Skip to comments.Why The Rolling Stones Keep Touring Despite Being Ancient Zillionaires
Posted on 07/10/2013 7:43:40 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The Rolling Stones play the last stop of their current tour and possibly their career next week in London's Hyde Park.
Their last few shows have drawn rave reviews, and the returns on their earlier shows have been strong.
But others have called it "the night of the living dead" tour, for reasons that are perhaps evident.
And the Rolling Stones are already one of the wealthiest bands in the world. Their last tour grossed more than half a billion dollars. Mick Jagger is said to be worth more than $300 million, Keith Richards just a bit less.
So why do these guys keep going on tour?
There are three reasons.
First, digitized music is now virtually worthless. Prof. Peter Tschmuck, a professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna who runs a blog about the economics of the music business, told me the return on investment from selling a digital copy of a song is 12% compared with about 36% for CDs and that's before that revenue is carved up to various title holders.
Professor Jeff Dorenfeld, a lecturer on music business at the Berklee College of Music, told us songs have been losing value for more than a decade.
There's very little money made from recorded music anymore. Apple iTunes is mostly a singles market, Spotify, that kind of service doesn't pay high royalties, radio is not as big as it used to be. So all those revenues are not where they were, and haven't been for the last 15 years.
Second and luckily in response to item 1 touring now generates lots of money. And it's especially lucrative to be the Rolling Stones. Their last three tours combined will likely have grossed about $1 billion
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
Uh, because they can. Hello. Saw them a few years ago on the Bridges to Babylon tour in Orlando. Despite their age they still rocked! (Free tickets are always good. Except when you have asshats like csny starting their political crap by the third song. We walked even with free tickets it wasn’t worth it to hear them railing about capitalism while their minions were hawking t-shirts for $35.00. Asshats!)
Saw them with friends in 1969 at the spectrum in Phiadelphia(the tour that ended in Altamont).....saw them in 1989 at Shea Stadium with the wife and saw them in Hartford at the Hartford Civic Center in 1999 with my wife and kids.
Always put on a good show....
and yeah they are getting a little long in the tooth to be putting on these shows...and I am definitely getting a little long in the tooth, going to these shows....
Very true that bands now make most of their money from touring and related peripherals (t-shirt sales, etc.)
as opposed to sales of the recordings.
More and more the recording is becoming a giveaway or loss-leader to get fans interested in coming to the concert.
A Professor Peter Tschmuck in Vienna-— you can’t make up this stuff. A schmuck in Vienna says digitized music is worthless to the creators. If they were just coming up today and were not digitized— nobody would know who they were.
Death throes of the big suits of the old model, baby boomer music biz-— back when they printed their own money.
Rumor has it that Keith Richards actually died 10 years ago but is very involved in the zombie movement.:>0
What the hell else are they going to do? When the demand stops, they’ll stop perhaps.
What the hell - let the guys have fun.
That is because most of it sucks. People used to buy albums for the music. The current crop of so called artist are not capable of making an album where all the music is pretty good. Plus, any young cool looking person can be made a star nowadays. No need for talent.
I have no problem with their age, what I have a problem with is they’ve been resting on their laurels for the past 30 odd years. Tattoo you was the last good album they put out, and back then they were only in their late 30s. It’s not like they weren’t still relevant. So what happened? Ever since then it’s been one crap album after another where now it’s like watching a Broadway show were these guys make pretend they’re the Stones. “Stone-mania on Broadway” Same with Elton John, the guy can barely sing and constantly does songs he wrote 40 years ago. It’s a bad tribute band.
Gee, I guess I’m not so old after all! Keith sang in the boys choir during QE II’s coronation in ‘53...a long, long time ago.
RE: That is because most of it sucks.
DIGITAL AUTO-TUNING TECHNOLOGY DOES WONDERS FOR ONE’s VOICE.
HERE’s HOW TO CREATE A SEXY POP STAR ( OUT OF A PRETTY GIRL WHO CAN’T EVEN SING )
Gee, things are turning out exactly as was predicted in the early days of indie internet music sites.
Back in the late nineties the RIAA spent many times as much money desperately trying to shut down indie music store MP3.com as was spent going after actual copyright violations on napster.
The reason was that the recording industry business model was predicated on a cost wall that was no longer there. When Sun Records recorded Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash their Memphis studio cost between three and five millions to build depending on which source you look up. In the late nineties indie artist Bassic built a similarly capable studio for thirteen thousand.
Publishing and video are a little further back but following the same track.
I had to look up csny. If Crosby were one of the commoners do you think he would have got two new liver?
I think that was the tour that was at Foxboro MA old Patriots stadium. A hurrican blew in. Keith Richards kept singing and the band kept playing, stronger and stronger. It was Richards vs the hurricane....hands down, Richards won. <^..^>
RE: " Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger"
--Jagger told British reporters in 1970 that, "The time is right now, revolution is valid." and "There should be no such thing as private property." He said this with a straight face, even as "street fighting man", Mick, was lavishing millions on his new Queen Anne styled mansion, furnishing it with priceless antiques, Flemish tapestries and Persian rugs. Jagger was chauffeur driven to that very press conference in his brand new Bentley limousine.
--Jagger seriously considered running for the British House of Commons on the socialist Labour Party line in the 70s, but thought that Bianca Jagger, his then wife, would be a political liability. (Altho with Bianca being a big fan of the Marxist Sandinistas in her native Nicaragua, you'd think that would be a big plus with the motley, neo-Leninists who constitute Britain's Labour party.)
Mick turns 70 on July 26th, the same day I turn 60!
All I need now is $300 Million Dollars and some singing talent. Well, just the $300 Million will do.
Also a huge number of radio stations have gone with talk or sports formats in the past twenty years. I imagine their ASCAP royalty payments have plummeted as well.
I want to see the mobile ICU units these geriatrics have to check themselves into after each show.
FYI, there was a Marvel comic years ago that featured a late 21st century rock band called "The Disinterred". They were described as a successful 20th century rock group with throngs of dedicated fans called "Jerries". The band perished in a plane crash, but the fans couldn't let them go, so they reanimated their remains. The band went on to continue performing for a hundred years.
I don’t know how old you are but the Brady Bunch had an episode where the oldest Brady boy was being made into a popstar. When he heard his voice after they altered it he quit because it did not sound like him. And we all remember mili vanilli.
According to an interview of Bill Wyman that I recently watched, the non-writers in the group (everyone other than Keith and Mick) only make any real money when they’re playing live. Wyman said that when the Stones took their touring hiatus during the 80s he and Charlie Watts were almost broke.
The biggest problem with a Rolling Stones concert is that the groupies throw Depends on stage now.
True, nothing is fair in life. Everyone has their geezer rockers to worship. These are just biggest still alive. Greg Allman still is contributing— his Low Country Blues is a good listen. And Atlanta Rhythm Section-—the surviving originals, still do acoustic/electric shows that remind how good they were and are. A beacon.
New music, timely is being squashed by this internet.... like a whole lot else, maybe everything in business— since we in America no longer make anything. But, way off the grid... there are some great artists like always, struggling.
yeah...I still considered them the rolling stones in 1969 when Brian Jones decided not to tour that year. that year, Mick Taylor replace him but he was replaced by Ron Wood who I still consider ‘the new guy’. when Bill Wyman left, I was a bit bummed out....but saw them in 1999 without Wyman...
now I hear Charley Watts wants to retire....if he leaves they will have thinned out way too much to keep the name...
I will continue to listen to my 60s and 70s studio Albums and the one live album I like....Git yer ya yas out....
I don’t like anything they made from the 1980s on....
I don’t need to put up with what I consider noisy concerts anymore....
I wonder how many people are asking the same thing of Tony Bennett, or when Sinatra or Dean Martin toured late into their lives.
Money stopped meaning anything to these guys back around 1965.
Since 2006 I have purchased 800+/- songs digitally. Only one or two CDs.
iTunes has sold 25 BILLION songs.
Of course the artists were not that new:
The Four Vagabonds (Rosie The Riveter)
US Military Band
Hal Kemp and His Orchestra
The list goes on...
IIRC, Keith did get into an altercation with Chuck Berry during the filming of Hail! Hail! Rock & Roll. Maybe Chuck bit him. ;-)
Seriously, Chuck is playing his last scheduled gig of the year next week (July 17th) in St. Louis. He must be in his mid-'80s by now. His singing is still intelligible, too - unlike Dylan.
Or gotten away with weapons violations?
Smart guys like the Atlanta Rhythm Section... long ago put out a tribute band to themselves, that they pay to tour, and continue to sell their albums. And new young audience just getting introduced to their music... love it. Pretty smart from talented folks (and they don’t have to do road dates).
There is one aspect overlooked in the analysis. These stones are people living the life..they need it... old folks boogie (see: Little Feat song of the same name).
Yeah, I know that but, at least they didn’t start espousing the BS during the show. It was not real political unlike the csny asshats. I’m sure they’re still liberal as hell even though they themselves are hugely wealthy and spend like no tomorrow. You know. Good for me but not for thee.
It ain’t the singing they are interested in. Really tiring of the bieber, britney .... whatever wastes of time. madonna gaga theatrical crap. Music-— where is it. Melody, meaningful lyrics.
No more than Mickey Mantle would have been. Point well taken. And crosby-— what the hell— he spent major time in prison for dope. A pig. And the dope industry supported this, and the political agenda that went with the music.
So, when will we hear arabic music in pop— already happened— Stings “Desert Rose”... pretty but who wants to hear a cairo call to prayer? obamaumau.
Nailed it-— all of this posturing, and Bono with his debt relief..... all bull crap. They are greedy manipulators, who feel guilty and then foist it on anyone trying to make a living honestly.
That’s essentially true. I PM’d a Freeper here in Hollywood a year ago who handles the shows for bands playing in 1000 seat arenas and the studios hold the rights and money played everytime on the radio or for sales. The only way the bands make money is by playing live.
I was talking to someone here recently who was a roadie for Guns N Roses (the stories he told me blew me away) that Axl and Slash were paid a small %age for the sales during Appetite’ because Geffen was desperate for them. You can attribute that to their smart agent.
:-) I heard that he turned down an offer from some Vegas Casino to play his 100th, because "He didn't think that the place would still be around."
I have to hand it to Keith Richards. He turns 70 in December. What other bloke who has used, and ingested, all the booze, cigarettes and drugs that he has, could have made it to that age still in relatively good shape?
Live long, and prosper, Keith.
Because they like what they do?
Hell, I would play professional baseball for free, if a team would have me and fans would come to watch.
I’ve often had the same thoughts about Keith, he is truly a medical marvel.
RE: Because they like what they do?
Actually because the money’s too good to resist.
Their last three tours combined will likely have grossed about $1 billion (the mid-2000s “Licks” tour did +$300 million, and the current one could do more than $100 million for a much more limited set of dates). The average ticket price is $370. Bruce Springsteen is only $93.29.
I can just imagine what a Beatles reunion tour would have sold for...
Exactly, my electrician is 72. He continues to work because he wants to. He also likes to fish, but no one will pay him to fish.
The Stones, and other groups/singers continue to tour because that is what they do for work. Its a job that they happen to enjoy. It is no different than the Senior Tour in golf.
Just how real is what you paying to see and hear at their concert?
Elton John was supposed to perform in my city on Sunday, but today it was announced that the concert was cancelled (postponed). He supposedly got sick, so the concert has been postponed until September/October.
Yeah, he doesn’t look a day over 115.
It's about being 70, and still having young women screaming your name.