Space is tight these days in Go! magazine. My Oct. 26 column on Hannah Montana and the high price of concert tickets was trimmed to fit. Ouch. Here’s the full version …
Its awful, just awful, this whole Hannah Montana situation.
But it might turn out to be a good thing, after all, for our nations young people.
Its an opportunity for them to learn a hard lesson about real life.
Namely, concert tickets are hard to get, and they cost a fortune.
Get used to it, kiddies.
Miley Cyrus, the 14-year-old singing star of the sensationally popular Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, has just begun a national live concert tour that comes to Southern California during the first week of November.
At venues across the country, demand for tickets is so high that brokers and scalpers are charging anywhere from $300 to $3,000 apiece.
Thats like an arrow through the little hearts of millions of disappointed fans.
Believe me, I feel their pain.
I, too, enjoy going to pop concerts. And I, too, find the process of buying tickets to be a frustrating ordeal.
In fact, I go to far fewer concerts than I would like. And, when I do go, I pay a terrible price.
I saw the Eagles and Dixie Chicks last week at the new Nokia Theatre in L.A. The tickets were $265 each.
I saw the Rolling Stones at Hollywood Bowl. Tickets were about the same.
I saw Bob Dylan at Staples Center. About the same.
I saw U2 at the Sports Arena. About the same.
Thats more than a thousand bucks for concert tickets. Its a good thing those concerts were spaced out over several years.
Let me tell you, it hurts this guy to pay that kind of money for concert tickets. Why? Because Im the same guy who used to go to shows at the old Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, when tickets cost only a couple bucks.
I saw the Doors for a couple bucks. I saw Jefferson Airplane for a couple bucks.
I saw Eric Clapton, the Grateful Dead, the Grass Roots, Deep Purple and Steppenwolf. All for a couple bucks a pop.
In 1966 I splurged. I saw the Beatles at Dodger Stadium. Those tickets were $4.50 each. Ouch.
Well, those days are long gone. Concert tickets dont cost a couple bucks any more. In fact, they can cost 100 times that amount now.
Thats a rate of increase that far surpasses the rate of inflation, Im afraid. Bread doesnt cost 100 times as much as it once did. Cars dont, either. And neither do houses.
I try to be understanding. Pop stars cant sell records any more, because fans keep ripping off their music on the Internet. So pop stars have to make up the shortfall by ripping off their fans at the concert hall.
Also, I have to admit, astronomical ticket prices add a certain mystique, a certain prestige, to an event.
Wow, if people are willing to pay $300 to go to a concert, it must be an awesome show, right?
And bragging rights definitely are included in the purchase price of tickets. Eyes widen when people hear you went to see the Eagles. Eyes pop right out of their sockets when people hear what you paid for it.
You know, up until now, I havent been swept up in this Hanna Montana-mania that is going on. But now that Im hearing that tickets are selling for $300 to $3,000 apiece, I dont know … I cant help myself … I may be getting interested.