Why the Oldies Endure on Tour

After nearly 6 decades, the Oldies are still one of the most listened eras of music. People of different generations are exposed to the music in various ways. Whether it was when the listener first received the record on vinyl, or a member of Gen Z using Tik Tok to expose the song to listeners, the oldies endure.

When talking about what classifies as Oldies, I am referring to music from the 60’s through the 80’s. As to why this genre of music endures, it has to do with nostalgia, persistence of the artists who made the music, and cross generational appeal. Various artists of the Oldie’s era are still on tour to this day. Some even have the dubious task of headlining major pop music festivals. Here is the comprehensive list of artists on tour currently from that era.

 

 

  1. Stevie Nicks

While on break from Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks has hit the road as a solo artist in 2022 after a brief postponement of tour dates last year. Nicks music both as a solo artist and with Fleetwood Mac are timeless. Nicks’ signature Fleetwood Mac tune “Dreams” went viral 2 years ago on Tiktok, bringing the song to newer listeners. This cross generational appeal of Nicks’s music is what helped keep her on the road. She will largely headline music festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and Bonnaroo this summer.

 

 

  1. Journey

One of the more surprising editions of last year’s Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago was the inclusion of Journey in its lineup. The festival is known for being a gathering of who’s who in pop music. On paper Journey made sense, they have some of the best sing a long songs of all time. The group was a hit amongst the multigenerational crowd. It allowed for parents and kids to join in singing along with some of their best-known hits including “Anyway You Want It” and “Don’t Stop Believing”. The night before the festival, Journey played a surprise sold out show playing over 30 hits from their storied career. Playing both a festival and sold-out private show without original singer Steve Perry, now that is what I call longevity.

 

  1. Aerosmith

The Bad Boys from Boston continue to reinvent themselves. Recently the group has taken up a residency in Las Vegas. While many may say that when a band plays Vegas, it usually means that their career is over. This is far from the truth. Their “Deuces are Wild” residency has sold out just about every night since its inception. The group offered new innovative technology as part of the residency as well. This allows the audience member to be fully engaged in the show by listening to the mix of the concert directly from the soundboard. If you don’t care to hear the whole band, you can switch to a Steven Tyler Mix, or any member of the band individually.

 

  1. Eagles

For Don Henley and the rest of his flock, the group are reminding people that the album format still works best for fans of Oldies music. While many from Generation X- Z typically listen to single songs from an artist, the Eagles are proving that the LP is not going away anytime soon. Currently on tour with Vince Gill filling in for the late Glenn Frey, the band is playing its classic Hotel California record in its entirety. The third highest selling LP is hitting the road with the band in all its 40-minute glory. The reason why they are playing the record is “because LPs were shorter back then” Henley quipped to a crowd in Detroit on this tour. Don’t expect a short concert though, as the group plays over 18 of their biggest hits bringing the show to almost 3 hours in length. Not bad for a group of septuagenarian that can sell out stadiums to multiple generations of people.

 

  1. The Who

This summer Rodger Daltrey and Pete Townshend hit the road once again. The group will start their tour this May and come to Philadelphia on the 20th of that month. The group featuring Pete Townshend (76 years old) and Rodger Daltrey (78 years old) will hit the road performing some of their well-known hits. The group has largely remained on tour due to Rodger Daltrey’s cancer charity work with Teen Cancer America. The organization helps put wards for teenagers in children’s hospitals.

 

 

 

  1. Elton John

We all know the joke; this is the farewell tour, this is it, for real this time. Kiss, the Who and many others have been on that tour for over two decades now. Though Elton John seems dead set on making sure that this tour really is his last. Elton John wants this tour to be his last so he can go home and spend time with his family. The tour had some hiccups dealing with the ongoing problems caused by Covid-19 in the touring industry. However, Elton’s tour is back on track and runs until July 2023.

 

 

  1. Motley Crue, Poison, Joan Jett, and Def Leppard

2022 proved that glam metal will never truly die. With its inclusion as part of the soundtrack to HBO’s Peacemaker, to the focus on the lives of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, hair metal has proven it’s here to stay. This summer Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Poison will hit the road with help from Joan Jett. The concert is expected to sell out in baseball stadiums around the country. With the arrival of Hulu’s Pam & Tommy, Tommy Lee might just be enough of a draw to bring in a multigenerational crowd to the show.

 

 

As to why the oldies continue to endure, Joe Walsh said it best, “when artists cross multiple generations, the music is here to stay”. Come check out these artists while they are on tour this year. If there are any major tours from artists of this era that I missed, let me know in the comments below.

How Can You Afford Your Rock and Roll Lifestyle?

When we think of musicians, we think of them as gods who can get away with anything because they play the songs that we love night after night.

Clip from Motley Crues’ The Dirt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQpKdxLWc_0

However, there is one side to the music business that is often overlooked: the cost of living the Rockstar lifestyle.

As Ringo Starr famously sung, “it don’t come easy” and when being a musician in a rock band, the cost of keeping a band on tour never is. Rock stars make a lot of money, and they can only do that by going out on tour night after night. From when the day they started touring in the 1980’s to today, tours were always a high end and costly productions. This blog compares what it was like to tour as Motley Crue in the 80’s to what it would cost to produce a Crue Tour today.

 

 

 

The path of destruction left behind by Motley Crue.

For a band like Motley Crue going on the Theater of Pain Tour in 1985, the cost of hotel stays for the entire band and, managers and stage crew would be $755,375. When compared to Motley Crue going on tour in 2022, adjusting $755,375 for inflation, hotel stays on a modern-day tour would cost at least $2,000,000 for everyone in their touring party. That is, if they don’t burn the hotel room down by morning, which would add additional costs to their already pricey stay.

 

 

 

On top of touring, when traveling in a rock band you have to have great insurance. This covers damages to property and to members of the band. An example of what touring insurance would cover would be for if a band member were to pull a Keith Moon and drive his.her car into a pool. In 1985, that stunt would require a hefty insurance package for touring artists. An insurance package to cover an amphibious vehicle test or other related incidents in 1985 would cover up to $2,643,812 in damages. For Motley Crue to pull off stunts like that, today’s insurance packages would cover up to $7,000,000. Hopefully as older men in their fifties, they have learned to slow things down a bit.

 

Tommy Lee’s rotating drum kit.

On top of managers having to watch out for Motley Crue, there is another crew that needs to be constantly taken care of. The stage crew are the ones responsible for setting up and take down massive stages and make it possible for bands like motley Crue to go on and perform every night. In 1985, paying a complete stage crew to set up, take down and transport everything including Tommy Lees rotating drum riser would cost $5,854,115. Paying a stage crew to help a major rock band like Motley Crue today would cost $15,500,000 to have on hand for an entire tour.

With all of these expenses, you are better off not being in a rock band. The cost of touring to hotel stays to damages are astronomical. Alongside the headache of dealing with managers who are annoyed with a band like Motley Crue’s antics, as a fan you are better off paying for a ticket to see them live.

The total cost of living as a touring artist in 1985 would be $9,253,302. In 2022 combining the high-end prices, the total cost to be able to tour is $24,500,000. The message, just pay to see Motley Crue unless you can afford to live as Motley Crue.

 

 

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