Lots of news this past week. Major owner and mover and shaker behind the venerable Tipitina’s may be in some deep legal trouble due to alleged investment fraud. But he (Roland von Kurnatowski) says that his dealings with the aggrieved parties are “misunderstandings.” It all remains to be seen and investigated. Trouble with Tip’s has been brewing for some time; several bands, after performing to sold-out (some multiple-night) shows, reportedly had trouble getting paid, and some were even issued checks that were returned for non-sufficient funds.
When the word got out about von Kurnatowski’s financial woes—including the fact that he mentioned in a news report that he seemed willing to sell Tip’s—all manner of people started wanting to invest in the club, start GoFundMe pages, and the like. It was later announced the funk band Galactic may be involved in a purchase of the property, which is being discussed but not finalized by the time I wrote this. By the way, Tip’s is operating and is open as usual, with Galactic’s New Year’s Eve show scheduled as usual; so nothing’s changed at the club. Not to worry about Tipitina’s.
Secondly, the word on street last week was that The Rolling Stones would play the Fair Grounds on the second Thursday, May 2. This has not yet been confirmed by the festival producers (probably because they might have been hoping the rumor would dissipate—as if!). They typically make a major deal about the reveal of the top-secret initial line-up at the Jazz Fest. It’s usually in January, but this year will be sometime in December (date not yet specified), probably because of the addition of the second Thursday, a separate price for the May 2 date (Brass Passes aren’t being honored on that date, much to the chagrin of Brass Pass purchasers and to WWOZ as well), and, well, the fact that the Stones are playing New Orleans, as per a Facebook video posted by Mick Jagger. Let’s just assume that Mick et Cie will be in Gentilly on May 2, so we can get over that speculation hump and move on.
When those tickets do go on sale, this writer can guarantee they will be very, very hard to get, even if they cost more than your average local can or will pay. But: to see the Stones at the Fair Grounds? Worth quite a few duckies for a once-in-a-lifetime, I predict. Maybe the Stones will donate some of that payday to some worthy cause like the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. That, I would pay to see!
Who else will play that day? We don’t know, but we asked our poll takers who they’d like to see. I don’t expect too many big names on May 2 other than the Stones. Otherwise, there the traffic and crowds may be something that Jazz Fest organizers (and attendees) may dread having to deal with.