THERE IS NO HOPE IN THIS WORLD, OR IN MEN! YESHUA (JESUS) IS THE ONLY HOPE! JOHN 3:16
JUST A FEW OF THE ICONS PASSING ON
TOP LEFT TO RIGHT: Leonard Cohen, Keith Emerson, Bernie Worrell, Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie
BOTTOM: Chuck Berry, Prince
WALL STREET JOURNAL: TWILIGHT OF THE ROCK GODS
The March 27 Wall Street Journal features an article that's right up CRT's Series 12's alley: The Twilight of the Rock Gods. With Baby Boomers, the most influential generation in music, turning 70, it's inevitable that the iconic figures of music history, also in that age bracket, would begin to pass away, bringing an official end to what many consider the golden age of music. What we have seen in what many consider a year of tragic deaths in 2016, is just the beginning.
Of the 25 artists with the highest record sales since 1991, 19 are over 50 years old. In concert revenue, artists over 50 represent half of the 4.5 billion dollars generated by last year's top 100 grossing tours. Of the top 10, 5 were over 50, including Bruce Springsteen (67), Guns N Roses (avg 53), Paul McCartney (74), Garth Brooks (55) and the Rolling Stones (73). Rock's aging demographics have been a concern for some time, with the spate of deaths highlighting the urgency throughout the industry, which must gird its future to better attract young audiences with short attention spans and young stars in a less lucrative environment. Series 12 addresses this issue, mainly through larger paydays over time for acts established in earlier decades as opposed to bigger paydays in just a short amount of time for acts in the 21st century. However, many older acts are "played out" by the time players are collecting paydays in the 2000s.
The oldest of America's baby boomers started turning 70 in 2016. The number of celebrity deaths in 2016 actually wasn't exceptional, though the number of "mega-famous" deaths was (over 100). Because of their penchant for hard living, rocker deaths are expected to remain high. This mortal reputation is also reflected in Series 12's adventures. The musicians are "ahead of the death curve" of their audience. However, almost 60% of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's inductees are still living, a bleak foretelling that the biggest wave of boomer musician deaths is yet to come. Rock music generated by this group accounts for 41% of total U.S. album sales last year, far higher than hip-hop and R&B (15%) or pop (10%).
Boomer stars of the 50s, 60s and 70s are in a league of their own. "Classic rock" became a huge, multi-billion-dollar global industry with staying power (aptly reflected in Series 12). Rock concerts went global and took over sports stadiums. Mass media was also on the rise (MTV), enabling global celebrity, producing massively famous people at an unprecedented rate. Much of rock's success can be attributed to the industry's structure during the 70s. Cash-rich major labels financed record projects, touring spectacles, fledgling acts and gigantic promotions. This built enduring brands and transformed superstars into major corporations that overshadow even younger "big" acts of today. Such "institutions" would include U2, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and other classic rock acts. The development of the CD during the 80s was a major factor in the growth of record labels and their acts into mega-performing financial powerhouses.
The industry is now compelled to change in the wake of competition brought on by the internet, social media, less appreciation for quality hi-fidelity sound and short attention spans. Most new acts will never achieve the level of fame and fortune their baby-boomer predecessors enjoyed. It's getting tougher even for established acts. Last year, Prince's "Very Best of Prince" (originally released in 2001) only sold 670,000 copies in the wake of his passing. It still beat Rihanna's "Anti" at 603,000 and Justin Bieber's "Purpose" at 554,000. Such paltry numbers does not bode well for musicians seeking "the big time."
The concert industry is no better off. Staging concerts is a costly proposition. There are fewer companies with financial clouts, all of them are big conglomerates less willing to invest substantial funds into tours unless the act is a certified financial success. The older stars, faced with the specter of dying out, are the guaranteed money makers, so the days of big concert events and the money they generate are numbered. Bruce Springsteen was last year's big concert money maker at $268 million, a career high, across 76 shows. Justin Bieber made $163 million, but had to play 40 more shows just to get there. Younger audiences supporting their younger rock idols have less money than the Boomers. Once the Boomers are gone, the big money void is unlikely to be filled. 20 acts charged $100 or more last year for a ticket to their show. With younger acts having trouble filling stadiums, let alone charging such a high price, the booming days of mega-fortunes in the music business can be seen grinding to a halt, particularly as Boomer audiences and performers die off.
The concert business is splitting in two directions: smaller venues and festivals. This approach appeals to younger audiences while squeezing every dollar possible out of the bound-for-extinction Boomers. To appeal to younger audiences, mega-concert promoter Live Nation has been on the music festival buying spree, where multiple acts perform for a piece of the profit pie. More expensive events aimed at Boomers feature fewer acts that collect a bigger cut, but these acts are the powerhouses of rock, such as Paul McCartney and Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), who can charge over $200 for a ticket and get away with it because their audience can afford and will gladly pay it.
However, the industry will likely see a revamping beyond what we see now, due to the inevitable aging of famous performers and their audiences, and it does not bode well for new acts, who will never know the mega-stardom and luxurious lifestyle their legendary Boomer pioneering mentors enjoyed. CRT's Series 12 reflects all of these situations, serving not only as an educational tool, but also as a reminiscent monument to a time of legendary magic never to be seen again. At Cathode Raytube Land, the Magical Musical Tour can still be taken. In light of the passing of so many musical heroes, it's a rare opportunity that is alive and well thanks to CRT.
CRT IS THE SEASON'S BIG WINNER AT FOUR WINS!
See the SCHEDULING AND TALLY PAGE.
TOP 10 ICONIC EVENTS IN SCIENCE FICTION HISTORY
A NEW article on the SPOTLIGHT PAGE highlights ten events that have had a lasting impact on science fiction entertainment, pop culture and society! Complete with illustrations and videos! Be sure to check it out!
LEGENDARY BATTLE SCENES FROM POPULAR SCI-FI TV SHOWS
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT VIDEOS OF SPACE BATTLE COMPILATIONS FROM A HOST OF RECENT SCI-FI SHOWS AT CRT'S VIDEO GALLERY PAGE!
SEASON 23 MULTIPLE WINNERS
SEASON 23 MULTIPLE WINNERS: ELLEN, SHANNA, AMBER, RACHEL, SHIRLEY, JESSIE, CRT (with four wins), JASON, KIM & MARY
CAN TABS FOR KIDS WITH CANCER: UPDATE
Attention CRT players: When you bring canned beverages with you to a game, please break off the tabs after the beverage is consumed and place it in the tab bowl we have started. Dustin and April have donated a sandwich bag full of can tabs, with a promised delivery of a garbage bag full of tabs to follow. Kim Lean is collecting these tabs, which benefit children suffering from cancer. Considering the amount of beer and soda CRT players consume, CRT can make a significant contribution toward this effort. Thanks in advance for your support!
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