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EDITORIAL: Priced out by Sir Paul

By Ben Rodgers

A wise man once told me “When legends play in your town, you go and see them.”

Unfortunately, I will likely miss the Paul McCartney concert on June 8 due to tickets in my price range being sold out at an amazing rate.

Say what you will about McCartney, but the man is one half of the Lennon/McCartney genius that propelled the Beatles to one of the most beloved bands of all time.

He has had a nice little career afterwards as well. More than half a century making music is remarkable.

I grew up on the Beatles, and I was lucky enough to see him live in 2002 for his Back in the U.S. Tour when he played the Bradley Center. It was an experience I will never forget.

Since then I have started collecting vinyl records and have amassed a nice little collection of Beatles, McCartney, and Lennon stuff.

“Ram,” and “Band on the Run,” are two of my favorites that are on the turntable more than the shelf.

Naturally, when the tour was announced, my excitement was palpable, I would love nothing more than to take someone with me to experience the classic songs in person that I grew up with.

I eagerly loaded the Ticketmaster website at 10:03 a.m. on Monday to be placed in a virtual line for 45 minutes and then finally it was my turn.

But to my shock something must have been wrong with the website. There was no pair of $60 tickets in all of Lambeau Field.

After fiddling around on the website it was true, they were all gone.

My choices were $160 and up, and I tend to draw the line at $100 a seat when going to a show.

Maybe that maximum price can increase if I move up a couple of tax brackets.

But in case I wanted to spend enough money to totally pay off my student loans for a concert at Lambeau Field, I had the option of spending up to $2,250 for a seat.

I generally pride myself on getting good seats to shows, the secret is doing it as early as possible.

My goal quickly went from the best $60 seats, to any $60 seats, to settling to watch the DVD of the 2002 tour from my couch.

On Monday it felt like 15 minutes might have cost me my chance to see McCartney again.

For his Madison show on June 6, tickets started at $27.

I am not a concert promoter, but I have met a few in my travels, and it would seem like the bigger the venue, the more options for affordable tickets.

That is sadly not the case.

Let’s look at a couple of other ways I could have secured tickets. I could have taken out a credit card for access to a presale, or simply became a Green Bay Packers season ticket holder.

Am I bummed out? A little, yes. Would I have paid $160 a seat to see him again? Clearly, no.

With nothing but expensive seats left, I turn to a John Lennon quote from a 1963 Beatles concert.

“For our last number, I’d like to ask your help,” Lennon said. “Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And for the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry.”

Congratulations if you got McCartney tickets, especially ones that are actually affordable. You are in for one unforgettable night.

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