Pearl Jam reverses stand, to work with Ticketmaster


Rock super-group Pearl Jam is blinking in its much-publicized 18-month stare-down with Ticketmaster and will try to work with the company against which it filed antitrust charges a year ago.

The group's manager says it is being forced to do so as it has spent a year trying to arrange its own tour and found the realities of a do-it-yourself major tour too daunting.

"The hurdles and expenses of doing it without them are impossible," Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis said from Seattle.

Ticketmaster executives were unavailable for comment, but an official close to the situation said, "Ticketmaster has always been ready and available to sit down and talk with Pearl Jam."

After the filing and ensuing media war, Ticketmaster had offered Pearl Jam a reduced service fee package.

The truce will probably not have an effect on the suit as it has now passed into federal hands. The Justice Department can dismiss the case only after it feels it has probed the matter fully, despite one side's giving in for business reasons.

In a way, Tuesday's outcome makes the band's case stronger against Ticketmaster if even a determined supergroup cannot tour without it.

The actions come after some angry fans and Los Angeles disc jockeys spent Tuesday morning blaming Pearl Jam's feud with Ticketmaster for the cancellation of the band's two Southern California shows after the San Diego Sheriff's Department expressed security concerns.

"I don't blame the sheriff for having security concerns," said Bean (Gene Baxter) of KROQ-FM's "Kevin and Bean Show." "The band is trying to avoid Ticketmaster venues and playing places inappropriate to a band as big as Pearl Jam."

But the fans are getting hurt, he said. "The band is . . . not going to venues that are easy for us to get to or making tickets available at significantly lower prices."

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