Mailbag-Ticketing, Crime Songs & More!


Lets start with fees. This is a problem I never see being fixed. Fans love to pay fees. There might be some fans out there that are loud and complain but they still buy the tickets and majority do not complain.  Agents, managers and artists  want 85%, 90%, 100% of the profit from the door where else will a promoter make their money especially if they do not own the room. The promoter is also not going to say no to the artist or agent if they want to add on to the fee of the ticket for their benefit. As long as the Artists, the managers and the agents have the ticketing companies to hide behind and the fans do not boycott high fees or even crazy priced tickets nothing will ever change.  Actually like you mentioned high ticket prices are here forever that will not change. Even your local band gets $20 for a ticket. Americans pay fees for everything, hotel fees, travel fees buy a car pay a handling fee it is the easiest way to squeeze money out of someones pocket without feeling guilty. Soon there will be a Lefsetz fee. Owning the ticketing company, the management company and  being the promoter that is a separate issue.

Jon Topper


I have a hard time believing as a fan that all in ticketing is the answer. It would be great for the promoter and  ticketing company but then a band that should only be charging $20 for a ticket is now charging $30 or $50 for a ticket is $65 makes it look like the artist is completely calling the final price.  I have said it before for the most part the fans do not care about the fees or the ticketing price. Americans love to pay fees and bitch about it but they pay. 

Personal example of  fans not caring, I once did a promotion with LN to put the first 1000 tickets of 2500 seat venue on sale with no fees for a limited time. My thinking was that the fans going to the show are your best marketers to other fans.  The way I structured the deal was half of the fees came from the Artist guarantee the second half came from the marketing budget for the show. I took half from the Artist guarantee because Rapino said to me that the Artist wants the promoter to take the chance and not put any of the risk on the Artist. We advertised it sent out emails to the artist’s fans really pushed it hard, When it was all said and done the on sale sold around 400 tickets which is normal for this artist and only about 550 of the no fees sold by the time the promotion was up. The venue ended up selling out by doors but everyone else paid fees. FYI this was not the first time the venue had sold out.

I personally think the answer for less fees and lower ticket prices would be way more income sharing all around. All expenses and profits both from the Artist side and promoters side being put on the table.

Jon Topper


The bit at the end, where Vito says ask fans how they feel about ticket pricing and availability, is something called “consumer welfare.” As you may know, the last 40 years of American antitrust law is dominated by that line of thinking. Monopoly and monopsony power are okay to allow as regulators so long as the buyers (former) or sellers (latter) get better pricing. This is how American conservatives and market-focused liberals think about competition policy. It’s two generations of economics-dominated, math-based argumentation spearheaded by Robert Bork himself. USDOJ AT Division, the FTC, the FCC, and state regulations at the Public Utility Commissions have staff and leaders filled with this philosophy.

Instead, I’m a proponent of a “public interest” standard for regulation. The idea is that the net trade-offs to society are not positive for many of these mergers, even if some pinheads can make the pricing math work in a model. Amazon is not in favor of the public good because they can make prices go down by introducing their own Amazon Basics lookalike or deploy tens of thousands of gig workers to deliver in 2 hours from the trunk of their Civic.

We need a modern antitrust act to deal with all those internet platform monopolies, but Congress is out to lunch on this. Lina Kahn at FTC is the right woman for the right job at the right time, though.

Gordon Chaffin


The problem described in Vito‘s PS is scarcity – if there was a central inventory API that all competitors could sell from, they would have to compete on service, not on exclusivity. Similar to how music streaming services more or less serve the same content. But then you couldn‘t have all of the shady kickback deals going on…

Stefan Hartmann


All great points. I go to a lot of shows and I am in a few Facebook groups for artists who have had sales recently that went poorly.  (Meaning well for the artist.)  The people complaining in these groups just don’t get it. They see the few seats that are somehow $5000 and assume that’s what Jimmy Buffett is charging everyone.  Meanwhile, tickets that had quickly sold out are now going for about $200 with fees.  For a bucket list type show. Of course, the uninformed are blaming the artists, I know Springsteen’s taken a huge hit on his reputation, not that it affected ticket sales.

Here in Orlando, there was a Garth Brooks show last year. Garth keeps his ticket prices pretty low, and I checked after about a month and it was completely sold out. But massive amounts of tickets on resale sites.  I bought tickets the day of the show for $12. The scalpers bet and lost on that one. Felt nice.

Dave Arbiter
Davenport, FL



I waited to see if anyone called out your egregious error but it seems I’m the only one who gets it. The big issue with Ticketmaster is that they are ALSO in the “scalper” secondary ticket market!!!  They are DOUBLING up on fees with their “verified” resales.  Resales?  WAIT!!  How can the primary seller also be a secondary market reseller?  WTF?  Seems like a very slippery slope towards corruption.

In addition, no one is talking about the “Platinum” tickets.  Ok, hide behind the facade of platinum tickets are the best tickets so you have to pay a premium to get them but search this out.  Phish at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, Ca is 100% GA.  However, after 10 minutes of regular ticket sales, PLATINUM tickets popped up!!  Oh, and are still up!!! The $95 GA tickets can now be purchased for $250 plus charges.  HUH?  WTF is Platinum?  How can a 100% GA house have “Platinum” tickets?   Why did any member of congress not question that today?  Ticketmaster realizes what the devil is and is trying their best to cast their white angel wings and quash it only to have the blood of anti-trust and greed stain their snowy white feathers deep red.

Mitch Dorf


“Ticket Prices Surging as James Closes in on Abdul-Jabbar Record

LeBron James is set to break the all-time career scoring record in the coming weeks.

Tickets to the possible record-breaking games have increased up to 305%.”

I demand a Congressional hearing.

Dan Millen


Appreciate your informative recent pieces on ticketing. Thought you’d appreciate this letter to the editor in today’s Star Tribune.




Other crises can wait, apparently

“We cannot talk about Social Security, we cannot hold meaningful discussions on fixing our debt and deficit problems and we cannot fund our schools correctly, but I am so glad we can work on the Taylor Swift tour ticket issue (“Taking on Ticketmaster’s showstopper fees,” Jan. 25). This is in the U.S. Senate. Our senior senator, whom I adore, should truly be ashamed for this clear pandering, softball issue getting press and hearing time. Rome burns and on this one, Amy fiddles. No tickets required.

MARK A. RONNEI, Pequot Lakes, Minn.”

Lisa Dahlseid




Hi Bob,

Zach Bryan’s music has been  predominantly featured for a couple of seasons now on Yellowstone. He also performed a few songs as himself in a County Fair segment of an episode that aired this past December (Season 5).  Easy YouTube search if you are interested.

That is where I first heard his songs.  Became an instant fan because of the exposure on Yellowstone. He is a fantastic artist and it is great show.  Definitely binge worthy.

Sandra Laidlaw


From: Ally Fell

Hi Bob,

I happened to read your October 19 post “Zach Bryan At The Wiltern” though I had never heard of him. I was curious and desperate for some new music so based on your writing, I took a few minutes to explore his songs. I do not consider myself a fan of contemporary Country Music, but I loved and connected with him immediately. The last time I can recall that happening with an artist was when I first heard King Princess. I avoid going to the Wiltern but I was super sad to have missed Zach’s LA show by less than a day. So I checked his remaining tour dates and wishfully noted on my calendar that he was playing Red Rocks two weeks later.

The next week I listened to him nonstop, and eventually decided to get to the Red Rocks show one way or another. I missed live music for so long due to Covid, I deserved this. My Colorado bestie was onboard and I found a roundtrip ticket on Frontier for $87. An Angel was able to get us tickets to one of the most unforgettable shows I’ve ever been to. I’ve seen plenty of crazy weather, lightning storms, hail and rainbows at Red Rocks, but have never been buried in snow during a show there. The cowboy hats around us had at least 3″ of snow on their brims. I can’t describe how incredible it was, but for anyone who cares, they’ve seen the videos and listened to the live album he released not long after.

Now, I don’t even think he is Country, he’s just my favorite. I put down $1 each for the chance to buy tickets to 6 dates on the upcoming tour. I don’t even want the refund, I’m just happy to support this process, and hopefully will make it to one of the shows! Thanks for tipping me off to him in the first place.




Around 2005, my mother drove down from Oregon to visit me in LA when I was still living and working there as a session drummer. I put her up at The Sportsman’s Lodge in Sherman Oaks as it was just across the boulevard from my place. The day I dropped her off, David Crosby was walking around the grounds with a group of people. As you know, living there and working in the industry immunizes you from star-struckism, as you run into these people while perusing varieties of ice cream at the grocery store, but I couldn’t believe he was there. I wanted so badly to break protocol and go make an ass of myself. A few days later, at dinner with mom, she offered up this little nugget. “Oh hey… I rode the elevator up to the room with David Crosby this morning after breakfast. He’s a great guy.” I looked at her like she’d just smacked me in the forehead with a 2×4. “Uh… what?” “Yeah,” she said. “He asked me if I wanted to come up to his suite for an evening of music tonight.” I freaked – “What the hell are you doing here then? You mean we could be hanging out with David fucking Crosby right now????” She says, “Well, honey…… I didn’t drive 24 hours from Corvallis to hang out with David Crosby!!!”

Parents are so hard to raise.

Deanne Ogden


February 2019. We were promoting a David Crosby concert in an intimate (800seat) venue in a converted church in (a pro Trump) Vero Beach, Florida. He walked on stage, reflected on where he was and who he was, looked at the audience and opened with “can you believe I’m here?”   What he didn’t know was that we had given a block of tickets to 40 vets who had served in Korea and Viet Nam. He, his band and the audience settled in and the next 90 minutes were pure Croz.

He decided to close with Ohio..Standing in the wings, I was watching to see how this group was going to respond as the song and his performance became more anti war. One of the older vets got up from his seat, stood quietly and watched. In a moment that still moves me, he quietly lowered his head and raised his fisted arm. One by one the remaining vets did the same, as did the rest of the audience.

When the song ended, Croz stood there and smiled.   A blue moment in a red state.

Rusty Young



Several years ago, I was managing Reid Genauer and Reid had the amazing opportunity to do a solo acoustic opener for a run of shows with David Crosby on the northeast spur of his CPR tour.

Needless to say, we were pretty over the moon about the opportunity. I had seen David in various forms many times and had obsessively listened (as I still do) to If I Could Only Remember My Name and Four Way Street. Having the chance to be in his orbit was literally a dream come true.

David had a sort of notorious reputation for being a bit bristly and of course we wanted to be on our best behavior and not do anything that would  draw negative attention to ourselves. 

One night somewhere, Reid was on stage and had his dog Maple locked in the dressing room. 

Or so we thought. 

In reality, Maple had been roaming around the backstage until he found an open door to the unoccupied star dressing room, where he helped himself to David Crosby’s rider.  All over the floor, furniture.  A total disaster.

The next part of this story is sort of a blur to me due to the terror I endured waiting for one of my musical heroes to show up and tear us a new one.

But I do remember the ending: It turns out David Crosby loved dogs and was really missing his own rascally pups while he was out on the road. He gave Maple some head scratches, laughed it off and paid Reid some fine compliments. Tragedy narrowly averted.

That was the first time but not the last time I got to work with him. Each time was one of the high honors of my life.

Bob Kennedy

Bowery Presents




Wow! Best episode yet. A super smart autodidact with a fabulous memory. And I love all his music so the backstories are fascinating.  Thank you —

David Meerman Scott


Great podcast. He’s obviously brilliant & we knew the Heads were brainy but…

Steve Tipp


And (producer) of Elliott Murphy Night Lights album!



I really enjoyed hearing Jerry on your podcast. Very interesting and deeply revealing!

Keep up the good work.

Chris Frantz




From: Jason Cilo

My wife and I (both 53) and our 11-year-old daughter had a long drive up to Massachusetts last week. Over my daughter’s demands for Hits 1 on Sirius I claimed my right as the driver to select what I listened to. I chose your Wynonna podcast.  Fantastic. Fascinating. And REAL while still having that veneer of showbiz, of celebrity, of the stuff that makes the magic. And yet she was so honest about the pain behind it all and her own mercenary/egotistical attraction to the fame, the money, the lifestyle…all with very few platitudes, and what I can hear as sobriety in her responses.  And “Robert Weir” she mentioned maybe 3 or 4 times before I realized she’s talking about Bob Weir!  Somehow that’s so perfect, that she calls him “Robert Weir” as nobody else does. And then I’m streaming the broadcast of Dead & Company’s Playing In The Sand concert this weekend and….there she is. And she was GREAT. I’ve been a Deadhead for 30 years and it’s hard to step onstage with any iteration of the Dead and find a place to fit in. Maggie Rogers did it recently.  But many have flailed. But she brought it and a sense of fun to the proceedings. When she was singing, she was interior…in a way your podcast illuminated. When she bantered, she came alive…in the way your podcast illuminated. Perhaps the highest praise was our 11-year-old, having pretended not to be listening…kept mentioning Wynonna all weekend….she was hooked! Kudos.

Wynonna & Dead & Company “Ramble On Rose”:




My Jeff Beck story;

When I was in my 20’s playing bars around Nashville, I played a lot of gigs with Jimmy Hall. He had just sang on Ambitious with Jeff Beck and was getting ready to do his tour. We had a gig at a funky little bar on Nolensville Road when Jeff came to town to go over material with Jimmy for the upcoming tour.

So, naturally, he came out to the gig to sit in. I was of course, losing my mind thinking I would have a chance to play with Jeff. This was long before I had ever played with anyone of note, and was just getting into playing a few publishing demos in the studio scene, but mostly just playing bar gigs. So, Jeff gets up to play, he’s standing right next to me on this little stage, this was around the time he was just moving into the phase of using the whammy bar and playing with his fingers, a sound he would develop over the next 20 years of his career, a style so completely original, I’ve never heard anything like it. Needless to say, on that stage that night, as I watched him play, about a foot away from me, it was like watching a savant, he just bemusedly looked down at the guitar, playing shit that completely blew my mind. It was total genius. I suggested we play Rock My Plimsoul, from his Truth record. I had learned that solo note for note sitting in my apartment practicing. So, we bust into that song, Jeff plays a solo, like, some unbelievable whammy bar future blues from outer space, and he nods at me to take a solo. I play his solo note for note from the record (or honestly, a fair approximation of it) he looks at me and kicks me…. affectionately. Ok, so I’m thinking, “Jeff Beck just kicked me” but in an endearing way. It  felt to me like a nod of approval. This was huge for a young unknown  guitar player like me.


He played maybe 4 or 5 songs total. It was the complete highlight of my life. But, there’s more..


At one point he broke a string and played my spare guitar. After the gig, I asked him to sign the guitar. He said, “Mate, get me a couple warm beers and a knife and I’ll carve my name in it.” Amazingly, there was a biker I vaguely knew with a buck knife, I asked to borrow it, even more amazingly he said yes, I grabbed a couple Guinness beers and headed back to the dressing room. We sat and chatted for about an hour as he ornately carved his name in my strat. At one point I said jokingly, hey Jeff if you hang around here ,you might get to play on some country records. His response was “haha, I’d love to” as he stopped carving for a minute and, just with the guitar unplugged in the dressing room, began playing blazingly fast, articulate bluegrass and country licks, kind of ala Albert Lee, but still sounding unmistakably like Jeff. All of us in the dressing room were sitting there(including my buddy Warner Hodges from Jason and the Scorchers) with our mouths open, like, ok you just put us all in our place. That’s it, that’s my Jeff Beck story. Still to this day, one of the greatest nights of my life.


Kenny Greenberg




From: Dave Dederer

“Trust nobody in entertainment, they’re all out for themselves. If you’re generating revenue, they’re your best friend, if you’re not…”


Truer words were never spoken!  

We were heavily courted by every major label except Interscope in the mid 90s (how many were there then…8,9?).  

We signed with Columbia because we trusted Donnie Ienner.  

By “trusted,” I mean we trusted him to act in accord with the credo cited above with full commitment and transparency.  

He wasn’t going to pretend.  He wasn’t going to BS.  He was straight up.  And it was a great partnership. 

He was true to his word — told us in May 1995 that if we signed the final long-form agreement by mid-June, he would have the record out in mid-July.  We agreed and he delivered.  Anyone in the business knows that setting up a release in two months was just not done in the physical era, much less without a deal signed until a few weeks before the release date. 

When we were selling 60,000 records a week, I could typically get him on the phone within five minutes.  

When we were selling 6,000 a week, maybe get a call back in a few days, probably never. 

No offense taken.  That’s how business works. 

The bounds and rules of the relationship were clear.  Good fences make good neighbors!  




“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”


Alex Skolnick


1952 Vincent Black Lightning ……….just sayin

Richard Thompson

Bill Nelson


Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson

Bill Waliewski




1977 mid-Top 40 & #1 Soul ditty co-written/produced by legendary hitmaker Freddie Perren – which name-checks a string of iconic mid-70s TV crime series!

Tim Hanlon

Lake Forest, IL


Here are some of my additions to your “Crime Songs Playlist:”

Tom Dooley
Kingston Trio

Jailhouse Rock

Stagger Lee
Lloyd Price

Gallows Pole
Led Zeppelin

House of the Rising Sun
The Animals

Smugglers Blues
Glenn Fry

Folsom Prison Blues
Johnny Cash

Rocky Racoon

Hey Joe
Jimi Hendrix Experience

All the Best,

Bob Jameson


What about Family Snapshot by Peter Gabriel?

Shane Cadman


I Fought The Law:  The Crickets

Doug Thompson


The Equals “Police On My Back”:

The Clash covered this on Sandinista.

Both versions are so infectious.

Nick Petropoulos


Indiana Wants Me – R. Dean Taylor

John Garabedian


What about

Robbery, Assault and Battery
(from A Trick of The Tail)


Ian Penman


No Folsom Prison Blues?

Marc Reiter


Pittsburgh Stealers

The Kendalls

Michael Craig


Folsom Prison Blues-Johnny Cash

Momma Tried – Merle Haggard

Mark Morrisey



Midnight Maniac

LD Glover


Old Judge Jones
Les Dudek

Crime in The City
Neil Young

Benjamin Hunter


1. Hurricane, Bob Dylan

~ Living in So Florida, I haven’t met anyone who knows this song and it should be iconic given its name, right!?!? I think it’s because the radio market is so tuned into Latin music, and there’s only one rock station that ONLY plays the ‘super’ hits where I’ve heard the same songs nearly 10k times. Whhyyyy 🙁

Hurricane is a song about racism, violence and betrayal. I used to sing that song with a live band in the 90s, after having a few beers of course! Now I’m in my 50s , not sure I could remember all the lyrics, but I still remember the impact that story had on me then, as a white, midwesterner (woman). Tyre’s story is no different- it’s just now more people have access to it.



A crime song list without Alice Cooper?

Thomas Quinn


A little Canadian Crime by The Box.

Michael Greggs.


Nice… cruising and listening… I would have added Ellis Unit One by Steve Earle…from the Dead Man Walking Soundtrack which is really quite underrated IMO… cheers

Todd Devonshire


What about Maxwell’s Silver Hammer? HA

Jeff Weicher


Outlaw Man

Cash On The Barrelhead
Louvin Brothers

Thirty Days
Chuck Berry

Ballad Of Thunder Road
Mark Collie

Julie + Lucky
Dan Baird

Kingston Trio

In State
Kathleen Edwards

(I Washed My Hands In) Muddy Water
Johnny Rivers

John Besanko


Watching The Detectives

Elvis Costello

Whose Side Are You On

Matt Bianco

David Boloten


The Curse of Millhaven – Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

Don’t Take Your Guns To Town – Johnny Cash

A Criminal Mind – Gowan

David Harley’s Son and Suicidewinder and In the Trunk of a Black Lexus – Ridley Bent (debut album – Blam)

They may or may not fit your criteria, but all, in my opinion, immensely entertaining

Kevin Young


Being from Indiana – “Indiana Wants Me” – R Dean Taylor

Rob Evans


Murder In My Heart For The Judge
Moby Grape

Ballad of a Well Known Gun
Elton John

Scott Sechman


Copperhead Road, Steve Earle

A tale of 3 generations of criminals

could have topped the list

J.Cole – OG


Down By The River – Neil Young

Mark Johnson


Lock and Key


John Virant, Jr.


A Week In a Country Jail

Tom T Hall


Alice’s Restaurant

Arlo Guthrie


One Piece at A Time

Johnny Cash


Folsom Prison Blues

Johnny Cash


Jeff Lysyczyn


I remain especially fond of this one:

“The Holdup: David Bromberg:

Corey Bearaj


I love this playlist! Adding Tweeter and the Monkey Man…

Robyn Gould


Tom waits “day after tomorrow “
Steve Earle “ Jerusalem “

Mitchell Greenbaum


Uriah Heep – Stealin’…..

Donald Bartenstein


What no Jailbreak?

Mick Wall


​Bohemian Rhapsody Queen

​Gotta Get A Message To You Bee Gees

Wrick Wolff


You forgot Smugglers Blues.

Greg Robson


Great list, Bob.

Surprised to see, huge Zeppelin fan that you are, that Gallows Pole, was omitted. No worries though, will love listening to this playlist.

Mark Haar


For What It’s Worth

Buffalo Springfield


Crosby Stills Nash and Young

Hey Joe

Jimi Hendrix

Down by the River

Neil Young


Van Halen

Riders On The Storm

The Doors


Tim Petty and the Heartbreakers

Guns, Guns, Guns

The Guess Who

The End

The Doors

Drugs in Me Pocket

The Monks

Laugh At the Judge

The Grease Band

Bank Job

Barenaked Ladies

Murder She Wrote

Chair Demus & Pliers

Jailhouse Rock


Arrested For Driving While Blind

ZZ Top

I Fought the Law

The Clash


The Clash

Anarchy in the UK

Sex Pistols

Riot in Cell Block Number Nine

Blues Brothers

Gimme Back My Bullets

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Olie Kornelsen


Bohemian Rhapsody?

David Stopps


Crime In The City (Sixty to Zero Pt. 1)

Neil Young

One of the best.

Jordan Holman


Rubber Bullets 10cc
Steve Langford


Murder incorporated
Bruce Springsteen

Jeff Gabriels


I love the list. Here’s an incredible song that you might want to put on the next time – The Road Goes on Forever – by Robert Earl Keen. It has to be the live version, though, with the crowd singing along and the two-minute jam session.

JP Lavin


Murder Incorporated – Bruce Springsteen

Chris Xynos


whenever kindness fails – robert earl keen

Robert Earl Keen

Denise Mello


Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)

Mama Tried (Grateful Dead; Merle Haggard original I think)

Send Me To The ‘lectric Chair (David Bromberg; Bessie Smith original I think)

Indiana Wants Me (R. Dean Taylor; original?)



Parchman Farm

Mose Allison

In Germany Before The War

Randy Newman

Take a Message to Mary

The Everly Brothers

El Paso

Marty Robbins

Don’t Take Your Guns To Town

Johnny Cash

Hey Joe

Jimi Hendrix

Russ Titelman


Great list! Feels like the album or a song from Nick Cave’s Murder ballads would fit right in.


Christophe Carvenius


Mr. Policeman… by Brad Paisley… such a silly fun song…!

Marc Lohrmer


Send Me To the ‘Lectric Chair

Bessie Smith

Lauri Perason


Indiana wants me!

Peter Wagner


Big Iron

Marty Robbins

Bruce Gordon


You forgot Me and My Uncle by the Grateful Dead.

Stefanie Lacoff


Hey joe

Stalag 17.- Ansel Collins:

Jeff Lorber


“Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde”:

Georgie Fame

I’m roughly your age…I love this song!

Tom Clark


You’re missing most of Nebraska

Merck Mercuriadis

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