I Can’t Get No Satisfaction and Other Testy Observations

Sticker shock

My inner curmudgeon really came to life over these past couple of weeks and I concluded that I can’t get no satisfaction.

It started when I saw that one of my favorite all time rock n ’roll bands – The Rolling Stones – are coming to Buffalo this summer. I asked Janice to get tickets as going to their show was the perfect combination birthday and Father’s Day gift, right?

I saw them in Buffalo in 1966 – which coincidentally is the same place, time frame and setting for my book, The King of Kreskin Avenue – then again in Orlando in 1981. I believe that ticket prices in Buffalo were $4 or $5 and around $20 in Orlando.

I literally fell to the floor when Janice said that ticket prices for decent seats for the upcoming show ranged between $500 and $1400 …. apiece. That’s $1,000 to $2,800 for the two us to see a band whose four remaining founding members are now collectively over 300 years old.

Then, I read an article that said that a solo “hopper” ticket, which allows guests to visit both Disneyland and the Disney California Adventure Park in one day, will now cost between $159 and $209. The king of kresking avenue So if I have this math right, taking my wife, my children and their spouses will be somewhere between $950 and $1250, plus the costs for 3 grandkids, food, chochkies, parking fees, and so on and so forth.  Just for giggles (and because I am not inclined to do a deep dive into the bowels of Disney’s ticket price explanations), that’s going to be $1500 to $2000 ….for one day!

Those two seats for a grand at the Stones concert are starting to look good!

Everywhere I go, I get sticker shock. Grocery stores. Museums. Sporting events. Restaurants. Car washes.

Janice accuses me of being out of touch with reality and acting like a stereotypical, aging Baby Boomer. Apparently, I have entered the “complains about how much things cost” era of my life, hard on the heels of the “I remember when….” era.  It turns out that the “I remember when era” officially takes place when you turn 62, but the “how much things cost era” is not open for business until you reach full retirement age and eligibility for all of your social security benefits.

News From the “I Told You So” File

Just a few weeks ago, on this blog, I wrote and posted a piece called I Want a President and Chief Executive, not a King.

Is President Trump reading my blog? Here’s an image of a tweet he posted from CNN, filed under a story they called “Trump continues victory lap with tweet about striking at ‘king’:

Anybody else feeling anxious about the future of our country?

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction and Other Testy Observations

4 thoughts on “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction and Other Testy Observations

  1. I’m right there with you, Alan. BTW, my favorite line in this piece – “That’s $1,000 to $2,800 for the two us to see a band whose four remaining founding members are now collectively over 300 years old.” Cracked me up!
    On the rare occasion that I do go to a concert, a stage play or a big attraction like a theme park, I look around at all the people and think, “How can they afford this? What are they going without so they can have this luxury? How much consumer debt are they carrying in order to do stuff like this?”
    As a Boomer raised by parents who lived through the Great Depression AND the Dust Bowl, I’m a scrimper and saver. If I see a concert on the calendar that I MUST attend, I save for it and have it paid for before putting it on my credit card. Hell, I save plastic bags, wash them and re-use them (which baffles my Millennial kids).
    Because debt is now the American way of life, I think people feel OK about blowing the equivalent of a month’s pay on luxuries like concerts and theme parks because they assume they’re never going to get out of debt anyway, so why not enjoy themselves? It’s an understandable, but dangerous, way to live.

  2. Yes Al,
    Ticket prices for big shows are through the roof. They have been for some time. I’d have to check my stubs, but when I saw the Stones in the 80’s, I thought the prices were high. If I remember correctly, I saw the second Summerfest at Rich Stadium in the summer of ’74. The line up was Lynyrd Skynyrd, The James Gang (with Tommy Bolin) and headlining was Emerson, Lake and Palmer. If memory serves me, the tix were $7. I saw on the news today that a couple of ’90’s bands that I thought were ho-hum are coming and the tix start at over $40.
    I’ve never seen Billy Joel, & thought that might be a nice one time thing until I saw the ticket prices. Starting at $114. Journey and the Pretenders are a bit more reasonable at $35 to $145.50.
    Like every thing else, this stuff goes up. First, you’re paying for the big name act. Your paying for the musicians involved, maybe opening acts, the light show, the venue, security, insurance, the ticketing agent fees and Willie Nelson knows what else!
    So, if you saw the Stones in ’66, I’d say what did auto or home insurance cost then? What does it cost now? What was the price of bread, gas or ciggies then?
    We get the picture. As a retired person, You’re not getting a wage increase, so… As a working slug I do get a pay increase that barely keeps up with inflation. Because of that, I try to pick the shows I most want to see. Also try to pick shows that somebody else will go to with me, as I hate going solo…
    As far as the Great White Father, Lord god Trump goes, it wouldn’t bother me at all if something bad happens to him before something really bad happens to our Country because of him. Needless to say, I’m not advocating that anybody does anything to him (or anybody else).
    Everybody that loves this Country and wants change, needs to vote in November.

    As a wise cartoon character once stated ‘Nuff said!

  3. P.S. There’s only three founding members of the band. Keef, Mick & Charlie. I guess because Ron’s been with them so long…

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