Business as usual
The rock-veterans will be going on tour this year: Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band (we'll see who'll be playing in the band), Rolling Stones, and other big acts will hit the street to entertain you. To entertain you? Well, perhaps they're also out there to cash in, as rock-music has become a multi-billion dollar business.
Elton John is supposed to have grossed some 50 million US dollars in 1998 while touring the USA. This figure does not include record sales and other royalties.
"So you wanna be a rock 'n' roll star"? Well, bring your accountants and lawyers first, before you sign any contracts. Times have changed dramatically and the illusion of becoming a rock 'n' roll star simply by playing excellent music is just an illusion. If you don't have the backup from powerful record companies investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in their product, you may never "make it".
There are numerous "stars" who have been laid off by their labels because they don't sell any more. Take Warren Zevon, for example, or David Knopfler both without a label contract, both excellent musicians, both perhaps too honest to play the game the way the bosses want their employees to perform.
P.S.: 21 February 1999, Iain Matthews' "Excerpts from Swine Lake" will be published by Tangible Records on 2 March 1999.