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The Eagles Fly Again - This Time With $100 Tickets
After a 14-year hiatus, the Eagles reunite for a show in Burbank, California, closing the show with "Desperado." They soon launch their "Hell Freezes Over" tour, which becomes the first tour to charge more than $100 for a substantial number of tickets.
The Eagles split up in 1980 after a grueling tour to support their album The Long Run, which took them 18 months to complete. All five band members took on solo projects: Don Henley released three successful solo albums and launched his Walden Woods Project; Glenn Frey released four albums and took up acting, appearing on Miami Vice and getting his own show; Joe Walsh played in various bands (including Ringo's "All Starr"), did session work, and released his own material; Timothy B. Schmit lent his voice to many recordings as a backup singer; Don Felder contributed songs to the Heavy Metal soundtrack and worked on his golf game.
In 1993, the five band members get back together to appear in the video for Travis Tritt's remake of "Take It Easy." The shoot goes so well, they decide to get the band back together (it helps that Frey's TV series has been cancelled).
They know better than to attempt another album, but Henley and Frey write a new song, "Get Over It," which they perform along with three other new songs (by other writers) and a smattering of their classic hits for an MTV special in April 1994. The two-day shoot results in Hell Freezes Over, a live album released in November (just in time for Christmas!). In May, they set out for a tour, opening with five shows in their stronghold of Irvine Meadows in Laguna Hills, California.
Arranged by their longtime manager Irving Azoff, the ticket prices are set at extraordinarily high prices, with many going for over $100. By now, many Eagles fans have given up life in the fast lane for life in the suburbs with a retirement account, and they have no problem ponying up to see the show. It's the economics of luxury: By setting the prices so high, it sends a message that this thing is huge. It also help thwart scalpers by essentially setting the prices at what they would ask.
The tour is scheduled to end in 1995, but is so successful they keep it going another year, including a European leg. It comes to a conclusion after 160 shows with 3.4 million tickets sold. The Eagles are the top touring act of 1995, with $63.3 million in ticket sales for 58 shows (Boyz II Men is #2 with $43.2 million from 134 shows).
The pricing has a profound effect on the industry, as boomer bands like Kiss, Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart and Jimmy Buffett become top earners by jacking up their prices to now-acceptable levels in line with the growing assets of their core fans.