A lot's been written about how Boomers are the ones driving the concert business these days. That's because we know great music when we hear it. And we're willing to pay big for the privilege of hearing it again.
Back on March 10th I wrote a piece for Bloggingstocks about my chance encounter with Jimmy Page of the great Led Zeppelin. I was doing the routine I had done over 200 times the previous 15 years: riding the train to London-Gatwick airport, walking over to the Northwest Airlines ticket counter and waiting for my plane. The ride to Minneapolis, non-stop is 8 1/2 hours...a nice dinner, two movies and a four-hour nap. But that day was different.
I was getting off the train when I spotted an older gentleman with a young boy -- his grandson. It was Jimmy Page, founder and lead guitarist of Led Zeppelin, waiting to hop on the train for the ride back to London. I jumped back on the train and felt like a 50 year old groupie -- but I had to meet him. In my humble opinion, and I am from a very musical family, (although the genes of talent didn't come my way!) is that Led Zeppelin was, is and will always be the greatest band ever. My college age kids love the band: their dorms are full of Zeppelin music and they weren't even born when the band broke up in 1980.
Jimmy Page could not have been more of a gentleman. He was kind and very inviting. If I had to do it over again, I would have as the Brits say "buggered my flight home" and ridden the train back to London with him. He even offered me a cup of tea from the trolley car. I knew I only had 10 minutes to chat as the train would be leaving back to London.
My first question to him was why don't you re-unite? You would not only make a fortune but the fans would turn out in droves--new and old, like me. He said at the time that lead singer Robert Plant was not in favor of a reunion. I asked him who would dare play the drums for the band? He said no one could possibly replace the late John Bonham, the best rock drummer ever, but that his son Jason could do the job with training.
December 10, 2007, 20,000 fans among the more than 20 million who entered the ticket lottery got to see the greatest rock band ever in a "one-time" -- although I do not believe it -- show. So far as one critic said, "it is the show of the century." Sixteen songs superbly done are not the composition for a one night stand. They will and they must tour.
For the record, I entered the lottery for the tickets and was prepared to travel to London with my 15-year-old son if only we had...but we didn't win.
I have a friend in London who did attend and he phoned me an hour ago. A distinguished, elegant British portfolio manager. I asked him for his thoughts and he actually got emotional (for a Brit) as he cleared his throat twice. "Georges," he told me, "besides my marriage and the birth of my children, this ranks as the number one thrill of my life. They were absolutely spectacular and half the audience was in tears at the end. No one wanted it to end." He cleared his throat for the third time...
The greatest band of all time and let's hope they tour the world...
Georges Yared is the CIO of Yared Investment Research and a frustrated wannabee drummer!!
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