never been a bitch so I don't act bitchy

Monday, August 01, 2005

He Won't Back Down

This is particularly heartening in a world increasingly full of disheartening things (like the goddamn bee who keeps trying to sting me on my front porch; what is this world coming to?):

Tom Petty's bucking the big-bucks trend

By Randy Lewis
Los Angeles Times

The Eagles come home to roost next month for concerts at Staples Center and the Arrowhead Pond, and Ticketmaster's prices are $25 to $175. For U2 at Staples Center in November, tickets are going for $51 to $171. When Paul McCartney returns to the Southland the same month, the asking price ranges from $49.50 to $250.

And when the Stones arrive in November, seats for performances at the Hollywood Bowl and Anaheim Stadium are running from $60 to $454.50.

So how come Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Tom Petty, whose core audience is the same disposable-income-laden baby boomers these other veteran acts depend on, is getting only $30 to $70 a ticket when his current tour enters California this week?

"I would feel embarrassed charging 200 bucks," the 51-year-old rocker told Rolling Stone magazine recently. "Even as far back as 1980, I was in fear of the tickets getting priced out of the ordinary person's pocketbook."

The strategy appears to be paying off, says Ray Waddell, the Billboard magazine senior writer who covers the concert industry.

"His shows are averaging about 17,000 people a night, and he'll end up playing to about 730,000 people by the time the tour ends," Waddell says. "He's not working a new album, he just wanted to get out and play.

"He's a rock 'n' roll player and the Heartbreakers is a rock 'n' roll band — their whole thing is to play in front of a lot of people," he says, noting that Petty historically has priced his concert tours lower than what the market might bear.

"He's going about this in the right way, like he wants to do this again someday."

He says it's also significant that rather than booking this tour nationally through one of the giant promoters who operates venues around the country, Petty's camp has booked shows in each city separately — including the Aug. 14 show at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater — mostly using longtime promoters it has done business with throughout Petty's three-decade career.

"He very conceivably could have gotten bigger offers" from the national promoters, says Waddell, who interviewed Petty for a story slated to appear in this week's Billboard. "He could have played fewer dates, only played in major markets or stayed indoors and jacked up the price, but that's not the way he's wanting to do it. There are a lot of things about this tour to admire."


Blogger Morgan said...

I agree. He was just here in the DC area and some friends went and said they had an awesome time. Good for him, I say. Besides, I don't care how much I like a band, I wouldn't pay $450 to see them. Hell, I probably wouldn't pay $150 unless I was sitting on their laps during the performance. Rock on Tom Petty!

7:50 AM

Anonymous Jeff said...

A bee can only sting you once, then it dies. Maybe it's some other sort of bug that's biting you.

12:02 PM

Anonymous Jeff said...

Oh, you said "trying". I was worried that it was one of those pissed-off bees. And, it seems that it was.

12:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

8/9/05 7:48AM

I saw Tom Petty and the HB's at the Mid State Fair in Paso Robles, CA, on Thurs 8/4/05. I paid $58.00 (includes a handling fee) for the second best seats in the stadium- and IT WAS WELL WORTH EVERY PENNY. It was one of THE BEST concerts I've ever been to. Everyone seemed to have a great time. I am grateful he does not charge $500/ticket or I'd never get to see him. They gave us 110% and seemed to be truly glad to be there. The selection of songs placyed-just a small fraction of some of the best music on the planet- proved just what a talented artist/musician both he and the band are. Tom was friendly and bantered with the audience. He was very gracious and it was refreshing. No ego trip here! Next year will be the band's 30th anniversary and if God-willing, they will have 30 more. They are all that rock n roll truly embodies. Long live Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Long live rock n roll. Signed, "Learnin To Fly"

7:59 AM

Anonymous Alison E said...

Same as the above; went to see him in Nashville, and it was an awesome concert. I drove a long way to get there, and I didn't regret it for a second.

He is my rockstar boyfriend forever and ever.

3:05 PM

Anonymous Kim said...

I saw Petty and the Black Crowes earlier this summer. I couldn't believe how many people there are who FUCKING LOVE Tom Petty. I got crowd anxiety and had to leave midway through Tom Petty's set, but people were going apeshit for TP. Who knew?

10:00 PM


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