Billy Joel never sells front row seats in order to see the real fans right in front of him. He gives them away to random people in the cheap seats so that front row isn’t always just wealthy people.
We never sell front rows, we hold those tickets at just about every concert. For years, the scalpers got the tickets and would scalp the front row for ridiculous amounts of money. Our tickets are cheap, under $100, some in the $80s, the highest is about $150. I’d look down and see rich people sitting there, I call ’em “gold chainers.” Sitting there puffing on a cigar, “entertain me, piano man.” They don’t stand up, make noise, sit there with their bouffant haired girlfriend lookin’ like a big shot. I kinda got sick of that, who the hell are these people, where are the real fans? It turns out the real fans were always in the back of the room in the worst seats. We now hold those tickets, and I send my road crew out to the back of the room when the audience comes in and they get people from the worst seats and bring ’em in to the front rows. This way you’ve got people in the front row that are really happy to be there, real fans.
Hajimi Fuji, who volunteered for the kamikaze but was refused acceptance because he had a wife and two young children. To honour his wish his wife drowned her two young girls and drowned herself. Hajimi then flew as a kamikaze pilot, meeting his death on the 28th May 1945.
When Stalin’s first son was captured, Hitler offered to trade him for Friedrich Paulus, a field marshal who led the 6th army into Stalingrad. When Stalin heard of this, he allegedly said, “I will not trade a Marshal for a Lieutenant.”
The refusal to swap Yakov has been treated as evidence of Stalin’s loveless cruelty but this is unfair. Stalin was a mass murderer but in this case, it is hard to imagine that either Churchill or Roosevelt could have swapped their sons if they had been captured—when thousands of ordinary men were being killed or captured. After the war, a Georgian confidant plucked up the courage to ask Stalin if the Paulus offer was a myth. He “hung his head,” answering “in a sad, piercing voice”: “Not a myth . . . Just think how many sons ended in camps! Who would swap them for Paulus? Were they worse than Yakov? I had to refuse . . . What would they have said of me, our millions of Party fathers, if having forgotten about them, I had agreed to swapping Yakov? No, I had no right . . .”
Then he again showed the struggle between the nervy, angry, tormented man within and the persona he had become: “Otherwise, I’d no longer be ‘Stalin.’ ”
He added: “I so pitied Yasha!”
In the 13th century, Genghis Khan proposed “friendship and peace” with the fellow nomadic Khwarezmian Empire in Persia. The Khwarezmia shah ordered a Mongol trade delegation killed, prompting Khan to invade the empire, kill 1.25 million, and destroy the Khwarezmian Empire.
There was a Jewish boxer named Salamo Arouch imprisoned at Auschwitz. He was forced to fight fellow prisoners. The losers were sent to the gas chambers or shot. He survived more than 2 years and 200 fights, eventually being released when the camp was liberated.