Things that have nothing to do with Neil Young
We’re a month or so away from the release of Neil’s Archives and I’m already tired of hearing about it. Love the guy, so maybe I’m just feeling cranky today. So here’s some things that have nothing to do with him:
-Two weeks ago Best Buy announces that they are putting 200 vinyl titles into every location. Lots of noise about this being the only configuration increasing in sales, and something that kids are really connecting with. They started rolling them out this week, and the price point looks to be $19.99. Today I saw several postings around the ‘net with the kids saying more or less: “If Best Buy is selling vinyl, it ain’t cool anymore.” Talk about your category killer.
-Live Nation, the largest U.S. operator of concert venues, said Thursday that its first-quarter loss widened in part because fewer people attended concerts in its core North America market. Well…you figure with the economy and all, that would seem sort of likely. We’re all tightening our belts and watching what we spend. Live Nation’s CEO was quoted that “We’re executing multiple promotions to provide low-cost tickets to fans in this tough economy.” I checked a random concert…Coldplay in NY….and found that tickets ran $29.95 to $103. Not too bad I guess, but the cheap seats were located in Jersey.
-I read in the London Times this week that Island Records is 50 years old this month, and founder Chris Blackwell has just been named the most influential figure in the half-century of the British pop industry. Huh? Who is in charge of this “naming” thing? While he deserves a lot of credit for running a pretty good label, and cashing out a few years ago for a ton of dough, let us not forget that he is responsible for Bono. For that alone he should be stoned.
-Quick story about my first job in the music business: It’s seventy-two (the year, not the temp) and I’m working at a distributor for a promotion man who is featured prominently in Fredric Dannen’s book “Hit Men”. My job was to mail out the promo LP’s to radio stations and one day he gives me a few plastic bags with white powder and says to put them inside each envelope. When I ask what it is, he replies: “Marketing.”