Last week, I had the pleasure and privilege of flying to Pittsburgh, PA. to see the Rolling Stones play an outdoor concert at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers! I flew from LaGuardia to Pittsburgh (a 1-hour flight) and my best friend Jay, from Lehigh University (who lives in Bel Air, Maryland) picked me up at the airport and we drove to center city Pittsburgh for a 2-night stay.
This was not an everyday show, as the Stones have been jamming for almost 60 years. One of my favorite Rock bands, I have seen The Stones opening their 1989 Steel Wheels tour in Philadelphia, at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, and also in 1994 Toronto to name a few. That 1989 tour is when the Stones changed what was a typical stadium tour into a theatre-like setting with huge blow-up dolls while playing “Honky Tonk Woman!”
Other than perhaps Kiss, the Rolling Stones have mastered the marketing of their brand and logo, the famous Big Red Lips and Tongue. For Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Rock and Roll is BIG Business!
The Stones had last played Heinz Field in 2015. The total capacity of Heinz Field is 68,000, although they do block off about 15,000 seats behind the stage. Their revenue from that 2015 Pittsburgh show was $9,000,000 from the 50,000+ fans that attended.
Mick Jagger arguably the best frontman in history, is, in my opinion, what makes the Rolling Stones different from all other bands. Few people know that Mick spent some of his teenage years studying Finance and Economics at the prestigious London School of Economics, before quitting school to start a band!
Most bands concentrate on their craft and leave the day-to-day business operations to their agents. Not 78-year-old Mick, whose net worth is over $360 million. The Rolling Stones operate like a well-oiled business with 300 employees. It costs them $1,000,000 per week to “keep the show on the road!” They had 11 people on stage and many more behind the scenes. In a 1994 interview with Ed Bradley of 60 minutes, (the 14-minute interview can be seen on YouTube) Mick referred to himself as the Chief Executive of Business Operations of a Mobile Virtual Corporation.
Here are 5 surprising lessons business owners can learn from Mick Jagger:
Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones have lived long and storied lives. Since Mick has 8 children with 5 women, it is good that he has been prudent with his money. He made an excellent career choice, and when you do what you love, work will never be a chore! Rock On Rolling Stones!