Pearl Jam Admits Defeat In Battle Against Ticketmaster

On the heels of the San Diego Pearl Jam shows being canceled at the

Del Mar Fairgrounds, the band announced that they would try to work

with Ticketmaster again, as we reported in "Music News Of The World"

yesterday. The latest development in the touring saga is that the band

has rescheduled the two shows, and will now perform at the San Diego

Sports Arena on June 26-27 with Bad Religion and Mudhoney. According

to an article in yesterday's Los Angeles Times this is actually

part of the deal with Ticketmaster, since the ticket agency has

exclusive control over the Sports Arena. It appears that the San

Diego incident was the straw that broke the camel's back in a grueling

year of trying to arrange a major tour without Ticketmaster. The

upshot of the altruistic efforts was that the band was locked out of

most of the large arenas in the US. Pearl Jam manager, Kelly Curtis

spoke from his Seattle offices yesterday saying, "The hurdles and

expenses of doing it without them are impossible. It was very

expensive and very difficult. " Peal Jam had planned its current

11-city tour around sites that didn't use Ticketmaster, which the band

accused of price gouging and monopoly, but it wasn't without a

struggle. "We did want to make a point on how difficult it is to tour

with without Ticketmaster and we made the point. " Curtis said.

"As of this morning there was nothing that had been signed or

negotiated [with Ticketmaster]," said Ray Garman, the president of

Fillmore Mercantile, Inc., a Philadelphia bank that is the principal

shareholder of ETM, the Philadelphia-based ticket agency Peal Jam had

chosen to work with. One reason was that ETM's service charge was

less than $3 per $20 ticket as compared with up to $6 for

Ticketmaster. But the fact that Pearl Jam are playing the San Diego

Sports Arena seems to belie Garman's words. All fans who ordered their

tickets for the Del Mar Fairground shows will be receiving their

tickets in the mail over the next two weeks, and they will be honored

at the Sports Arena.

"I regret to say that it is impossible for a major rock group to put

on a national tour under the current circumstances without

Ticketmaster," Curtis told the L. A. Times. "They've got a

monopoly. We did everything we could over the past 14 months to get

around them and put this tour together, but we failed. It's up to the

Justice Department now.

"It's been like David against Goliath since the first day we decided

to take them on," Curtis added. "But unfortunately, this time out,

the giant won."