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“Fact of the day: Esteemed journalist Ethan Smith from WSJ is ranked 1,348,614 on Twitter Grader.”
——One of Azoff’s zingers
IRVING MANIA SWEEPS TWITTER
Azoff Starts Tweeting, and the Online World Wastes No Time Following Him
Word started spreading around midday yesterday that Irving Azoff, whose legendary phone skills were thought to dwarf his computer chops, had improbably jumped onto Twitter. Sure enough, there he was, seemingly the real deal rather than an imposter. You could tell that from the tone of his tweets, which vacillated between boyish enthusiasm for his acts (“lots of christina inquiries. you lost me is one of the greatest performances ever by a female singer”) and fangs-out venom for those who displeased him.

He took a shot at AEG Live boss and Live Nation chief rival Randy Phillips: “randy is a genius inventor. he invented ‘managers who scalp’ as denhits says, ‘when his lips move.’” He scolded Perez Hilton: “i see perez welcomed me. shame on you for your fair weather fandom. respect artist expression . without creative artists we are noone.”

Azoff was extremely choosy about those he chose to follow. Yesterday afternoon, there were just four: Jerry Brown, John Mayer, Josh Groban and Mark Cuban. As this is written, he’s up to eight, having added, Kim Kardashian, Casey Wasserman, longtime Azoff booster Bob Lefsetz and music-centric Wall Street analyst Rich Greenfield.

The latter got an endorsement last night: “Meet Rich Greenfield. Hardest working guy on Wall Street. Follow him at @BTIGMedia.” In a tweet an hour later, he was less enthusiastic about a certain Wall Street Journal reporter: “Fact of the day: Esteemed journalist Ethan Smith from WSJ is ranked 1,348,614 on Twitter Grader.”

Whoa—dude’s already citing Twitter Grader. Impressive learning curve. But we digress…

In reporting on Irving the Tweeter prior to the above post, Smith took the high road, as his gig compelled him to do, and kept himself out of it. “Azoff apparently signed up for a Twitter account earlier this summer,” Smith reported, “but until Tuesday night, he had barely used it. Then, out of the blue, he let loose a tweet that set the music world—industry and fans alike—ablaze: ‘so if you want ticket prices to go down stop stealing music.’”

The first big dust-up (but certainly not the last) occurred earlier in the afternoon, when Billboard’s Glenn Peoples weighed in on Azoff’s real-time social-networking escapade, critiquing the very first tweet, Tuesday night at 6:53, the same tweet quoted above by Smith. 

Wrote Peoples: “One of his first messages has got to be disappointing for artists and investors alike. “so if you want ticket prices to go down stop stealing music,” he wrote. Twitter is hardly the place to reveal a company’s strategy for dealing with the competing forces of rising artist demands and consumer demands for cheaper tickets, but blaming high ticket prices solely on piracy is disappointing. Live Nation cannot control piracy, so it needs to focus on those variables it can control. While it’s just a Twitter message, it doesn’t look good when one of the two men (the other being CEO Michael Rapino) who need to prove they can manage costs, shifts the blame to piracy. On the bright side, the executive chairman of Live Nation is now part of the social graph and is openly communicating with the world.”

Irving wasn’t gonna take that broadside lying down. “glenn peoples u r a jerk,” he fired back. “how dare you twist that personal overview thought to be bad news for consumers and shareholders. Uknowbetter.”

We then had Ethan Smith emailing Azoff about the Peoples diss, as the entertainmenmt quotient went through the roof: “Asked for comment, a spokesman for Azoff wrote in an email: ‘Irving said he is tweeting his response.’ As promised, moments later, Azoff added a new Twitter posting, making reference to the Dallas Mavericks’ outspoken owner Mark Cuban and Azoff’s wife, Shelli: ‘ethan smith says jerk is inappropriate. what would mark cuban do? i love mark cuban. shelli thinks so too .its only rock and roll.’”

Not surprisingly, considering the liveliness of the crisp volleying, Irving had over 4,500 followers less than 24 hours after his initial tweet. As of 5 a.m. this morning, he was at 5,938…make that 5,973…6,115…leaving our own surging Lenny Beer (www.twitter.com/cliprboy) in the dust. This promises to be more fun than a barrel of managers.

MAYBE, JUST MAYBE:
MOBILE PHONES,
IMMOBILE HUMANS
Lenny Beer needs to cut down on his screen time. (9/30a)
RAINMAKERS: MICHAEL RAPINO, NATION BUILDER
A tease for the upcoming edition, eh? (9/30a)
THE DEATH OF PRINT JOURNALISM: GRAMMY PREVIEW EDITION
Gimme an "H." Gimme another "H." (9/30a)
NEAR TRUTHS: PARANOIA STRIKES DEEP—INTO YOUR LIFE
IT WILL CREEP*
A high-revving column (9/30a)
YOUR TOP 20 IS
FULLY LOADED
Prediction: There will be 20 albums in the Top 20 this week. (9/30a)
GRAMMY TALK
We're full of it.
AFRICAN POP
Getting global with it.
IT'S PRETTY SMOKY
And this time it's not from our bong.
WHAT COMES AFTER TIKTOK?
Shorter videos! Weirder trends!
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