Old Timers

Sunday’s New York Times embraces the Point-Counterpoint, albeit in entirely different sections.
From Week In Review, Balding Rockers, Big Money:

But according to a new list of the 50 top-earning pop stars published in Rolling Stone, over the hill is the new golden pasture. Half the top 10 headliners are older than 50, and two are over 60…This means that, while it is good to be the next big thing, it is better to be a-couple-of-big-things-ago. Though pop music glorifies the young and the new, it actually sells these qualities at a discount…”In five or six years you’re going to see Echo and the Bunnymen and New Order and the Cure getting the high ticket prices,” Mr. Calderone said, referring to a generation of bands that is not yet content to rest on its oldies.

From Arts & Leisure, We Hate the 80’s:

Yet despite the grass-roots enthusiasm and VH1 dogma – not to mention millions of dollars in marketing – the 80’s are not selling…some label executives said they had turned away former stars who came shopping for new record contracts. “I just wasn’t convinced that the songs were compelling enough to compete in today’s marketplace,” said Andrew Slater, president of Capitol Records, who says he passed on both Duran Duran and Billy Idol…But those lucrative concerts play to fans eager for one (or two) glorious nights of nostalgia, not those interested in watching the band try to grow.

One reply on “Old Timers”

Where’s the contradiction? Aging rockstars have profitable concerts and unprofitable new records, and for the same reason: their fans prefer the familiar. The aging boomers who go to geriatric rock concerts do so because they hear songs that remind them of their youth, and new music from those same bands doesn’t do that.

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