Where are musicians making money? On the road.

[This was my weekly column for Global News. – AC]

We can credit The Beatles as being the first stadium band. When they played Shea Stadium on Aug. 15, 1965, no other act had played in front of so many people (55,000) and raked in so much money ($304,000 or about $2.4 million in 2018 dollars; all dollar figures in this piece are U.S.) in ticket sales for a single gig. It was a nice payday but paled in comparison when it came to revenue from record sales.

Here’s a Led Zeppelin ticket stub from a show in Seattle on July 17, 1977. Note the price.

Ten dollars seems cheap, but that was the equivalent to around $40 in 2018. Selling at a clip of 72,000 tickets a day, that 1977 tour was a record-breaker in terms of box office grosses. A typical show would bring in $750,000 (the equivalent of $3.1 million today), a huge number. Consider, too, that manager Peter Grant had extracted a 90-10 split between the band and promoters.

Ten dollars seems cheap, but that was the equivalent to around $40 in 2018. Selling at a clip of 72,000 tickets a day, that 1977 tour was a record-breaker in terms of box office grosses. A typical show would bring in $750,000 (the equivalent of $3.1 million today), a huge number. Consider, too, that manager Peter Grant had extracted a 90-10 split between the band and promoters.

Keep reading.

Here’s me discussing everything on Global News Radio AM 640 Monday morning.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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