Is there a relationship between the Dixie Chicks’ tour and the war against terrorism? Is it a coincidence that The Beach Boys are touring during the same time that California voters are attempting to recall their governor? Is the length of Cher’s farewell tour related to how long U.S. troops will eventually occupy Iraq? Is the world of live music so intertwined with the political universe that it’s impossible to tell when Bruce Springsteen’s tour ends and the next third-world political coup begins?

Those are the questions being asked by conspiracy theorists and music fans alike as they cite recent developments as proof-positive that a shadowy organization made up of concert promoters, world leaders and ticket scalpers has been secretly guiding the destiny of the world for well over half of a millennium. Furthermore, they claim that this secret enclave continues to control our future by directing all aspects concerning the upcoming tours by Deep Purple, Frank Black and Blondie.

For the past 500 years, music insiders have whispered of a secret society, often referred to as the Concertnatti, which not only made decisions that shook the world, but also set ticket prices for Dave Matthews Band, arranged the set lists for Boston and Aerosmith and even decided who got front row seats for Mariah Carey. While officially denounced as legends, urban myths and paranoid delusions, many are wondering how true the rumors of the existence of the Concertnatti may be.

“From JFK, Frank Sinatra and the grassy knoll to Jack Stripe, his broken finger and his relationship with Renee Zellweger, the answers are quite obvious to anyone who takes the time to connect the dots,” says a former concert industry executive who now lives in hiding under an assumed name in Barstow, California. “Of course, no one will admit to that. That is, if they want to continue collecting their percentages.”

Is there a shadow organization dedicated to a new wold concert order, a secret society that not only kicked Don Felder out of the Eagles, but also removed Ari Fleischer from his roll as White House spokesperson after he complained about Neil Young’s current set list one too many times? While that may seem logical, no matter who you ask, no one, from the biggest promoters to the lowliest club bookers, will admit to the existence of the Concertnatti. In fact, some industry professionals will claim never to have heard of the alleged, clandestine organization.

“Sure, it’s easy to imagine a close-knit organization, an uber-promoter, if you will, that makes all the big decisions, sets the prices and blacklists any artist or band that dares to disagree. But that’s not how this business works. After all, we’re talking about the concert industry,” said one music professional who threatened us with legal action if he didn’t remain anonymous. “Not the radio industry.”