Sunday, April 21, 2024

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?


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News