Friday, June 17, 2005

A Rolling Stone gathers no moss...just green

Well, it was just announced recently that Pearl Jam will be opening for the Rolling Stones when they come to Pittsburgh. I checked the Stones' website and it appears that we are the only lucky town (so far) to be treated to this. Now, I've seen the Stones twice already and didn't really feel the need to see them again. There's no denying the guys are legends, but I wish they would just quit already. Actually, I wish they would've quit after Steel Wheels. The music isn't of the same caliber, and they're just destroying their reputation. I've really lost a lot of respect for them in recent years, considering that they've transformed from one of the greatest rock bands in the world into some kind of twisted, money-hungry corporation. But, I still dig the tunes and, since Eddie and the boys were added to the bill, I thought I'd at least take a gander at ticket prices just to see if going to the show was even possible.

The last time I saw them on the Voodoo Lounge tour, I believe I paid somewhere around $60-$75...and I thought that was pretty hefty. I was expecting ticket prices to be a little more outrageous this go round, but I had no idea what sheer balls these guys have. There are 2 price levels available; the cheapest being $173.25 and the most expensive being a whopping $420!! I'm sure there's some ridiculous surcharge added on to that as well. Now, am I crazy or is no one worth that much money? Did Barbra Streisand join the band? What the hell is this world coming to? It makes me sick that such a groundbreaking band who are the epitome of rock 'n' roll to a lot of people have tossed away their musical integrity so they could make room for all that cash. I mean, they're not even touring in support of anything other than themselves. They haven't released a record since about 8 years ago. So, they're basically touring on the strength of their name and all their classic hits, meaning that most of the audience is comprised of die-hard fans who have been around since the beginning (or close to it) and have made them the huge stars that they are today. And this is how they repay those fans? I'm sorry, but unless Jesus shows up after the show and starts performing miracles, there's no way that a two-hour set by the Rolling Stones or anyone else (not even my beloved Pearl Jam) is worth $400.

And back to Pearl Jam...I realize that they're big Stones fans, but I'm a little surprised that they would join up with such a cash cow. Now, whether you love them or hate them, you have to appreciate the respect that they have for their fans. They're big enough at this point that they could charge outrageous ticket prices too, but they've actually fought to keep the prices down. I've seen them 4 times and the most I've ever paid was $35. And that's for any seat in the house, from the nosebleed section to the sweat-splash pit. Of course, most of those seats up front are reserved for their fan club members, but that's only fair.

I think that while a lot of artists will look to the Rolling Stones for musical influence, they should take a long look at Pearl Jam and try to emulate their attitude about the music business. Obviously there are a lot of people who just don't like their music, their politics, Eddie's so-called "sullen demeanor", whatever....and that's fine. They still deserve respect for remembering that the music and the fans come first.

**Update - The Stones did actually release a new record in early September, so they have that going for them. Still, unless their new songs somehow unlock the mysteries of the universe, it's not worth over $100 to hear them live.

1 comment:

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I am the first ever to comment on your blog!!! This can't be right...but if it is, do I get a prize?

I have to agree with all you said about the Stones. Loved them then...still love the old stuff..but enough is enough. Mick was a doll when he was a youngster...not so much these days. Same with Keif


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