s like a Grateful Dead or a Bob Dylan crowd. It’s high-maintenance, and there’s a sense of entitlement.”
Not every Buddhist is convinced that the Dalai Lama’s long strange trips to U.S. rock venues contribute to Buddhism. And even Erica Stone, the president of the Himalayan Foundation, who calls the hubbub over His Holiness “hopeful,” agrees that “seeing him listed in Ticketmaster listings between Jamie Foxx and Nine Inch Nails is kind of strange.”