Monday, January 12, 2009
THE NEW BEACON THEATRE: "Welcome Rich People"
Back in September of 2008, the New York Times ran an article about the renovation and rebirth of New York's legendary Beacon Theatre. You can check it out for yourself right HERE. A few months earlier, I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post proclaiming my disappointment and disgust with James Dolan, CEO of Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the once beloved Beacon Theatre. You can check that out for yourself right HERE.
I bring this up now because tickets for the Allman Brothers' March Madness at the Beacon Theatre have just gone on sale. Last time the Allmans played the Beacon Theatre, was March 2007, B.R. (before renovation) Tickets were $94.
Here's an excerpt from the NYT article:
"Mr. Dolan wanted a state-of-the art restoration," said Jay Marciano, president of Madison Square Garden Entertainment, referring to James L. Dolan, Cablevision's chief executive. Since Mr. Dolan has been oft-criticized by New York Knicks fans during years of the team's decline, did Mr. Dolan think of it as some form of penance to spend $5 million more on the Beacon restoration (and an additional $1 million on new air conditioning) than was required by its contract? "I can't speak for how he thinks," Mr. Marciano said of Mr. Dolan. "But he has a lot of personal passion for this project. We view the Beacon as iconic, a beloved city landmark, and restoring the Beacon will be good for New Yorkers and a profitable business venture." The cost will be recouped during the lease, and ticket prices, which range from $25 to $125, will not increase after the reopening. "Not one dollar," Mr. Marciano said.
Not one dollar.
I was taking a look at some of the first few shows scheduled for the Beacon's re-opening.
We got B.B. King & Buddy Guy on 2/21. You can get your tickets HERE. Cost: $140. Last time I saw Buddy Guy at the Beacon was in 2006. Tickets were $60. AND Los Lobos was on the bill. I guess B.B. King is far more legendary than Los Lobos, even at....at 83 years old. And we all know that Buddy Guy puts on an amazing show...you know...when he shows up. So...$140 it is. Seems reasonable.
Also on tap is the Labelle reunion. Could be a great night of entertainment. I loved the reunion CD. I wrote all about it for the Huffington Post. You can check it out for yourself right HERE. That show is on tap for 2/26. Get your tickets HERE. Cost: $154. Last time I saw Labelle was in 1992 and tickets were only $50 and...and it was really only Sarah Dash...singing back-up for Keith Richards. I guess $154 is reasonable for a band that had the biggest selling record of 2008...except they didn't.
Tickets for this year's run of Allman Brothers' shows are $150, that's a $56 jump. Jay Marciano is right. Tickets did NOT go up one dollar. With all respect to the Allman Brothers, who still put on amazing show 40 years after the fact, this all seems so wrong. Rock and roll should not be for the rich, and with the current state of the economy and the painfully high unemployment rate, everyone involved with these shows, including the artists, should be ashamed of themselves.