As the ever increasing cost of living continues to careen down the highway dragging the corpse of the American dream along the crumbling asphalt, white trash superstar Kid Rock is sparking a revolution. The Detroit-born rapper-turned-rocker, known for such gems as "Bah Wit Da Bah" and "American Badass," is reportedly putting together a summer tour that will cost fans $20 a ticket, even for front row seats.
He's also working with concert promoter Live Nation, (think House of Blues Anaheim) to reduce service fees, parking costs as well as the price of goods inside the venue such as beer and merchandise. And if that wasn't enough the bill promises to have some well known (though road worn) acts including ZZ Top, Kool and the Gang and Unkle Kracker. This comes at a time when ticket prices seem to be going up.
"Artists demand so much money and you have to set ticket prices at [a certain level]," Rock recently told Billboard. "We're all fortunate to make as much money as we do, and I can surely take a pay cut and help out in these hard times."
Whether Rock's motivation's are an altruistic middle finger to the corporate record industry or a savvy attempt to remain competitive in a market beset on all sides by digital distractions, this move is a breath of fresh air. You may remember last month when Green Day came to the Fox Pomona charging $50 a head
(comparable to the cost of a full day of bands at the Warped Tour ticket).
More baffling to this Feral blogger than the price of admission for that gig were the angry comments on my blog defending the band and their attempts to bend fans over the proverbial chair.
One has to wonder when music consumers fatigued by student loans, and the skyrocketing price of gas and rent are going to look at some middle-aged dude with spiky hair who claims a "rock and roll spirit" as being worth half a C-Note.
Interestingly enough Yahoo.com blamed lagging royalties and diminished album sales for an across-the-board increase in ticket costs. But music biz 101 tells us bands make the bulk of their scratch by touring. And if Rock is indeed taking a hit to bring his fans a couple hours of joy, we have no choice but to tip our hat to the guy. The only thing more admirable would be if the rest of the biz followed suit.