How can Rock Hall of Famers go on after losing a key bandmate? Lessons for the Rolling Stones

Jon Bream, Star Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

Peter Olsen of Minneapolis was sad that Frey died, but as a Gill fan, he was excited to see the Eagles. "They can still play," he said. "You love the originals, but it's not forever."

Dave Lindholm of Eden Prairie said he was glad to see the Eagles, and stoked to go see the Stones: "It's different, but I'd rather see them than not see them," said Lindholm, a 34-year-old guitarist.

Stones superfan Jon Clifford, who has seen them 15 times, hasn't secured a ticket for this tour.

"When you lose somebody as integral as Charlie, then maybe it's time to move on and do some other things. My hope would be they hang it up as the Stones," said Clifford, proprietor of HiFi Hair and Records in Minneapolis. "Whether they go out individually or collectively as something else. I'd rather see them go out on top than fizzle out.

"They're on that brink. I had such a great time last time around [in 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium] and I was in the fifth row, it's hard to top that."

Bland can see both sides of the argument — retire the moniker vs. press on — but believes that "ultimately, the public decides."


And fans have spoken at the box office. The firing of Lindsey Buckingham didn't hurt Fleetwood Mac's 2018-19 tour, which grossed $172 million. Still believing in their 1970s and '80s hits, Journey seems to be bigger than ever with replacement singer Arnel Pineda, plucked from a Filipino Journey tribute band.

With Stones tickets at a top face value of $496, they are drawing near-capacity crowds this fall. The group is sticking to its tried-and-true catalog. Is it about the band or the brand? The hits, or who plays them?

Bland takes a position that's equally philosophical and pragmatic. "Everybody's gonna die except the music," he said. "So we might as well hold onto it as long as we can."


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