It's more than a feeling: Many of the rock 'n' roll bands that were huge in 1977 will comprise a big part of the summer concert market 40 years later. Queen, Foreigner, Boston, Aerosmith, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Billy Joel, and Rod Stewart are among those launching major tours this spring and summer, reports the AP, even though some haven't had a big hit since Jimmy Carter was in office. Concert industry execs say nostalgia acts are still reliable sellers. "The simple answer is that good music is still good music," says guitarist Tom Scholz, who founded Boston and found immediate stardom. ''It's pretty much still Boston, as long as I'm alive, as long as I can stand up and play." "I never could have imagined when I set out to create Foreigner 40 years ago, that we'd still be touring around the world and performing the music we love all these years later," says guitarist and founding member Mick Jones.
That's a big part of why classic rock bands remain reliable draws on the concert circuit, says Gary Bongiovanni, editor of Pollstar. "The audience that grew up on rock 'n' roll are still rock 'n' roll fans," he says. "They still want to see these acts, whether they have a new record or not." And fans are forgiving (or oblivious) of lineup changes. The original singers for Boston and Queen died, Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm left in 2003, and Kiss's original lineup last toured in 2000. Aerosmith is the most unlikely band of survivors, given its members' history of drug use. Yet the band is still out there with all five original members. "Anytime I can go see Aerosmith, I will go," says Queen guitarist Brian May. "I love to take my kids to let them see what it was really like to be in a rock concert and have that spontaneity and danger and passion. It's not mapped out; it's all happening right in front of your eyes. It's a live tradition and I'm proud to have been a part of that." (Read more rock and roll stories.)