Same goes for concert tickets. Since my first concert (the Dave Clark Five in December 1964) until maybe five or six years ago, I never thought twice about going to a concert if I wanted to see a band and when I made that decision, I always bought the best seats. Now I pass on a lot of shows and have gravitated towards cherry-picking the best of the cheap seats (seats just behind the stage sold as obstructed view actually give you the feeling of being on stage with the band). Could I afford the top price seats? Probably. But next month I'll be sitting in the cheap seats for the last show of Springsteen's current tour (an arc that began for me when I booked him for two grand at my college in '73 and has put me in the front rows for many a show). $29 a seat feels about right in this economy. And given that last night there were entire empty sections at his show last night in Philly (home turf), I'm not the only one thinking this way. And recently I've passed on seeing some old favorites in a local club (Todd Rundgren, Robin Trower, Hot Tuna) not because of the ticket price (around $30 - reasonable for a small venue) but because the service fees jacked up the price to $40. Sorry Todd and Jorma....it wasn't your fault. But why should it take $10 just to sell me a ticket (and I love that they actually charge you more for printing at home even though you're using your paper and ink and saving them printing, labor and postage costs)??
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Hey everyone...Happy Rocktober (a cheesy phrase for sure but one I love nonetheless...) Frequent commenter Larry and a few other people have asked me what I think of the new Chris Bell deluxe reissue. My response is "I don't know." Or to be more specific: I'm not really sure if it's worth the money. Some time this decade I hit a wall as to how far I'm willing to go to buy reissues and concert tickets. A four CD box set of one of my favorite bands ever for $52? I'm in. 13 new / alternate tracks added on to an album, monumental high points aside, that I don't go back to anywhere near as much as any of the three Big Star albums, for $40 plus shipping? Naaaaah. Or at least I'll have to hear it all first to get over my resistance to reissues. I recognize that this is a different case than that of a hit album being reissued for the fourth time but overall I have this feeling that record companies are playing us for suckers as a way to cover up their own increasing ineptitude. Can't develop any new bands? Let's find a way to repackage someone's past success yet again!...Enough! But if you have the Bell reissue, please weigh in and tell us what your take is.