Meanwhile, Keith Richards gets nostalgic about the good ol' days of vinyl and cassettes.
The Rolling Stones are kicking off their “50 and Counting” Tour at LA’s staples center today. But even though the rock giants are still going at it full force, these days the business is just not what it used to be. One example is the fact that for once, The Stones haven’t been able to sell out the arena for their opening show. Now, that doesn’t have to be due to dropping popularity, of course – the fact that some of the yet-to-be-sold tickets will set you back around $600 a piece probably has something to do with it as well, as does AEG pushing back the show one day to accommodate the basketball and hockey playoffs. But regardless, this shows a change in the landscape. Gone are the days when people would travel for miles and shell out ridiculous amounts of money to see their favorite band perform. No wonder then that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is nostalgic for the good old days.
"I don't have an iPod. ... I still use CDs or records actually. Sometimes cassettes. It has much better sound; a much better sound than digital," he said in a recent interview.
But it’s not simply the sound of the music. It’s the way we consume it that’s changed as well. No longer do people idolize their favorite bands to the point of lining up in front of stores overnight to get their new record first. And no longer is anyone willing to shell out $600 to see their favorite band in concert.
Five decades into their career, The Stones are going as strong as ever.
“To anyone not working in investment banking, these are extremely expensive tickets,” said Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in- chief of Pollstar, a concert-industry magazine. And he’s right. But even if they’re the remnants of a different age, The Stones are still rock icons. As Bongiovanni said in a phone interview with Bloomberg: “By the time the show starts, they’ll fill every seat at the arena,” Bongiovanni said in a phone interview. “It just won’t be with people who paid $600 a seat.”