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Rolling Stones Speak Out on Scalping

Rolling Stones
Ian Gavan, Getty Images

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have weighed in on recent comments by Kid Rock that he holds back a thousand tickets for each of his shows and sells them on, Ticketmaster’s secondary ticket service.

Keith is not a fan, saying, “If I see a scalper, I’ll scalp him.” The top tickets for The Rolling Stones’ 50 & Counting tour are in the neighborhood of $600 and Richards adds, “I’d do some free shows. I’d work my butt off and I don’t care how much. But these are set up above my head, man. You’re kind of locked in a thing here whether you like it or not. I wish it was five bucks a ticket.”

Mick Jagger says the artists are “powerless” when it comes to scalpers. “People have made a lot of fuss about it before, but on the other side, some people are like, ‘We might as well participate in it.’ And you can’t really blame the artist for participating in it because why shouldn’t they in a way? I know we don’t participate in it, but nevertheless, I don’t blame people if they wanted to do it. You can look at it like, ‘Well, no one’s making any money except these secondary ticket selling companies and they’re making more money than anyone. It’s completely legal so until it’s illegal, there’s nothing much anyone can do about that.”

Bruce Springsteen has been pushing for paperless tickets and on his Wrecking Ball tour he has used this method for 20-percent of the seats and Ticketmaster says this has helped reduced scalping by 75-percent.

Musicians have been fighting scalpers for decades now. Moody Blues singer-guitarist Justin Hayward recently shared a story with us about a run-in he and the band’s Ray Thomas had with a scalper in 1972. They did two shows in one day at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and in between the two they walked outside the Garden. Thomas saw a scalper and bought all his tickets and then proceeded to hand then out to their fans looking for seats to their second show.

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