Thursday 22 May 2008

The Tom Waits Ticket Price "Issue".

My take on the matter.

As the grotesquely knowledgeable Jim Carroll pointed out yesterday, Tom Waits is playing three shows in Dublin this summer. These will be in The Ratcellar, an all-seated marquee in the Phoenix Park. Tickets will be €116.25 and €131.25 and are available from Tuesday next at the ninth bell in the morning.

Obviously, these are rather expensive prices. Yet before one drowns in a stew of righteous indignation, one should take a step back from one's creaky pulpit. Take a breath. Consider. Tom Waits is a professional artist, surrounded by evidently skilled professional business people who want to make as much money as possible. The man has an utterly devoted fanbase and he never performs here. The demand for tickets will therefore be stratospheric so it makes sense that the price should soar in tandem.

Personally, whilst being a big admirer of the man's music, I don't think it is worth it. For that much cash I would have to be seeing Tom in a basement jazz bar in Paris, quadruple gin in my hand, saturated in cigarette smoke. His heavy delivery reverberating around the room as I weep silently for my recently departed Brazilian lingerie model with a PHD in metaphysics. After the gig Tom will sidle up beside my in my poorly lit booth, throw an arm around my shoulder, a torn packet of Gitanes on the table. With a click of his fingers Anna Karina walks straight out of that scene in
Vivre Sa Vie and starts to sway, demure and interested. That devilish grin will linger a bit, "Johnny Boy, it's all gonna be okay!"

Probably not gonna happen in a tent in Dublin. Therefore, I'm not going to buy a ticket. As a consumer I have made a conscious and informed choice about a product. Boo! Hiss! Tom Waits is above capitalism and all those evils! Erm, clearly not. It is up to you then, Adult Consumer A, if you are willing to fork out. If you are sufficiently devoted to the Tom Waits legend then buy a ticket and go see him in concert with 6,000 like minded folks. If not, then shut up. Your whining is ridiculous.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Tom Waits is above capitalism and all those evils! Erm, clearly not."

- Rubbish. There is no way that Tom has a say in what price the tickets are. It's the promoters decision.

If Tom was hungry for money he could play a sellout show every night of the year and charge more than 200 euro for a ticket.

John Cav said...

Anonymous: Tom Waits is a professional artist. He makes money from people buying his albums and paying to see him perform in concert. He is quite clearly satisfied with the capitalist manifesto. He's hardly a fucking communist is he!

"There is no way that Tom has a say in what price the tickets are. It's the promoters decision."

Simply not true. While there is no doubt that an artist of Tom's status and advanced age will instigate a bidding war between promoters - and help to raise the price of tickets in the process - to remove him completely from the business equation is naive and simplistic. If he were so repulsed by the greed involved he could quite easily have refused any such offers. He did not. Also, would there be any evil music promoters without Tom Waits & Co? No.

My general point was that even if the ticket prices are very high then it is still your choice whether or not you buy them. So your can choose one of the following paths here:

(a) Suck it up and pay for the ticket. Unwind thyself and enjoy.

(b) Feel woefully aggrieved and mistreated. Think about ringing Joe Duffy but worry about running up your phone bill.

"If Tom was hungry for money he could play a sellout show every night of the year and charge more than 200 euro for a ticket."

You're not a music promoter are you? That's just silly.

slurkid57 said...

Fuck this hipster shit. Have you heard Third by Portishead?

John Cav said...

Slurkid: I have indeed. It is very good.

anonymouse said...

i like cheese

slurkid57 said...

Yeah, cheese is pretty good. I like it in sandwiches.

Anonymous said...

Note that he can do a string of shows in the US this summer, in seated theatres ands auditoriums for the princely sum of $60 to $80. They work out around 50euro. Conclusion? Irish promoters are shitbags.. They are just ripping people off.

Anonymous said...

Not only irish, but also spanish. They have set the price between 100 and 125 €.