I was rummaging around in my closet the other day looking for something that I can’t even remember now. I found a box of stuff that I’ve kept since I was a kid, including a bunch of ticket stubs from concerts that I went to many years ago. It was fun to dig them out and see what shows I saw, where I saw them and how much the shows cost. I didn’t keep stubs for every show I attended – I know I lost a bunch of them, never received a proper ticket (like when I saw Chuck Berry at Louie’s Rock City, which was a pure “pay-cash-and-go” thing), or they got messed up and therefore lost their memory value.
I recently posted about certain “firsts” and if you read that post, you know that I have the ticket stub to my first concert: Loggins & Messina at the Capital Centre in the DC area. I won’t revisit that one again, except to say that I appreciate that no one commented on it. The fact that you came back to read more is baffling, but I’m damn glad you are here. OK, ok, for those who missed it, here it is again.
Moving right along, I haven’t saved any stubs for a long time, with one exception. One big reason is that you very seldom get printed tickets to shows anymore. Now, you get to print your own ticket on 8 ½ by 11 paper, or you simply get an e-ticket that you scan off your phone at the door. Convenient? Yes. And good for scalping, too, as you can simply email them around. But a bit of a loss, too.
I’m not going to weep for concert ticket stubs, but they were kind of cool souvenirs. They also allowed you to keep a reminder of what shows you saw … and to prove that you aren’t lying about what you say you saw. I have a good friend who has been to a game at every single major league baseball stadium in the country, every NFL stadium, every NBA arena, and about half of the NHL arenas and NASCAR tracks. And, as he likes to say, he’s “got the ticket to prove it.” Indeed. I think we all know someone who claims to have been at every great show, as if they were Forrest Gump or something. Dude, we believe you – show me the ticket stubs, ok?
Regardless, I don’t keep the tickets that I print out for shows. They are too big, have no cache to them, and they are dog-eared and crinkled by the time the show is over. So I have no other record of being there other than my BRP posts and pictures (which, come to think of it, are a little better proof of being there than a mere ticket stub).
The trip down memory lane that I took upon rediscovery of my box of stuff was fun. For instance, I had forgotten that I had seen Neil Young and Steven Stills together. That’s a bad sign for those two artists. No memory of the show at all. I know what you’re thinking happened at that show. You’re wrong. I think. I can’t remember.
And I could no more have told you how much I paid for the show than I could about the scene at my birth. So what did I do? As you can see above, I took pictures of some of the stubs to share with you, and to write a post about them.
Let’s take a look at some of them. I’m going to start with some concerts to restore my credibility after the Loggins & Messina fiasco. I’ve seen Springsteen a bunch of times, but I saw him 3 times in rapid succession when he was in his prime. Here you go:
He’s great live. Always has been, and remains so to this day.
How about this trio of bands:
The Clash is probably my all-time favorite band. I saw them in the musical hotbed of Williamsburg, Virginia at William and Mary. Despite the odd venue, they were great. There are very few bands with as much raw energy on stage, and they gave it all that night. A very fond memory.
The Ramones. I saw them a few times, but this is the only ticket stub I could find. What do you need to say about these guys? They played an hour, but it was an intense hour, and they played tons of songs (when your tunes are all two minutes long, you kind of run through your material pretty quickly). One, two, three, four!
Elvis Costello. The ticket stub doesn’t say it, but Squeeze opened for EC. Squeeze was fantastic – at the apex of their creative production, as Argybargy and East Side Story had just come out back to back. They had plenty of great material, and they played it all. EC was good, but this was during his period where he was very demeaning to the fans, and he basically acted like an ass. Nonetheless, with material like he had from his first four albums, he sort of earned it, and this show was heavy on those albums.
I’ll be back shortly with more, much more, on this subject. It will be fantastic and amazing, perhaps enough to generate the Rapture, or lead to spontaneous combustion for those forced to wait. Not to worry - it's all about your reading entertainment here at BRP. Wait for me, please? I’ll do the same for you. Bye.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.