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09-12-02 04:49 AM
nankerphelge Rolling Stones Gather Few Sold-Out Shows

It's bad enough that my favorite group, The Rolling Stones, got bashed by some pipsqueak named Neal Pollack in The New York Times last Sunday.

Now it seems that the boys are having trouble selling tickets to their big 40 Licks Bi-Annual Going Away Tour.

According to papers I received the other day, as of Sept. 1 the Stones have just three sold-out dates from Sept. 3-Feb. 1, 2003. Those dates were for Chicago this past Monday; New York's Madison Square Garden on Sept 26; and Los Angeles on Halloween night.

Otherwise, tickets are available everywhere, especially at the top-tier price of $320-$370 -- certainly an unreasonably high amount to charge in places like Columbus, Tacoma and San Antonio. During a bad economy, fans are probably not sympathetic to a group of old men who party in Mustique and travel all over the world partying first class.

To test this theory, I was able to reserve eight tickets for Comiskey Park for tomorrow night at $350 per ticket through Ticketmaster. I was also able to reserve eight tickets in Section B for $300 apiece in Philadelphia on Sept. 18, eight more top tickets in Detroit and eight tickets in Columbus.

The Stones aren't doing themselves any favors at those ridiculous prices without a hit single or a current new album. Pollack's snide piece in the Times really offended me, but maybe someone of his generation has a point. Mick Jagger recently hired a powerhouse PR company in London to air out his image as a skanky 60-year-old inseminator of twenty-something models. Obviously this didn't work for Pollack and it's not working for a lot of other fans as well.

On the upside of Rolling Stones news, the new CDs from Allen Klein 's ABKCO Records -- all remastered classics -- are just terrific. I was sent a compilation for reviewers only along with a fresh edition of Hot Rocks , the greatest hits album. But I also toddled into my local record shop, braved the pounding awfulness of the sound system blaring something current, and picked up Beggar's Banquet. What a delight to hear "Street Fighting Man" all remixed and punchy. I don't know how much Klein actually pays the Stones after all these years, but as usual ABKCO -- which also owns and reissues Sam Cooke -- has done a splendid job.
09-12-02 06:23 AM
Moonisup I think the stones forget that the economy is not in a good health, and people aren't willing to pay a lot of money for a show they can see maybe on ppv ore video!! I don't understand why they rased their prices sky high!! According to the 1997 tour the tickets have got expensive, DO they need the money, no it is micheal fucking cohl!! If they are having these high prices in Europe I would go, but a lot of people (I like to see the stones one time in my life) aren't going, I'll go, but let's not forget, only holland and germany are the only stonesminded countries in the world, the rest isen't anymore, the UK also not!!!!

09-12-02 06:24 AM
fmk438j What can they do at this point? Surely they'd never drop prices midway through a tour. What's the solution?
09-12-02 08:42 AM
fmk438j wrote:
What can they do at this point? Surely they'd never drop prices midway through a tour. What's the solution?

I've been checking Ticketmaster on and off and it seems that someone was really pushing their luck by pricing 1st level seats in the $300 range. Particularly for places like Columbus and Pittsburgh. And pricing stadium seats $300 as well. NO ONE should pay $300 to sit in the 30th row of a stadium. If they do they should have their head examined. Those are the tickets left over. The cheap seats are pretty much gone (although they have released more great floor $90s for the vet - 15th row....) They obviously sold a good number of them - I suspect the price WILL discreetly drop a week or so before showtime. Or wait until the day of the show...worth a try if you don't have tickets probably will make out better than the people who bought first day of sale.
09-12-02 08:47 AM
nankerphelge I will tell my MCI story again because I like it! I paid through the nose for pretty damn nice seats in the lower level just off the Keith side of the stage at MCI for the NS show. Between me and the stage were four seats that were empty. Just before show time, these 2 couple show up -- one woman giggling hysterically. Naturally I assumed she was ripped. No, she was just giddy. They had purchased cheap nosebleeds that morning on a whim and had taken their seats near the roof when some MCI folks came up and got them and moved them down front to fill the unsold seats! I think Dandy is right -- there will be some good news for late purchasers!
09-12-02 08:53 AM
Riffhard It's definatly Cohl who should take the blame for this BS.Although,I'm quite sure Mick gave the final approval for prices.The shape of the economy is certainly a factor for slow sales but,it does seem a bit sketchy that Michael Cohl came out and stated that the tour was between 85-95% sold out.It would appear that someone has their facts wrong.Either the guy from Fox or Cohl.My bet is that Cohl has been exaggerating the facts to push more tickets.
09-12-02 08:55 AM
corgi37 nankerphelge, that is the most spot on post i have read regarding this tour and the current state of all things stones. Jagger doesnt need a publicist, he only needs to stick his head out the window of his limo and ask the fans waiting for autographs or a glimpse of him what they think. I know if they even try to charge prices like $300 for a ticket (and remember, that is about $670 in Aussies dollars) if they tour here, they will be pilloried like crazy. I think i paid $100 for the voodoo lounge tour in 95, and it was worth every cent for the excellant sound and the massive stage. The bridges tour looked good value too, what with the staging and the actual bridge itself. But, i have seen jack shit of the stadium stage for this tour. What makes it so good? is it massive? Good light show? If not, where the hell is the $300 going? I dont believe the promoter gets it all. The stones, and jagger in particular are very savvy when it comes to money. It seems they are just pushing the boundaries a bit. Now, watch all the people on this site tell us we are not real fans, and we dont have to pay to see them, we are not loyal, etc etc. But think of this. The people who are charging their fans $300 to see them, knowing they very well might get away with it, are the same people putting out yet another fucking greatest hits record. Listening to the 4 new songs, dont stop sounds ok. Boring, but ok. I doubt it will cause much ripple in the charts though. The other 3 songs are average, bordering on dreadful. And these 4 songs are the only tracks available in 5 years?
09-12-02 09:11 AM
nankerphelge It wasn't my post -- it was from Foxnews. But it is an interesting read. Here's the question that keeps rolling around in my head. The SW, VL, B2B and NS tours grossed somewhere around $750 Million from what I've read (can't vouch for the accuracy, but that ain't my point) -- these guys understand the economics of touring -- no question.

Presumably, they know their markets. So is the low sales of this tour a surprise? Are they taking a bath? (Obviously, they would make the most money with all sell outs -- that ain't my point either) Or is this entirely within the plan -- that is, they know their draw is less, but at these prices they still make out?

According to the article in Rolling Stone that accompanied the VL tour, the way they organize the tour is that the Stones set up a virtual corporation and finance the tour -- pay a chunk up front for all the hoopla and costs, and then start touring taking either a % of the gate or a fixed fee for small venues -- and at a certain point, they break even and after that point, the rest is profit. The total profit is higher if the break even point is earlier in the tour -- meaning more sales = earlier break even. I would be curious to know which show was their planned break even show and which one actually turns out to be the break even show.
09-12-02 09:23 AM
Sir Stonesalot I think this is actually a good thing for us fans...people have been excersizing their choice to NOT buy the $350.00 tickets. Good. My thinking is that this is going to send a clear signal to the promoters, and even the Stones themselves. There actually IS a limit to what people will spend to see them....and $350.00 is over that limit for a lot of fans. $90.00 tickets seem to sell very well.

I think you will see a bunch of those $350.00 tickets go for the $90.00 price in the week leading up to the show. Which, of course, will piss off the people who DID spend $350.00.

I think a lot of the people who grumbled about HAVING to join the fan club to get tickets, or HAVING to spend $350.00 to buy a good seat, simply panicked. No, they didn't HAVE to buy anything....and you didn't HAVE to join the fan club to get good seats. In fact, you can STILL get good seats to some shows. It's the same for every tour...people panic early on, and then get pissed off when they realize that they got all worked up for no reason. You can always get tickets. It looks like the only exception will be the theatre shows. But even those ended up having some tickets being released day of the gig.
09-12-02 10:23 AM
glencar The opening show at the Fleet Center didn't sell out? I find that hard to believe.
09-12-02 10:24 AM
nankerphelge If not it was 99% packed.
09-12-02 10:32 AM
jb As usual, I was right again!
09-12-02 10:56 AM
egon slap me if i'm wrong, but in holland (or europe)
i've never seen prices of usd 350,- (no, not only because we don't have dollars!)

think the most expensive tickets were dfl 90,- / euro/usd 41,-

what exactly to you get for this 350 usd; a seat, hotdog and a warm blanket with stones tong on it???


09-12-02 10:59 AM
nankerphelge Oh you get a hot dog alright!! Right between the buns!
09-12-02 11:18 AM
Joey " Oh you get a hot dog alright!! Right between the buns! "

What was that little buddy ??????????


Oh , allright , I will tell them !

For some good hot dogs , please check out this site :


09-12-02 11:52 AM
ShannonDC This is a great thread and something I've been thinking about. So far great tickets ($350) have been available on Ticketmaster for each show except the Boston club show. There are also decent seats at $150 and $90 for every show except Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center, but I bet tickets for those will appear a day or two before the shows. The Stones (don't blame Cohl, Jagger's in on every decision) overpriced themselves this time. They made a decision to risk having empty seats but make a larger profit. Hell, why don't they book an arena, charge $2000 a seat and let 1500 wealthy fans spread out and enjoy the Stones for themselves? Less fuss. . . but fewer T-shirt sales.

The good news is it looks like we've seen the top of the ticket price spiral.
09-12-02 12:19 PM
steel driving hammer Joeseph, didn't think Howe had a fucking web page!

Trying to Word2000 another review from the United Center.


No complaints w/ my $350.00 pair for tomorrow btw...

Don't know what Ronnie's on (or off) but Holy Cow.

"Lets Roll"
09-12-02 12:26 PM
Moonisup Indeed Egon, the most expensive was the last concert in Landgraaf, Fl 90 + 5 guilders admin. That is about 42 Euro ore 40 dollars!! that's why I find it hard to believe that the tickets in Europe will be around 90 Euro, that is about 100% the double, they will never sell out anything if they do that, And it ain't good for a band if you'll play half full stadiums ore fiels!! That is sad, you get what U2 had in 1997

09-12-02 12:32 PM
jb This tour looks more and more like a bust...poor record sales combined with poor ticket sales has got to be devastating for Stones, who use to routinuely sell out they can't even sell out 15,000 seat arenas...very sad.
[Edited by jb]
09-12-02 12:32 PM
clang I am glad to add my opinion. When ticket prices were announced here in Chicago, for the first time in my life(I am 53), I felt betrayed and pissed at the Stones. I am not wealthy, and I felt these prices were outrageous. Add to the fact that through the fan club, you paid your money and had no idea where you are going to be sitting?? Bullshit!

I am under 5' tall, and learned early on that floor seats do not work for me, with everyone standing, I can't see. My whole focus in going to a concert is to see Mick and the boys, so if I can't see the stage I am not a happy camper. Also, I do not like the uncertainty of waiting until the last minute in Chicago, because the shows sell out fast. So I usually go through a ticket agency to get the seats I like best, lower mezz, as close to the floor as possible, yet above, where I can usually see pretty well, dodging heads, of course and praying I don't have basketball players in front of me. So for Comiskey I paid $225 for $90 tickets where I want them. The United Center was really priced outrageously, $350 face for these kind of seats. I did end up buying $150 seats at the last minute thru ticketmaster for 6th row nosebleed, and as usual, the sound really sucked up there, and the screen was blocked by the hanging speakers and lights. The show was great, but these tickets should have been no more than $50.

Also, tickets are not priced fairly. My friend paid $50 for lower mezz in the Tacoma dome that were going for $350 here in Chicago, also lower mezz.

Because I am a hard core fan, and have not missed a show here since their first appearance in 1964, I always bite the bullet and do whatever it takes to go. But give us working class soldiers a break, please. What are they going to be for the next major tour, $500? $1000?

Love you live, but gimme shelter!
09-12-02 01:59 PM
lucasd4 Nothing to worry about....every show might not sell 100% of all tickets, but they'll come close enough....over 90%, I'm's just those highest priced seats in the house that aren't blowing out the door right now...and most of those will sell in the final days and hours before the show....regardless, this will still be the biggest tour of the will beat all the competition won't top the Stones all time record, but it will be a big money maker--it will be one of the 10 biggest tours of all time when the WORLD tour is finished....
09-12-02 02:00 PM
jb I hope your right!
09-12-02 02:05 PM
Moonisup I don't think it is important if the stones gross more then on B2B ore voodoo, I just want it to be a great tour!!

09-12-02 03:22 PM

" Trying to Word 2000 another review from the United Center.

Developing... "

The world waits with bated breath Steelie ..........I can not wait much longer -- please E - Mail me a personal copy .

By the way , I hear a cold front is due to hit the Chicago area hard Friday evening -- shades of the B2B Opener in September 23 -- luckily , Comiskey has a dome ( Or does it ???? Huh ???? Please tell me it does ???? ............Oh no!!!!! ) Too bad ........

See you at the Aragon Monday night -- if I get a ticket for face value that is .....

Really Developing ............

H. R . Snaggle Joe

09-12-02 05:07 PM
jb wrote:
This tour looks more and more like a bust...poor record sales combined with poor ticket sales has got to be devastating for Stones, who use to routinuely sell out they can't even sell out 15,000 seat arenas...very sad.
[Edited by jb]

The tour is looking like a bust??? It just started for god's sakes...Every show so far has been a sell-out or very close to it....I'm sure ticket sales overall are in the 80-90% range and that will go up as the tour progresses....many tickers are not bought until the final days and hours before the show....they can't keep topping themselves each god, they've done five big tours in the past 10 or 12 years already....practically,everyone that wants to see them has seen them at least once in the past decade...if they didn't tour so often, sales would be better...remember how huge STEEL WHEELS was...they hadn't toured in 8 years, so ticket demand was enormous...Every tour in the past decade or so except NO SECURITY is in the top ten tours of all time...LICKS will be in there too when all is said and for poor record sales...where do you get that info?? Their albums still sell respectably...SW, VL, and B2B all sold nearly two million copies each in the U.S. alone...many millions more around the world....The new greatest hits will sell a few million too...remember that it's a double album, so each copy counts as two records sold according to will be certified platinum (one million) if 500,000 units are shipped...
09-12-02 05:30 PM
Boomhauer I wonder how many college students and high school students that are Stones fans can't see the Stones because of the tickets prices?

I'd assume a lot because I think a lot of them like the Stones, but when they say they would like to see a Stones show, log on to, and see that the lowest ticket price is $50(which actually do not exist), it turns them off right away.

Too bad. they are gonna miss a great show. But, you can't really blame people if they don't want to go see a show. I paid $180 for two floor tickets at in Detroit, and I can't wait to see the show! It's gonna rock.

I think it would be great if the STones just went to smaller cities and more venues. But of course, the promoters would say that would not be a good idea.....
09-12-02 05:35 PM
Moonisup I agree with you Boomhauer, on previous tours younger people got a chance to see the stones and get fans! With these prices not anymore!!

09-12-02 05:58 PM
By the way , I hear a cold front is due to hit the Chicago area hard Friday evening -- shades of the B2B Opener in September 23 -- luckily , Comiskey has a dome ( Or does it ???? Huh ???? Please tell me it does ???? ............Oh no!!!!! ) Too bad ........

No dome Joey...break the leather out of the closet and pray that it doesn't rain.