This week my friend Rob Miller (Co-owner of Bloodshot Records, one of the greatest indie record label on the planet) posted one of his patented rants on: www.knowthemusicbiz.com/
As usual, he hits it out of the park!
At one point he asks the question:
Will Lollapalooza 2019 be celebrating the cultural impact of the Arctic Monkeys?
This brings up a question I have been asking people for years-
First the setup:
If you go back to the 1960’s and 1970’s you can probably come with any number of bands that started in that era, that are still in some form or another still making music and touring today. (The Rolling Stones, the surviving Beatles, Led Zeppelin (or it’s parts) Pink Floyd (or it’s parts), The Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Prince and many more too numerous to mention)
If you go back to the 1980’s, the same thing applies (check out U2, REM, Depeche Mode, The Pixies, The Black Crowes and many more)
So the question:
Of all the bands that have started in the 1990’s and the 2000’s, are there any that will survive for the next 20 or 30 years?
When I ask that question, only a few names crop up: Sheryl Crow, Dave Matthews and P.J. Harvey are the three names that come up regularly! To this I might add Kings of Leon and My Morning Jacket. The common denominator with all of these bands is that they love to play live, do it very well and do it very often! Bands that tour regularly build up a fan base that will last for years! And, lest we forget, that is their job description!
In this weeks edition of Rolling Stone Magazine, there is an interview with Steven VanZandt, guitar player in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. One of his comments: “It is not a big deal for us to play. It’s normal for us to play. Everything else in life is weird. I wish the rest of my life was as easy, orderly, satisfying and successful as when we play. That’s our sanctuary.”
Contrast that to this story:
In 1994, I was traveling with the Rolling Stones on the Voodoo Lounge Tour. One afternoon at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, I was playing Snookers backstage with two members of the Counting Crows (the opening act). At one point they asked me what I thought was the greatest fact I could tell them about the Stones. Discounting the great songs and the great shows, the greatest fact I came up with was the fact that in 35 years of touring, the Stones had only had to cancel one show, in 1990, which they made up a month later. The Counting Crows guys looked shocked, and mentioned to me that they had been a band for less than 5 years and had already canceled many shows (whenever they got tired)! What ever happened to “The show must go on?”