Pop Music: No Desert Trip II This Fall, as Rival Knocks Out Promoter with Double Smash Shows
Remember last fall’s Desert Trip shows in Indio, California? I broke the story that Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan et al would participate in what became known as OldChella. The two October weekends grossed $160 million for Goldenvoice and AEG Live.
But there will be no Desert Trip II. That was confirmed today in press reports. I hate to say I told you so, but I did. When producer -manager Irving Azoff announced his Classic East and Classic West shows a few weeks ago, I said that was the end of Desert Trip. Azoff, a brilliant chess player, called checkmate.
Azoff’s shows sopped the rest of what is considered classic rock. And they’re all his clients! He’s bringing back the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, the Doobie Brothers with Michael McDonald, Earth Wind & Fire, Journey and Steely Dan. That’s it. Who’s left, really for that kind of huge rock weekend? The shows will play Dodger Stadium and New York’s CitiField (Shea Stadium) in July.
Desert Trip tried to reunite Led Zeppelin and got nowhere. McCartney is on tour by himself all fall in the US. The Stones are in Europe. I do wish Santana were on Azoff’s dates. Otherwise, the Mt. Rushmore-type Rock Acts have been used up. (Aerosmith and Bon Jovi would be next of remaining acts.)
Who will be the future big acts? I can’t see any of the current rock and pop stars ever having massive followings the way these groups I’ve just mentioned do. Maroon 5? No. Bieber? One Direction? Really?