Bob, it has been a while since I felt compelled to respond to your often amusing blog. Much of what you write today is an accurate observation of our industry, both live and recorded, however, I have to take issue with opinion when presented as fact.
First of all, I have seen Whitney recently and she looks healthy and totally connected to her career again. For the record, AEG Live, the company I run, is not promoting the tour and I am responding to your published innuendo purely as a fan.
Secondly, if you listen to either satellite, internet or terrestrial radio, especially, the #1 music station in LA, KIIS-FM, and have not heard "Empire State of Mind", you must immediately get a hearing aid. This song is magnificient and has virtually no burn factor in the heaviest rotation I have ever experienced on a radio station like KIIS. For the record, AEG Live is proudly promoting Alicia’s tour and my competitor has Jay "locked" up for years, so with respect to this printed inaccuracy, I am both biased and neutral.
Lastly, those "anybody in the business" experts, or more accurately, schmucks, have either mis-information or no information when calling the Peas tour so early in the first quarter (to borrow a sports analogy). We put up 33 shows across the U.S. in which half were close to sold-out in the pre-sale and the others ranged from fantastic (8K+ sold) to "good start" (6K+ sold) to worrisome in a few secondary/tertiarary markets where the public on-sale was 4K or slightly less. There are only 5 of those markets where $$$ are extremely tight and unemployment incredibly high. I am happy to report that the "wraps" (tickets sold through on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis) have been strong. We will end up doing between 85% – 100% of sellable capacity across the entire world tour. Incidentally, our UK dates have been explosive as we head into our 4th to be sold-out O2 Arena.
The truth is that I do not have to defend Whitney, Jay and Alicia, or the Peas. Facts always trump fiction and results matter more than the negative banter of "haters" or misguided speculation. I would like to continue to hold your blog in higher regard than, say, Hits Magazine!
Happy New Year,
President & CEO
P.S. So much for my damn vacation!