“Ticketmaster fees: ‘There’s a real lack of understanding,’ analyst says”

Quote from analyst Brandon Ross:

“The problem that you have is, I think there’s a real lack of understanding, sometimes from the artist’s perspective, and definitely from the fan perspective, as to where those fees are actually coming from. In the case of The Cure, you had half of the fees going directly to the venues to cover things such as parking and other services that are given at the venue.

“And then, half of the ticket portion of the fee went to Ticketmaster, and half of that actually goes back to venues. So the venues are taking 75%-plus of that fee, and Ticketmaster only 25%. And I don’t think most fans actually understand that.”

Entire interview:


The complexity, that has in essence created itself, is unnecessary.

If legislation was in operation both in the UK and USA that ruled that tickets cannot be sold for more than 10% of the face value, the whole business would normalise.

Official re-sale sites could also re-sale for 10% of the value.

That is the fairest way to sell and distribute tickets.

The ticketing companies and the Artists would make a bit less.

The system would however become clear and transparent.

All the layers that are currently in place would once and for all disappear.

Then we can all get on with developing new artists and protect the business going forwards.

Harvey Goldsmith




I have been following your podcasts and the Lefsetz Letter for many years now and I just wanted to compliment you on the podcast with Davey Johnstone….. That episode was probably the best one yet although there are so many great ones, it’s hard to choose, but that particular episode was just great from start to end and so informative. In fact, Elton’s tour manager, DC Parmet is a good friend of mine.

Steve Wood


This is one of your finest interviews – Davey Johnstone’s remarkable story flows intelligently and with great humility and grace; I was deeply moved by his personal story. And what a career – His name won’t be familiar to most people even though he’s spent decades playing the biggest stages as a key player with one of music most popular artists. I was very familiar with his work prior his to joining Elton and always appreciated his playing. I first saw Elton with Dee Murray and Nigel Olson at Stockport college in the early 70s followed by several with Davey in the 70’s and 80’s – I haven’t dug out Elton’s albums for many years, but after listening to Davey’s insights into those early recordings, the first thing I did this morning was grab honky chateau, don’t shoot me and goodbye yellow brick road and get the turntable rolling. Davey Johnstone is truly one of the greats – Thanks for the interview Bob and pushing Davey into the spotlight where he deserves to be.

Pete Carroll


Thank you so much for the Davey Johnstone podcast. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. It was a long one, but could have gone on so much longer. You asked great questions and he really opened up. The man’s memory is amazing – the fact that you could mention a random song from 50 years ago, and he could tell you what instruments he played on it and share a studio story…wonderful! I knew about the loss of his son, too, but to hear him tell the story was heartbreaking. So sad.

Some years back, I had the chance to have lunch with him and his then-fellow Elton guitarist John Jorgenson and Davey’s stories were fantastic. As wild as the Elton stories could be, the Alice Cooper ones were as good or better.  I’m looking forward to a part two someday!

All the best,
-John Michaels


FANTASTIC INTERVIEW…how come no one has talked to him before? He was one of my original inspirations in music, particularly to branch out to mandolin, which became my primary instrument.

Whenever I see an Elton biography I have one criterion: I look at the index in back…if there are more entries for Rod Stewart than for Davey Johnstone I don’t even bother to look at the pictures, I put it down (I’m more into the music than the fame). This far no Elton bio has made it.


Thanks for a great interview, hope you’re well!

Matthew R. Wehling


That was great! Great guest and you let him run. I didn’t think I’d last the 2+ hours, but so entertaining. Thank you.

Edwin Rojas


Great Davey Johnstone interview.  You must do a part 2 interview with Davey Johnstone to cover more of the 70s albums, especially Captain Fantastic.  By the time EJ and the band recorded Captain Fantastic, they were at their best in terms of vocals, songwriting, musical arrangement and production.  It’s one of those albums that must be heard in its entirety – the songs flow so well.


-Steve Coscia, CSP


Man, THAT was a good podcast!

Johnstone is one of rock’s iconic sidemen..Alongside Clarence Clemons, Neil Geraldo, Randy Rhodes ,and the guy who drummed for Melissa Manchester..

The most underrated band of the rock era? The Elton John Band..I was floored when I first saw them.. They nailed the vocals! While playing!..You often don’t get that..

Their vocal arrangements became increasingly intricate..Not just harmony on the chorus, but the oohs and aahs served more as orchestration..Almost like the Jordanaires (Elvis), but on a whole other level..

The Classic Album episode of the making of GYBR details the process..Better than the biopic/musical thing, whatever TF THAT was..

You missed out by not seeing the Vegas shows..The Red Piano was seminal in rise of the rock residency..The production value really set the standard for subsequent shows..

I found the footage with Justin Timberlake as 70s Elton…The whole show was shot for a DVD release from Best Buy, and lives on YouTube..As does the final Dodger stadium show..


Timberlake as rocket man

James Spencer


Fantastic pod with Davey Johnstone!

Robert Bond


What an absolutely fascinating interview with Davey. Never a doubt he had a lot of stories to tell and you had him deliver. Great job.

Mitchell Sussman


Your recent podcast with Davey Johnstone was two hours, forty-eight minutes and thirty-two seconds in length.

Accordingly, it was too short.

Gil Alloul


Davey is one the greats and also a friend and hero.

I learned so much about playing guitar for records dissecting his parts on all the incredible Elton records that sound as good today as they did the day they came out!

I stole a lot from him in doing my own music. Still do. ‘What would Davey play on this?’ He is a musical reference I still use to this day.

He always came up/comes up with the perfect parts with the perfect sounds with such diversity style and flare.  Acoustic 12 string parts to Mandolin to the amazing layered electric guitars and tasty solos…. I could go on and on.

I have had the honor of doing records with him back in the days when humans played together on tracking sessions.

First one was a Kiki Dee record Bill Schnee Produced in 1978. I was so thrilled to be in the same room with him and man .. one of THE nicest guys you will ever meet.



Thanks Bob,
What a pleasure talking with you.
I leave Monday for the final 4 months of our touring career!
Talk to you when it’s over!!





He’s the sound — and life — of a lot of kids coming of age between the Coasts.

They don’t care about what the “tastemakers” do, they care about people who sing about THEIR moments, loves, wants, hurts.

Find me a NYC critic who’s gone muddin’, and they are welcome to comment.

I got my country bona fides when I was growing up + the best original band who played cool covers was Deadly Earnest + the Honky Tonk Heroes.

Stones, Ry Cooder, Waylon Jennings. NO difference, so no shame.

But my uncle also owned a (dynamite) fuse factory, and had to have land all around it for safety… so he had a bunch of black Angus cattle, then 5 buffalo to get into the Beefalo Race (he came in 2nd, I believe, or 3rd). But it’s people from West Virginia who worked those jobs… So, 70s country was what I heard when I went out to ride one of the horses or see my Dad when my parents would be split up.

I can’t say it’s my birth right, but I know that it’s in the veins of those folks. They’re not like fancy people in NY, LA or Miami.

He’s for them, plain and simple. They don’t read you, or me in HITS or even POLLSTAR. But they get out there and live, and these are the songs that celebrate those things.

It’s why he’s in stadiums, and so is Luke Combs. It’s why Kenny Chesney is the ONLY country act on BILLBOARD’s Top 10 Touring Acts of the Last 25 Years for the last 14 — and he didn’t tour during the pandemic. 

Nobody wants to see or honor these people, and that’s fine. The fans don’t mind… at all.

Holly Gleason
Nashville, TN


In the streaming era where no-one listens to albums unless they’re by Beyonce, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Drake or Jay Z, Morgan Wallen has had over one billion streams on this album, which is phenomenal in itself. This is an album that was released on MARCH 3 – less than three weeks ago.

And this isn’t one of those Track One Side One events. His fans are digging deep.

Track 17 is approaching a quarter billion; track 18 is on 132m as I write.

There isn’t a single track on this 36 track album that newcomers wouldn’t give their right arm to achieve.

Nothing under 6m and 22 tracks over 10m.

I don’t like the music, but the man is giving his audience what they want.

I love the streaming era, and I love the fact that artists most people have never heard of are doing gangbusters.

Best wishes
Paul Phillips


Best country record since “Traveler” by Chris Stapleton.

I had 3 different decades of people tell me to check out his record the day it dropped, but I already had been listening.

This is the album that country fans will love that live outside the echo chambers of NYC and LA.   People in these places still have little clue what the middle of the country likes….

Josh Petersen
Music City Management


Mine, my daughter’s opinion is that Morgan’s songs are great. His songs are crafty, original so why not release more that are ready to go. I know I’m preaching to the choir here but music promotion and the times have changed, people’s attention, interest limited so why not?

The guy is going to be around for a long time…

Steve Anderko


I love it

The guy is a genius with a catchy hooky hook

Check these out:

“Thinkin’ Bout Me”:


Jil Goldhand



Subject: Jamie Lee want’s to have rock n’ roll matinee shows

Hey Bob,

Peter Shapiro’s points out the economic and venue side of this scenario, but can I point out the logistics side of loading in an arena show….

7am Rigging Call

8am Trucks start to unload (most arena tours are 8 – 16 trucks)

9am Lighting starts going up

Followed by sound, video, stage being built, etc.

Then you have lunch breaks for your crew / stagehands

Then risers, set and band gear

2pm: Chairs start being setup as floor clears

Usually by 4pm, the stage is ready for a soundcheck

5pm: Chairs are done, house gets dressed

6pm: Venue call for all security / ushers / concessions workers

And if everything goes well that day, with no hiccups…..Doors at 7!

So tell me, what bands (or promoters) are going to want to do a full loadin day, so the people over 60 (and I’m one now), can watch a show at 1pm the next day and be home by 5pm??

Kent Black




Back in the 90’s, Nickelodeon hired us to interview Sumner Redstone for a corporate video. His nervous assistant led him into the room. He was on time and crotchety. I asked him a bunch of tedious questions about globalization and marketing strategies, which he answered intelligently enough.

Then I decided to ask him some questions the Nick audience might actually be interested in.

“How many potato dishes can you name?”

He stared at me in astonishment. “How many potato dishes can I name? What kind of a question is that?”

He glared at me, barely containing his fury. The room was silent. I had just asked the world’s most powerful media mogul the stupidest question he’d ever heard.

Then he fired off his answer like a machine gun. “Well, there’s baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, french fries, potato salad, roast potatoes, home fries…” his voice trailed off, as he considered the question further. “And… potatoes au gratin!” he declared triumphantly. 

I immediately launched a follow-up. “What’s funnier, cheese or bananas?”

Another withering stare. The man who had cut the most ferocious business deals weighed his options carefully. “You can slip on a banana,” he declared. “But” he said after a long pause, “you can cut the cheese.” 

“So cheese then?” I asked him.

“Yes, cheese is funnier than bananas” said Sumner Redstone.




From: Andrew Oldham


Obviously Maher did not do enough drugs …

We got Covid for Christmas. And the Ides of March are looming and it’s still here. Round 1 was like being spiked by David Crosby pre Monterey back in ’67. 4 days in a tunnel of vomit before the light came in.

Round 2 not unlike the Scientology Purification Rundown when all the drugs seep out. Obviously some decided to stay.

… and Covid decided that was where it would attack , as opposed to all the other candidates  i.e. anyone who smoked anything for more than 30 years.

The Covid war is not over, you never know where or if the beast is going to hit.

Used to love Bill M . Guess he got scared. Now it’s all about him, maybe it’s time for him to adopt a kid ?

Best, o

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