Marc Myers, a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, joins Brad, Barry, and Lord Taco to discuss his new book, ROCK CONCERT: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There. It's a fun conversation on The What Podcast that looks at the evolution of the live show from the '50s to the '80s.
Myers gives insider info about how rock concerts evolved, how a particular series of events led to the arena shows we know and love today, and what the industry looks like in 2021. Take a listen, and make sure you like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Then, follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our programs.
Keep the Bonnaroo spirit alive by picking up our "Radiate Positivity" T-shirt at the Consequence Shop. A portion of proceeds go to the American Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Ida.
Guest: Marc Myers
It almost seems hard to believe, but is lineup season upon us? The slow, slow, ever so slow trickle of lineups starting to come out. We dive into them and it would surprise people, but we read books, mostly with pictures. Author Mark Myers with us today, The What Podcast, which bands this year that matter, Brad Steiner, Lord Taco, and Barry Courter, a fabulous author in his own right. This week's episode starts right now. The What Podcast, which bands this year that matter, and Brad Steiner, nice to see you. Lord Taco, have you seen the piece of property yet that you are actually Lord of yet? Have you been by Shogun Manor yet? Not yet. I've got a new name, though. I'm Frank Barcelona. Nice to meet you. Okay, don't give up the bit. Coming up today we're talking to Mark Myers from, he wrote an incredible book, Rock Concert, which Barry turned me on to. a book basically chronic chrono lot you tell me is it a chronicle do you guys call this a chronical ization is that a word what do you writers call this yeah it's a chronology chronology history of live concerts from what do you say 1950s to basically live aid which is a fascinating place to end it yeah we'll go through that with him here in the the coming minutes but I wanted to circle with round with you guys because I can't believe I'm saying this but we might be on the precipice of lineup season I can't believe it but the slow trickle of lineups have happened has started and I woke up today there are three music festival lineups that dropped all today I'm just looking for them which are we are we okay chubby which which are the three well okay chubby announced and then you know sweet water 420 fast is it still called sweet water 425 so it's just for 25 these days and then there is a sort of like a baseball integrated music festival that announced today but I wanted to focus on Okeechobee because I found this to be very interesting I don't think that taco you've never been to Okeechobee have you no it would be perfect for you because you can take the bus down but it's it's a different type of festival because you get to camp amongst the festival and when I mean that what I mean by that is there is a I can't remember what they call the actual place where you perform but there's only two stages inside like this this wooded area it's a circle right a circle of woods and you go into this the the woods and that's where the two main stages are outside of the circle of trees that's where all the camping is but it's also where the side stages are so the stages are sort of like intermixed with the campsites and it's sort of what I think Bonnaroo tried to do with the plazas if you look at half of the festival lineup from Okeechobee half on the poster and all the way down those are the people that you're gonna find in and amongst the campsites it's really interesting and well done they didn't do it last year but the other thing I noticed about this lineup is that it is completely turned into a this is a dance EDM festival or at least a DJ driven festival which when I went the one year that was not at all what I remember I mean I I saw Usher there for crying out loud you know I saw the Lumineers there I saw it was not at all this this collection of artists which you know to me there are 45 artists there that you could just I don't I've never heard in my life am I looking at this I'm looking at the 21 or it's 22 yeah you got Tame Impala's the headliner yeah that's 21 yeah Porter Robinson Megan this stallion Grizz jungle Gary Clark jr. yeah you're it's a you're reading the names that you know yes yes I am right okay so Porter Robinson I don't know Denzel Curry Ashnikov flying Lotus I know a little bit yeah and beyond that no right it is it is a it's really changed in the last couple of years so in honor of the Okeechobee lineup releasing today and being full of a whole bunch of DJs that you know might as well be DJ Lord Taco I'm ready to play if you guys are ready to play another round of real band or fake band I don't have a name for this I don't have a name for this game but I've got a list of real bands that are in Okeechobee get your face off of the lineup right now Barry Porter stop looking at the lineup I want you I've got real bands playing at Okeechobee and fake bands playing at Okeechobee you guys tell me which is real which is not okay all right okay I did so well last time I can't okay okay okay Choby or no coach I don't know I can't figure out all right so this is go here we go Okeechobee March 3rd through 6 you tell me if it's a real band or a fake band hint of lavender hint of lavender is it appearing at Okeechobee or not appearing in Okeechobee no that's a that's a T your wife sells in her tea shop it might be it is also a T but it's also a band that's playing at Okeechobee you're both oh it's real okay good start oh man okay number two skin clump I wish that was real but I don't think it is yeah if it's not it should be that is a fake band made up by Brad Steiner one for both of you on the board just just clump is good yes number three player Dave I'm gonna say yes yeah I'll go with I hope he's real player Dave both of you two in a row all right number four synergy no man that sounds like a bad 80s band real Okeechobee artist or fake Okeechobee artists I'm gonna say yes what did taco say I said I said fake Barry Courter in the lead is a real band appearing at Okeechobee synergy there is this but about this band itchy yes yes good sheets still lead Barry Courter not a real band not a real band itchy one final one let's see if we'll make this for two pretty sure I've seen it G before yeah what was her name final one tell me if this is a real band playing at Okeechobee or not donut muscles donut muscles they open for Skinner didn't they I'll say yes no Barry Courter big winner today I don't think that Lord taco every time this game every time can't you see donut muscles open for Skinner on the beach down in Jacksonville that's right yeah so Okeechobee came out today there's also 420 fest now Barry have you ever been to 420 fest the one that's originally was created by sweet water brewing if I'm not mistaken they do it just outside Atlanta I have not but like I told you the idea of going to Atlanta for anything is probably not gonna happen well if you run through the lineup of 420 fest for 2022 just run through and check it out it's going to be exactly like going up in 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 it is the same festival every year you know I know that the string cheese incident people and the widespread panic people and the fish guys they all love this stuff so much but my god how can you just keep hearing the same things over and over and over this is the same festival every year okay so I would want to see oyster head tray not so much drink cheese and omfres that's pretty much the same band well you want to see oyster head but not train Tracy and oyster head yeah I know what about Barry do you want to see eggplant revenge yeah okay oh look did you see who there is there taco turn quads with Jerry Harrison we have another course of course yeah and I'm so mad I didn't see I'm okay I'm gonna have to rethink I might have to go down there you might have to go to land them I wish you would because the only person yeah goose JJ gray I like JJ gray is by far is there an artist that grates your nerves more than anything else JJ gray is that guy I can't do it as much as you I can't I've seen him once no I've only seen him once he's got this big giant belt buckle and I swear to God my hand to God I walked up to that show with Bryan Stone who is the king of Southern Rock this guy just loves that stuff it's all he listens to I swear to everything holy Barry and Russ I walked up to the stage and this is what came out of his mouth hell far hell hell far hell far hell hell far who Brad or JJ JJ gray yeah his name is Brian Barry is in it's insufferable that guy is absolutely unlistable for me okay but enjoy it I mean that's that's what 420 Fest is man that's a 420 Fest is well depending on how they broke this up yeah depending on how they broke this up there's some stuff I'd like to see I really want to see that turquoise yeah I want to see that show that's killing me who's this who's this snot dude who's that I know right dude is he there again yeah you might be looking at last year's lineup is he there again it says 2020 this is 2022 oh my god yeah look this is hard stuff this is a very hard thing to do so I don't mean to dog on them but my god this is just the same festival every single year I know but man if he brings Martha and does some cooking demonstrations you're telling me you wouldn't go for that I could I could have done the same game with the with the sweet water 420 Fest did you see who's playing this year sex brews sex brews I was so excited to see sex brews and by the way it's not just sex brews it's sex brews with a question mark yeah there yeah right in front of certainly so who named certainly so I'm sure I'm sure it is I'm sure it is a great festival I'm sure it is wonderfully done but man oh man it feels like this is the same I mean like for instance just to prove my point I don't mean belabor this but let me go you go back to 2017 all right widespread panic tray Anastasia wean slightly stupid Mo lettuce Anders Oz that's the same thing in 2018 pretty good to 2018 string cheese incident up freeze McGee Tedeschi truck Sturgill Simpson Joe Russo green sky bluegrass that was not a bad lineup I don't say it is I'm not saying it is I'm saying it's the same line up every year it must work for them I want to know who named certainly so yeah just widespread panic avid brothers Jason Isbell Joe Russo revolution moon tax like claypool Lenin delirium JJ gray man oh man I mean God love you if you go to this I'm glad you have a I'm glad you have a fun time I hope you have a blast Barry yeah we'll see yeah yeah all right tell me so tell me about the guest this week tell me all I need to know about mark Mark is an author journalist for the Wall Street Journal he's written a book he went back in dug up the history of concerts basically the chronology of live music concerts from the 50s to live aid which like I I think I said what's it that it didn't make sense at first but when he explained it stopping there makes perfect sense that sort of was the end of that era and the beginning of what we now know is you know concerts live music so yeah it's fascinating I love talking to him I hope we'll probably talk to him again I hope so yeah it's a good resource come back let's talk to him and then come back and we'll talk a little ACL fest next on the what podcast which bands this year that matter yeah mark how are you nice to meet you same here part of the part of the country are you in where are you okay if there's anything that would stun the people that listen to this podcast is that we read books period yeah which is which is shocking we don't read Barry's articles but we read books it's very weird Barry writes for a living and I think I've read more of your work than Barry said I've known that guy for ten years as you know Brad our reach is vast oh my god unbelievable so and Michaela who is your I guess your press agent Mark yeah she hooked us up with krung been I believe I think it was I hope I'm right in saying that it was either that or Sylvan Esso either way is very cool and she said would you like to talk to mark and when I saw the title of your book and the theme of the book I thought this is kind of what we do so right over the plate right over yeah he was a lob so I was like I'd love to talk to mark and so I reached out to Brad and Russ and and so this this is exactly what we do and especially given what we've just been through and you know the whole history of I don't know if mark if you know what we do is a podcast that started about Bonnaroo so it started about that live festival but it has expanded into festivals in general it's great so it so it's a natural fit right for sure what this book is about so well mark mark how did you get your start were you much like Barry and an entertainment writer or a music writer how did it all start for you it started for me quite differently I sort of came up through business writing tax writing believe it or not always dreamed of the rock lifestyle and then in 2010 I started writing for the Wall Street Journal and wound up writing on whoa wait for it rock and I know it was it took it took decades but the dream was realized and so it's so weird I started in rock music and now I want to write a book about accounting it's so strange I trying to go the opposite direction you know it's amazing how things happen but but is it was just because you were a fan did you play no I did play piano I'm a very big jazz fan have been for years in fact write a jazz blog called jazz wax.com it's a daily it's been it's been going on since 2007 six days a week but for me it just wasn't a reasonable way to earn a living there were other ways to do that I started at the New York Times left there went into magazines and then went into newsletters and then finally was sort of writing on jazz and a friend says you've got to speak to my editor at the Wall Street Journal and I did and I've been there ever since as a contributor well I mean first off I think that's incredible that you started something so long ago and it's still going how's that house jazz wax doing these days it's great it keeps it keeps getting bigger and bigger yeah as a guy the reason I ask is because you know you get lost in this sort of world I live in New Orleans so jazz music is everywhere in this town and we'll talk about it constantly especially with you know radio what is that constant bleeping that I keep hearing is that what is that is that just me no I hear that's a copy of my book rock which we're gonna talk about either that or sales it's sales of the book so the reason I say that it's because in this city it's easy to immerse yourself in it's easy to immerse yourself in constant jazz but if you don't necessarily know much about it it's not on the forefront of a conversation is it not yeah yeah no no it's absolutely true but for me you know rock we're all the same generation I mean rock has just always been there for me and I've always been curious more and more curious about it but backstage and getting to do interviews and I started a column at the Wall Street Journal called Anatomy of a Song which took off which was just a single drill down on one song where the writer and musicians were interviewed I interviewed them and created a narrative from it but it's incredibly popular and rock concert I've always wondered about the history of the rock concert not so much the sex drugs and rock and roll stuff but the just the business of it how did this thing come about how did it evolve from R&B in the early 1950s and how did it become this eight nine billion dollar business it was fascinating to track that yeah let me jump in there because and Brad you were you might have been heading that way but I want to go ahead and put that point on it this is why we started our podcast was because we were fascinated by the infrastructure of Bonnaroo as much as the what was on stage that's interesting the fact that they could turn literally a 700 acre farm into the fifth largest city in Tennessee for six days fascinated us and so that's that's why I wanted to talk to you because we've gone from I just watched the Led Zeppelin I know wasn't Led Zeppelin I've seen so many documentaries in the last two weeks grateful that the well the Peter Grant interview where it went it switched from the artist back in the day late 60s was getting 20 to 25 percent of the cut and the promoter was getting the rest and Peter Grant with Led Zeppelin said we're gonna flip that just blew my mind because I remember the opinion of Peter Grant back in the day and people just thought he was the worst but he really changed everything and I know that's a complete sidebar we'll get into that in a minute but it's that evolution that also fascinated me and that's why I wanted to talk to you so here we are and and Brad often tells the story that's how this podcast got started is we were walking down the road and saw miles and miles and miles of cable and thought somebody had to put that there you know so maybe that's the same thing sorry to step on you there Brad but no it's okay no it's exactly where I was going when you talk about the business of live shows and live music you know you start with the the origin of RMB to today it seems like it was a artist first enterprise there for a while now it feels as though it is all controlled by the promoter and the two large companies with with every everybody else sort of sitting around waiting for them to make a decision would you say that's fair I think the business has grown exponentially and to the extent that it is a very valuable business a business only becomes a valuable business when there is consolidation and somebody's got a vision and they're able to figure out how to make money from it you have to keep in mind the rock business air quotes wasn't a business until the very late 60s and it wasn't Woodstock it really was a lot of these small ex warehouses and former churches that were converted into hard rock clubs so to speak but no alcohol they didn't serve alcohol at a lot of these places because obviously they wanted the teen market and wouldn't but that wouldn't have been able to bring them in but that's when the business starts to turn that's when a guy named Frank Barcelona figures out that the club shouldn't be dictating the terms to the artist in terms of whether they can play at his club and anybody else's club in town Frank Barcelona flips that flips that so that basically the bands coming over from England cream Led Zeppelin are basically saying to the clubs unless you have to show us how you're going to turn us into a big deal in this city you have to prove to us that you've got marketing smarts and you've got to prove to us that you've got promotional ability if you can do that we'll play at your club and if you can't do that we're not going to be playing at your club we're going to be playing at your rivals club so it changed the dynamic of the industry really from the promoter standpoint sure but the first question I comes as my who was the best at that at the time that would be Frank Barcelona yeah but yeah but was there an artist specifically that that would fit in that glove a lot easier than others no yeah with the rise of FM radio in the very late 1960s and the so-called second or third British invasion where you've got album album rock coming in where those albums are getting played on FM and audiences in the States want to hear them in concert you've got a lot of British bands who are coming over and initially a lot of the the owners or the managers of these these new ballrooms these new what Steve Miller calls psychedelic dungeons because they're all painted with psychedelic colors and everyone sort of cashing in on that but you've got a lot of these bands that are coming over and they are suddenly put into these clubs where the promoter is demanding that the promoters demands must be met and and it really has a much more to do with the rise of FM radio and the rise of album rock that's why that's why the tables are turned that's why promoters are that's why bands and pros are able to dictate to clubs what the standards are going to be the new standards I never really thought about it that way army to make sense because prior to that it was very singles based wasn't it I mean you would you would put together a concert with eight six to eight acts that might have at most three hits right or three songs or that they would play twice or three times and now you got album rock you've got fans that want to hear an entire album like a Led Zeppelin or or whoever can do the bigger shows and and so the and the promoters kind of realized there was a lot of money to be made and they didn't have to go through a single promoter who owned you know a city or a large part of the country yeah I mean there's an interesting anecdote in my book you know rock concert that is kind of interesting when this guy Frank Barcelona goes to a club in Boston I think it was called the psychedelic supermarket or something like that and he says to the guy hey you know I'm gonna bring in all these British British acts all these British bands what can you what can you do for them in terms of marketing and the guy goes I don't even want to hear anything more about it and the guy goes well you know what what what's the problem he goes I know you're gonna bring in Jerry and the pacemakers and Freddie and the dreamers and I'm not interested in that stuff I don't want to hear it and Barcelona keeps trying to cut in and say no no this isn't those guys and he goes I you know I'm not interested I'm just not interested so Barcelona then you know goes to see Don Law in Boston who you know is the major major promoter in New England always has been and still is today and gave Frank and gave Don Law the business because Don Law was open to hearing about all these British bands coming in that were hard rock wasn't wasn't all this pop stuff about as you were talking about the AM radio stuff it was the FM radio guys that he was bringing in and that's you know that changes things considerably because the the hard rock guys can play for two three hours the singles guys could play for like 20 minutes and suddenly they were out of songs are we talking like give me an artist just for frame of reference like dire straits would that be one well they're later I mean we're talking about 6970 where you know we're talking about Led Zeppelin we're talking about Jethro Tull you know you're talking about progressive rock and hard rock as it's emerging so you know it's those kinds of bands that are being brought in and yeah the interesting thing that Barry you said is single bass and then became album rock based fast forward to today where if you put out as you put out an album you are on an island by yourself nobody's putting out albums anymore this is an album today as a lost leader right all the money this is why the pandemic was such so catastrophic to the business and why you know so many of these artists are freaking out and so many of these companies live nation of the they're all freaking out because they don't know what the next business model is is it streaming or is it live but the the when you when you when you when you go out today your money is made on the road your money is not made on an album your album basically when your album comes out your record company carves it up they slice it up like a loaf of bread and it all goes up on YouTube for free how do you make money if your move if your music instantly is free well you make it by touring but if you can't tour you better hope a shoe store is hiring because there's nothing really as a musician there's nothing more that these poor guys can do if they can't tour you know recording isn't gonna make them much money the the the book is a rock concert you went through a bunch of different things I want one little excerpt where Bob Eubanks was trying to book a show now if you don't know Bob Eubanks is let me feel pretty old here he was a game show host but also before that he was a radio guy he was a radio guy he was as a fellow radio guy I just this would never happen today there's just no chance that this would possibly how in the world did that come about how did Bob Eubanks get into rate record I'm sorry show promotion well he had a club he had a little club in LA that you know he they sort of book bands in there he's a partner in this little club and he wanted to get move more into promotion more into booking bands you know he was sort of excited by that animated by it and you know the station that he was on I can't remember the name you probably do but it was all the leading DJs in LA at the time it was just a a murderers row of DJs so he was looking for another outlet for himself and he wanted to book this this band called the Beatles into the Hollywood Bowl and they you know their manager would only you know it's 25,000 bucks that's what that's what he had to pay to get to get the Beatles and he found a way I mean keep in mind Sinatra was getting 10,000 elephants Joe's getting 10,000 at the Hollywood Bowl Brian Epstein wanted 25 grand and Bob Eubanks found a way to mortgage his house and come up with the money and then went to the Hollywood Bowl and said if I can get the Beatles would you let me book him and they said yeah and then he he sort of worked two sides until he finally got them and he booked he booked he was the one who booked them into the Hollywood Bowl through for all three concerts out there hey Barry just letting you know this radio guy ain't that smart I'm not gonna be able to figure that out I promise you you know it's so funny it totally random but I'm just sitting here thinking in in our city Mark we have a park called Warner Park which was built because several of the business leaders wanted to build bring Billy Graham the town so they took out loans just like you're talking about mortgage houses and they built this park so I'm trying to know idea about that actually yeah Warner Park was built to bring Billy Graham the town for rock listeners it's it's Billy Graham the televangelist not Bill Graham yeah yeah yeah that's to distinguish but I'm just when you were saying that I was like yeah that's what people did and I was trying to think back in the late 60s and 70s I was little but I remember the zeppelin and I remember the who and I remember all that coming in the the advent of big festival or big arena rock or big stadium I should say somebody saw there was a chance like Bob Eubanks to make money I'm actually that cost Bob Eubanks by the way he had to put come up with 25 grand yeah yeah 25 grand 25,000 bucks I mean do the math that's probably a couple of hundred thousand dollars back then no sizable amount of money but mortgaging his house the banks wouldn't get he went into the traditional banks and they would say well why do you want to mortgage your house and he goes well I want to book this band called the Beatles and they said have a nice day you know just weren't gonna loan him the dough yeah that's what I'm trying to say I'm trying to imagine all of that you know the my I have two older brothers that are musicians and my dad would would always say you know they would come to him and say we just need one more bank loan we just need one more piece of equipment we're gonna hit it big I can only imagine you know Bob Eubanks going to a bank for 25 grand I'll stop you right there just think about saying to yourself I can make money off of a show in 2021 nobody's I mean how many people are really making that many that much money off his shows just one-off shows I mean it's impossible to do it on your own today anyway because of the consolidation you know you got live nation there's like five companies that book all these shows you can't even get near a decent venue exactly to make money because these you know they're all monopolized it's not monopoly but they're dominated by a better word they're dominated by a small it's like trying to come up with a new way of it's like you have a great idea for a new computer you know good luck so you'll make three of them or four of them your friends will have them but you're not gonna sell it like Apple in terms of distribution and everything else that these guys can can come up with I'm glad I'm glad that you you went there because that was my exact point of trying to bring up the Bob Eubanks story is like there was no possible way that even the small well there is a possible way but this is why the smaller venues are dying and falling apart because they can't even sustain the model anymore they're getting gobbled up I mean the amount of hatred you walk into any venue in this city the amount of hatred you will hear about you know live nation or AEG you'll hear it within seconds seconds because they dominate so that's right yeah that's what I did I mean in the book that's what I did I mean I spoke with more than 90 people who had basically front row seats to the entire rise of the industry from 19 the book spans from 1950 to 1985 to live aid so it's from the very beginning of the so-called rock concert model all the way through and I've you know I interview rock stars I interview promoters managers roadies I mean anyone who is connected with the rise of this form the rock concert it's it and it's in their voice you get to hear what they sound like talking about this and it's fascinating isn't it to sort of see how one thing leads to another and all these people who are sort of trying to figure out what to do suddenly start figuring it out and they start to build it and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger can we come let's come back to that because I think that's probably where we want to go but I want to just what this seems like a good point now that we've talked for a little while did you approach it as a rock and roll fan or as a tax reporter or just a simple reporter or does a fan was it more business you know what I mean no no no as a fan I write on rock for the I write on rock for the Wall Street Journal so I'm not writing on the business of music those are those reporters are in LA I write on the music itself and you know I mean there is a different way to approach it I mean this is this is from a fan's this is this is a fan's book if you are the if if the rock if your first rock concert was your rite of passage as a teenager then this is your book it's not a business book it's just the rise of this thing called the rock concert which happens to be a business but it's all you know everybody who's quoted there are no business people quoted in this book I mean the only business people are the entrepreneurs who put on the rock concerts after that it's Alice Cooper you know it's Bob Weir it's it's it's Roger Waters I mean it's rock stars and the people that turned this crazy weird thing into something that kept getting bigger and bigger because you and me all went to these concerts and we found that this was an amazing thing as a kid to go to something like this where all you saw around you were other kids just like you and there were no parents there and you were on your own I mean it was an amazing amazing it was a liberating at least it was for me I mean I'm a maybe a little older my first concert was in 1933 I'm just kidding my first rock concert was in 1974 yeah so we've been close we've been but that's why I ask is there is there are a lot of different ways to look at it and and maybe I'm 58 so I'm probably older than you yeah not quite and so you know music in Bonnaroo and this is why I wanted to talk to you and why we do this it has that magic you know pixie dust unicorn element to it that we all know and love and then it has the business side and somehow Brad and Russ and I try to merge the two I don't know if we do it well enough or not but you more I think about it you know you keep you can get too far into the weeds and it loses that magic and I don't want to do that so yeah I want to eventually get into the you know where it may be going and all that but it is interesting to see the evolution of it all because I mean the best way I think can think of to describe it it's you know it's the Wizard of Oz nobody wants to look behind the curtain you know we all have our we all have our rock and roll legends and all these documentaries and all that come out sometimes I don't want to see them you know what I mean you don't want to go in the kitchen to see how your food is made you just want to eat your steak whatever you want to have pretty what goes on in the kitchen exactly right but at the same time it's it's interesting how something small becomes something big right and it and that happens not because companies get involved but because an entire youth culture an entire generation decides that they are fun you know keep in mind before 1950 before 1955 there's no music for kids the music industry never bothered creating any music for teens the music was for adults there were children's records right and then there was music for adults and kids like in the 1940s and before they pretty much had to listen to their parents records whether that was Glenn Miller or you know Doris Day or whatever it was they had to find you know and back then I mean kids kids wore their parents clothes kids were in a rush to look all day they dressed old you couldn't really do anything until you were 21 as a kid there was nothing nothing for the teen market zero and rock and roll is the first form of music that is literally designed for and marketed to teenagers and finally a youth culture has market power kids can now control what they want what they're gonna buy what they don't like who they want to see in concert and who their heroes are and that had been unheard of before the rise of rock and roll I don't know mark I I know a lot of kids that love Perry Cuomo they are big big fans of sure hey so you forgot about that talk to you just said Cuomo by the way yeah whatever I don't know what so the you talk to you talk to artists you talk to fans is there a moment when we talk to Bonnaroo fans they all say the one show that changed it all for them and their favorite Bonnaroo show is always it will always forever be Paul McCartney nine times out of ten it will be McCartney Bonnaroo was was the was the the show of all shows it was there one that you kept hearing about over and over and over with all your conversations in this book no there were the big concerts you know whose concerts in the seven days Pink Floyd's concerts you know they were theatrical they were visual I mean before MTV you know you get the wall you know Pink Floyd where everything is so cinematic and visual while you're listening to the music it added that extra dimension but what's really funny to me is you know when you ask about this so-called question you know you can ask people like do you know where your car keys are right now and they'd go I'm not sure and they'd say your sister-in-law's birthday do you know your sister-in-law's birthday and they were the same thing it's in May or something and you ask him a series of questions like that and then I would say what was your first rock concert and it was like oh my first rock concert well I went with my two friends and we went down in the green Chevy and when we got there we went in and I remember we were sitting in a six seven and eight I mean they know every detail about their first everybody knows their first rock concert inside and out and it's kind of interesting you know to Barry's point about it being this the seminal moment this rite of passage that that it became this transition and I think I described in the book is almost like passing through the mirror like Alice in Wonderland or passing into a different world it's like you went you went into your first concert a kid and you came out and a young adult I mean you you you went in there you came out a different person than the person who went in you suddenly had responsibility for yourself and you were the one who made choices about things and there were bad things that you could do and good things and you kind of figured that out maybe you did a mix of them but you were very different passing through that rock concert you came out a different a different individual I think you're right about that because my first one is my first one was Celine Dion and Michael Bolton UTC arena so I came out different guy after that I thought it's such a great point more my first ticket that I was allowed to buy was Leonard's Ginnard and the plane crashed about three weeks ahead amazing the first show I ever actually got to see it was Marty Robbins but yes Ginnard you're you're right whether your parents took you and stayed in the building with you and you were able to go off with your friends or they dropped you off was pretty much a huge moment right I think you got it exactly right I mean look at the Beatles at Shea right there's 55,000 kids most of them are girls and they're screaming their lungs out and and anybody who knows anything about New York City knows there are two ways to get to Shea Stadium one is by subway which most of those kids didn't take so their parents had to have dropped them off I remember writing this article on the Beatles at Shea for the Wall Street Journal and I'm thinking to myself well if the parents drove them there why would they bother I mean most parents would say hey I'm not taking you or I don't want to do that or your father's coming home late or we don't have an extra car you know they wouldn't have had 55,000 fans at that stadium if not for one reason which is that parents did drive the kids there but then they went next door to the World's Fair the World's Fair was you know the 1964 or 5 World's Fair in New York where you get the introduction of the Mustang you know it's one of the most spectacular World's Fairs in US history the parents all went took their kids dropped the kids off and then went to eat Belgian waffles at the World's Fair right next door and flushing so it's kind of interesting you know that the and this is what I how I ended the article which is kind of interesting too the parents thought they saw the future at the World's Fair kids actually did that's great I never knew that that is actually I didn't even realize that the World's Fair was happening at the same time but just as an aside I'm a huge Mets fan so the reason they don't know many people know this but the reason why the guy who owned the Mets at the time built Shea Stadium where he built it was because of cars he thought that everybody was going to be transporting via the automobile to to to stadiums and then you get to 2022 and you know you have to have it you have to have a multiplex and condos and restaurants and bars an entire cityscape around these the stadium now just for these things to survive in either here or there so in the book though you also keep talking about you well you don't keep talking you get into best live albums best concert films best rock documentaries the thing that I found to be interesting is that you make the distinction between concert films and rock documentaries which are very different and the fact that in 2021 rock concert films now especially post-covid may be the most useless medium in all of music it does nothing for anyone anymore yeah I mean what I did in the back of the book because I figured while I was writing it you know I was gonna hear incessantly you never did the who it leads you don't have the Allman Brothers at this place this particular concert I can't believe you forgot that I can't you know it's like I rather than hear that steady steady drone of those those quote complaints I figured let me let me provide 50 of the 50 of my favorite concerts 50 favorite you know rock films and 50 favorite documentaries so that if you wanted to know more about the 1950s there are five excellent documentaries you want to know more about the dead there's a great six-pointer that's streaming now you know you want to know about you know which which rock concerts are most important through the years well here's my 50 it just gives it it just gives the reader an extra place to think about you know what you can't fit everything in if I I literally had to cut this book down almost by a third maybe almost a half there's you can't I realized finally and my editor realized you just need to tell a story you can't load it can't be so jam-packed that people have to buy a pickup truck to buy it right you can say here's your 15 volume set of rock concert and that every concert you ever wanted to know about it's in here you have to just tell a great story and that's what I was focused on. And those lists that you make did you cut it off to 85 to I think they're 50 each right okay I mean I mean from tonight 85 you cut it off in 1980 cut it off I cut it off with live aid because a number of the people I interviewed it was interesting a number of people I interviewed said with the rise of ticketmaster and tickets going to triple digits you know going from free and like $15 suddenly three three eighty five a seat live aid was the last old-school car old-school large concert put on by old-school promoters you know the co-promoters in the States was Bill Graham of San Francisco fame and Larry Magid of Philadelphia where the event was held and it was old-school it was these guys had come up in the 1960s they you know they had gone to Alan Freed's you know rock and roll shows at the at the Paramount Brooklyn Paramount so that live aid kind of is the end of an era before things start to change doesn't mean rock concerts die doesn't mean that rock concerts weren't still kind of affordable after it's just that it was a transition moment live aid where the old ended and the new began did it feel like there was a direct line were you able to draw a direct line or did you feel like in the 1950s to 85 yeah yeah yeah I mean that's what this book is about you literally read through and see how one thing leads to another why one event caused something else why external factors cause that like for instance the wireless guitar wireless guitar liberates everybody on stage I mean probably Angus of AC DC would not exist if not for the wireless guitar you know it used to be that the the the the pigtail cables wires that ran from the guitar to the amps would tangle everybody up you couldn't move around you had to stay real still especially in the dark these things would become frayed if you if you roam too far and suddenly yanked on it that somebody'd have to rush on stage and repair it and tape it up the wireless guitar liberates so I'll give you another one that liberates arenas when arena rock begins after the disaster at Altamont where every locality in the country refuses to grant permits to outdoor concerts and rock has to go indoors into these new sports arenas the problem arena is faced is that they were only selling about probably 60% of the house and that's because the stage people people could only the artists were facing one direction so you couldn't sell seats behind the artist right and then the speakers were sitting on the stage they were mounted on the stage they were all stacked up you know you could see remember the Grateful Dead concerts with all these Marshall amps stacked all the way up to the ceiling to the roof so these these speakers would block seats you couldn't sell seats you couldn't charge you know $25 or $20 and and charge somebody $20 in the front row and then charge somebody else $20 where they couldn't see the band half the time it's not until riggers not rigor mortis but riggers guys who could hoist speakers guys who had worked on you know Disney on parade all of these big arena kind of entertainment things ice capades not until they not until these guys started to move into the rock business where bands suddenly realized these guys could hoist speaker systems up to the ceiling and liberate enormous amounts of revenue of worth of seating in arenas and that they could sell the seats that previously they couldn't sell so it's little external things like this that grow the business I hate to ask is this book is coming out in what a month November 9th are you are you already thinking about part two it's a possibility you know it's it's something it's something it's it's obviously something to consider we'll see how the first part of the first book does but the this book is people have read it up they're telling me I can't stop reading it I'm on the edge of my seat all the time you know it's just I can't wait to see what happens next because I'm writing it I'm writing it like I would write anything dramatically it every chapter leaves you hanging you know you start the next one oh what's gonna happen now yeah you know how do the Beach Boys wow this is how they got their start in these little concerts Wow and people are just you know what I'm hearing is that people are on the edge of their seat they're reading it like it's the born identity I mean it's just it's just constantly on the edge of a seat well I'm asking because as you I mean it 85 is a is a great place to end because in my mind I'm sitting here thinking of all the changes that have happened since I saw a Carlos Santana last Tuesday and I remember remarking to my my people that I was sitting with I remember the days of general seating which was pre the who Cincinnati you know when you got there early and you sprinted to the front of the stage and it was great I missed those days because last Tuesday during Santana if somebody got up and wanted to dance in the aisle the dance police were immediately on top of you to make you go sit down which I get I'm not picking on the venue I get it there's insurance there's all kinds of safety reasons I'm not but it it took away a lot of the rock and roll vibe to those pre 80 whatever that was seven concerts yeah you know where you were anything could happen and that was you know I hate to say it I hate to sound yeah I hate to say this but it was a different time I know it was a gentler people get off my lawn you know now you go to a concert and you want to strangle the per the couple that gets up in front of you to dance you know because they can't go in the aisle so you know this couple that are on their first date suddenly get up and start dancing to haul and oh so it's like you can't see anything yeah so you have paid a lot of money for this ticket sit right so you have to stand up and you don't want to stand up and then you know the people behind you are pissed off so everybody in succession seating is now pissed it not only are you pissed you're not closer but now you're pissed your view is being blocked by people maybe the rigger should come in and hoist the dancers up to the ceiling yeah it's interesting though how it all changed and to kind of go back we were talking about the rite of passage that to me and I've said this many times on this show mark concerts to me I used to have to go to review all the ones that came into town and they were it got stale because of what we were just talking about you know I get my seat they all look the same it didn't matter whether it was a country show or a heavy metal show it was three minutes say hello Chattanooga five songs introduced the band I mean they were all the same and it kind of and then when I started going to Bonnaroo it was this whole awakening sort of different like it's like this is what I love about live music and and I was all in again so yeah that's what and that's not what this book is about but I'm just saying that it no the good but going forward you make a great point which is that the boot let's call them boutique festivals become kinder more intimate spaces where you're meeting people and you're seeing bands up close and people are dancing because it's a stand-up situation arenas are a sit-down situation and in some ways it's relative is are these so-called psychedelic dungeons I was talking about these old factories and old churches that least space out to the you know these entrepreneurs who are having rock bands come in for five nights you know the that you could that there were no there's no seating in those places just like the festivals a lot of them where you were standing and you were dancing and you were talking to your friends you're making friends with people next to you and where do you live and oh yeah you know I might know if somebody went to that college you know it's just a much more conversational human experience of course we just don't know how things are gonna end up when we come out of the pipeline on this coven thing but there was also the sorry Brad there was also the fear not the fear the excitement you didn't know what might happen yeah at a rock show and in those psychedelic dens you know there was always that chance first of all your parents as you said earlier your parents weren't there right you know which made it exciting to begin with and you were with strangers you didn't know what was gonna happen especially don't forget about the power of the solo today we take solos for granted right so you know everybody's got a drum solo everybody's got a guitar solo so solos today is like big deal right but you know in the God of the Vita would never have been a name anybody remembered if not for a little bit longer drum solo that happened in that album in like 1970 or 71 so the solo didn't exist back then because AM radio didn't allow a three-minute 45 to have a solo most of the you know 90% of those 45s there's no solo but it's not until you get album rock and it's not until you get to FM radio and better bands where the solo becomes much more prevalent because they're real musicians they're not wrecking crew studio musicians they're real musicians who studied and trained and it's a different scene it's a different experience so the excitement that you're talking about that anticipation of a solo during a Santana concert of Madison Square Garden in the early 70s oh my god did you hear that he played such an amazing solo it wouldn't even be talked about today so but that's that's that's what was exciting back then that a solo might be played and today what you're talking about is that excitement that who knows what might happen who knows you know what they might play maybe suddenly somebody plays sergeant you know sergeant pepper's lonely heart hearts called then somebody will play a Beatles song or a punk band will play something that's completely unexpected or some some some heavy metal band will play a carpenter's song right something really weird or a guest will show up yeah yeah you wait for that exactly exciting I mean it I will say that the thing that I don't know I hate to put it this way but it is kind of depressing you know hearing you guys talk about especially album rock and the heyday of it and knowing that that's never coming back you know it's just there's just not a world where it is built for big giant shows in big large spaces frankly there's only a dozen or two dozen artists that could pull that off to begin with right now you know the the money doesn't work it would be totally cost-preventative for you and the family to go to that show or you and the wife to go to that show you know it just doesn't and then you get it's changed you go to a Paul McCartney concert today and you look around you realize there are kids there who are brought there by their grandparents now that's not a bad thing today because grandparents and their kids get along great but it's it's not the same but it's not really the music's fault or the arena's fault there's been a shift and T used to go to rock concerts as I said because it was a rite of passage you transition from one phase in life to another or at the start you came out and began the fate they transition to a different a different level today kids find their rite of passage on their phones they don't need to go to a rock concert and sit in the dark and listen to loud music and raise lighters in the air I mean now they if they're having a hard time in school from a teacher they're getting bullied or something's happening in their life they're on their phone in real time texting their friends or they're on their computer or they're on you know their their FaceTiming or it's you know any number of platforms that are that are in their hand that they don't need the rock the rock concert is something they go each year with grandma you know to see to see the who or whatever they're seeing where that was a communal experience in 1975 our communal experience now is you know sharing memes that everybody seems to quote when they walk down that's exactly it man Mark what a fascinating conversation the book is rock concert we'll post a link at the what underscore podcast on all the socials I really appreciate you taking the time and diving into this book it's such a fascinating topic and and part two from 85 to 2020 you know you need some ever now if you need some DJs to start booking some shows I'll you know put up the house which by the way I have made a note and I don't really take many notes but I've written down today that my new synonym to check into hotels will be Frank Barcelona from now on it's like it's like it's like a global businessman name you know like Joe Paris or you know Tony London man of intrigue man of rock concerts and intrigue concerts thank you so much mark I really appreciate us thank you very much it was a joy bouncing it around with you it was really a lot of fun yeah I think you to call it I think the kids would call it chopping it up I think you're right okay thanks thank you so much thanks fascinating good chat with Mark Myers the book is rock concert talk to all these DJs never checked in with me never gave up Oh Brad guy call how old were you in 85 you don't you Barry you do you really want to know that's what I thought you do you really want to know I mean I'm not a young man hitting my 40th birthday but I was for those for night yeah so your memories of live aid probably didn't make the book you know what Brad kid had some deep thoughts about live a that he had a love to share so this weekend I'm going to a weekend two of ACL fest I was not planning on going but the last second things just sort of worked out Barry Courter very excited to share with you that I will be seeing Duran Jones the indications on a pre-show I'll be seeing Duran Jones on Friday then I'll be seeing Aaron Frazier on Saturday I've got an entire weekend of Duran Jones the indications set for myself and then on Friday the big headliners at Friday or Saturday that's Friday big headliner on Friday George straight I'll go do you want to ask him or should I ask him ask him what is he actually gonna see a show or is this another weekend of dinner with Brad well Saturday where it's a very special sushi dinner that we have no no don't do the sushi dinner don't do it can we is there a poster is there a dinner with Brad ACL I you know what I'm gonna put up a lineup of just the menu items that I want a festival poster just my dinner place I want to see it I want to see it in some sort of psychedelic I will say ACL trip when when we when this lineup first came out we were very excited about it but once I started diving in not that excited pretty quick you know I didn't get to do my pics for Bonnaroo so I'll go through really quickly the things that I want to see at the ACL fest Duran Jones at 330 on Friday is then I get well hang on I got I got Duran Jones on Friday then I've got Erica Badu and black pumas later that night and then George straight at the same time as Miley Cyrus I will be choosing George straight on Friday on Saturday very excited I'll be seeing Aaron Frazier and then I will be going to dinner and then on Sunday I will be watching the Washington football game and then going to see cautious clay and then coming home so that's my big ACL weekend I can't wait to share what I see and experience with you guys next we're gonna have to have an over-under taco lineup yeah easy actually makes I only listed four artists that I was gonna go see I know for I know and I'm the over-under is probably too but how did I become the guy that is made fun of for not going to shows I go to every show at Bonnaroo at Bonnaroo yeah because there's no dinner options because you can't do anything else you can't do anything because you know why you're there there it is yeah yeah yeah yeah might as well go hopefully next week I'll have a CL wrap up Lord taco Barry Courter thank you for your show we'll talk to you next week and the what pack yes living everyone