Over here we have an example of how Pollstar.com delivered tour dates before WW2. Of course, back then most people weren’t connected to the Internet. After all, they had no computers to look up acts like Britney Spears or Midnight Oil. Instead, Pollstar.com employed young men called “toursies” to stand at the street corners and shout out dates. Here we have little Michael Dunnigan, who was a toursie up until the age of 15 when he was run over by Cole Porter’s tour bus. Fortunately, it happened outside a taxidermy shop and the proprietor quickly had him stuffed and mounted.
In the fifties we built a series of tour drive-ins across the country where one could pull up, look at the list of artists like Chubby Checker or Jerry Lee Lewis, then use the intercom to order the tour dates which would be delivered by a smiling young lady, sometimes on roller skates. You might remember seeing this classic scene of our concert heritage immortalized on the silver screen in the movie American Tourfitti.
During the 60s, we used to print tour dates for acts like The Monkees and Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone on rolling papers and pipe cleaners, while during the 70s we imprinted the tour schedules for Kansas and Bob Dylan on Pet Rocks. Oh, here’s a nifty little item from that era. Remember tour rings? They would change color according to your mood, signifying which concert you wanted to see. This particular tour ring, which has glowed red for the past 30 years, belonged to a Sammy Hagar fan. The ring, along with the finger that’s wearing it, was the only thing left after the great Ticketron explosion of 1973. That’s right. The one your parents still talk about.
During the 80s we were quite successful printing dates for bands like A Flock Of Seagulls and Asia on junk bonds. Plus, the 80s was the decade of the “special event,” and Pollstar.com was there behind the scenes planning extravaganzas like Tour Aid and Tour Dates Across America where the schedule for Madonna was passed hand-to-hand from sea to shining sea.
What’s next for Pollstar.com? How will we continue to deliver dates for acts like The Saw Doctors and Ash, after the Internet becomes passe? We’re not too sure, but we have hired Al Gore as a special research consultant.
And we’re just waiting to see what he invents next.