Roger Waters and the Rest of the “1%”

“Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I’ll buy me a football team”
                                                      –Roger Waters

Imagine my excitement when I saw that this June, Roger Waters is bringing his “The Wall” live concert to our little town in Upstate NY! I felt honored that he would grace Albany with his presence…and then I saw the ticket prices. I don’t know the genesis of ticket prices – I imagine the artist (read: record company/promoter) has something to do with it, along with the distributor (Ticketmaster). Well whoever is responsible should really pay attention to the news – thousands of people are out of work, the gap between rich and poor is ever widening, and there are “Occupy” protests in many cities around the country. So here comes Waters, and what’s the lowest priced ticket to see his show at the Times Union Center? After fees, $70. Yeah.

What is it with all these artists who used to represent the “working man” and the middle class – Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Simon and Garfunkle, etc. – charging outrageous prices for their shows? Yes, a lot of their audience are baby-boomers who have moved from the middle class into higher tax brackets and can afford $70, $80, $100 for a ticket (or $216 for the best seats at Waters’ concert). But those of us who became fans of their music either on our own or because our parents listened to it and are still stuck in the middle class (and seem to be pre-destined to remain there), $70 is pretty much unaffordable. For comparison, look at the band Rush – they’ve been around almost as long as those other guys, but you can still go see them for $30 lawn seats at SPAC. When The Police came to SPAC, lawn seats were $46! How about Further, the ex-Grateful Dead band featuring Bob Weir and Phil Lesh – the MOST expensive ticket for their show at the Times Union Center next week is $66.70 including fees. Obviously Roger Waters is a “bigger name” than Further, but the fan base is from the same era – it just seems there’s a different philosophy at work between the two events.

I thought Roger Waters wrote those “Money” lyrics satirically – maybe not. So a big FUCK YOU to Waters and Ticketmaster and Live Nation and whoever else is responsible for this ridiculous injustice. Keep your fancypants high ticket prices behind your wall and leave us “99%”ers alone.


6 Responses to “Roger Waters and the Rest of the “1%””

  1. 1 jacobull
    November 8, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    I guess it puts my bitching about $14 Shonen Knife tickets in perspective, eh?

  2. November 8, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    I hope I’ll actually be able to get a ticket at face value before all the scalpers of scrubhub start increasing prices. I would LOVE to see this and hopefully Furthur next week too :/

  3. November 9, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    I do recall a Tom Petty interview after his somewhat controversial album “Last D.J” wherein he emphatically insisted that concert ticket sale prices have nothing to do with the artists, and are negotiated by label and promoter(s). I’m reminded of a John Lennon quote: “All the people in the back seats clap your hands. The rest of you just rattle your jewelry.”
    I highly suggest checking out Petty’s “Last DJ” album (if you can stomach his voice and the three-chord progressions), if for nothing else than to hear a veteran rocker complain about how south the industry has gone.

    • 6 ericstraus
      November 8, 2011 at 10:50 PM

      Interesting. Yeah if Petty’s right, I’m sure if the artist really had an issue with the ticket prices they could do something about it. Pearl Jam decided to circumvent Ticketmaster – I wonder why other artists don’t do the same.

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