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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Got a Spare Couple Thousand Dollars? Private Brian Wilson Performance in SF.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 10:24 AM

click to enlarge brian_small.jpg
Brian Wilson doesn't do too many performances these days (the last time I saw him was on his Smile tour, a great show with a lot of help from backup singers and musicians). The Beach Boy will be in San Francisco this month, though, playing a space much smaller than the Fillmore, in support of his collaboration with an artist friend. It's a move mirroring a larger music industry trend too--give the mega fans a mega-intimate show for the mega bucks.

Wilson and his band hit the San Francisco Art Exchange, home to much photographic rock memorabilia, on January 23 in support of his work with Sir Peter Blake--who art directed the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper shoot. Blake has created a limited-edition book and print set based on Wilson's album, That Lucky Old Sun. Of course, collector's items aren't cheap, and purchase of this one doubles as entry for Wilson's private show at the Art Exchange. The price tag for Blake's That Lucky Old Sun together with Blake and Wilson in person? A cool $1,500. Throw in an extra $3,500 on top of that and you get a couple rare Beatles shots and outtakes, and the promise of sitting in the first five rows for Wilson's show. 

I can't imagine ponying up that kind of cash for a box set, no matter the artists involved--mainly because, well, I can't pretend to have that kind of disposable income...despite the myth of the lavish journalist lifestyle. But this private performance and special box set are part of the larger trend of packaging both recordings and concerts in ways that get the big spenders to reach deep for the acts they truly care about. What with John Mayer hosting cruises and other artists like Dylan and Dolly Parton playing birthday parties,  Brian Wilson charging in the thousands for a special show, recording, and artwork is all par for the course in this Music Industry 2.0.

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Ian S. Port

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