Will Stones Also Roll With LN?

The 12-year deal that Live Nation has signed with U2 has prompted U.K press speculation that The Rolling Stones may be next to throw in their lot with the Los Angeles-based entertainment giant.

An arts and media correspondent at The Independent suggested LN could "woo" the act when its current EMI contract expires in June.

It wasn’t possible to get a response from LN chairman Michael Cohl at press time, but Reuters has already reported him saying the company will focus on signing other major artists rather than developing new acts.

"Our intention is to work with artists who are already making it or on their way to making it," he said.

The U2 deal is a contract to handle a huge chunk of the Irish act’s career outside of its recording and publishing, which will remain with the Vivendi-owned Universal Music Group.

Cohl and Arthur Fogel, who is LN’s head of global touring, were partners before companies like SFX and successors such as Clear Channel and Live Nation ever became household names in the international live music business.

They have longstanding relations with U2, Madonna – who has recently signed an LN deal including recording – and also with the Stones.

Fogel persuaded The Police to reunite and take to the road again and was also reportedly one of the people most likely to produce a world tour for Led Zeppelin.

"It’s not a do or die situation that we have to be involved in the recordings. We’d prefer to, but it’s not always available," Cohl told Reuters regarding the U2 deal.

The Rolling Stones and The Police also have recording careers potentially up for grabs at the right price.