The James Taylor / Carole King rip-off

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a ‘Nashvillian’ or the Nashville experience.” “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

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More than 4,000 men, women, and children now are homeless in Nashville—a significant increase since The Great Recession began. To make sure these human beings have the food, shelter, and love they need, please donate to the Nashville Rescue Mission by calling (615) 255-2475 or by visiting Nashvillerescuemission.org.  Thank you.

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The James Taylor / Carole King Rip-off

By Dave Carew

I used to know a guy here in Nashville whose mantra was: “Think things can’t get any worse? Just wait.”  I really valued the guy’s sunny disposition and positively uplifting attitude towards life.

I thought of that guy this morning, when I read about the upcoming (May 22) James Taylor / Carole King concert at Bridgestone Arena.  A short time ago, I had blogged about the outrageous prices ($92 and $127) the once-great and now long-washed-up Neil Young is charging for his upcoming Ryman gig.  Well, are you ready for this?  Compared to James and Carole, Neil is positively slumming.  Best-seat tickets for Taylor / King—neither of whom has released a great album in more than thirty-five years—are $386 . . . with even nose-bleed seats at $80.

Don’t get me wrong: I understand and value the free market, and want to see talented artists (even those now shadows of their former selves) rewarded for the enrichment and pleasure they bring their audience. But freakin’ $386 for a good seat?  There’s a point where the free market ends . . . and exploitation and contempt for the audience begin.

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance publicist and copywriter.

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