gary puckett

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Why I Won’t Pay Big Money For Concerts

Published February 23, 2020 by Maryanne

Duran Duran concertMy husband and I at a Duran Duran show — FREE! 

I’ve been a music fan as soon as I knew what music was. Music was always playing in my house when I was a kid. And growing up, music was my priority in life. Mind you, I am not a musician; just a huge fan.

Concert going was always important to me. And even back in the day, growing up in an upper middle class family, tickets were overpriced. However, back then, you still had a fighting chance if you got to the mall early in the morning, you could score a front row seat for the regular ticket price before the scalpers got their grubby hands on them.

Then, things changed. You had no choice but to get tickets from scalpers. However, the most I paid to see a big name star, David Bowie, was $150 for 10th row center, during his Serious Moonlight Tour at Madison Square Garden in 1984.

David Bowie set the bar for me; he was worth it. And I subconsciously made a vow that I’d never pay more than $150 for a concert — over 30 years later, I stuck to it. The only other times I shelled out money close was $100 to see The Stones and $75 to see Prince.

Throughout the years, I’ve seen many big name concerts free because they were outdoors. OR, because, lucky, ambitious me, I was a journalist and was guest listed. And I have some friends in the music industry. And I married a musician. And I’m lucky. I’ve won tickets to see some great shows. And, last but not least, let’s not minimize the talent of our own friends who have made their way in the music industry on a smaller scale. Local talent should never be disregarded.

About 15 years ago I reconnected with a music loving friend I knew from high school. We went to many concerts together as teenagers; then a few as adults. She complimented me, saying that I was always up for a good time, and that I always had money to do things. She invited me to go to a concert with her that was well over $200. I declined. I couldn’t see the justification for paying that kind of money to see anyone when I’ve spent a lifetime of going to see music — GOOD MUSIC– for way less.

Here are some examples of great shows I’ve seen over the decades, for free, for winning, for being on the guest list (due to being a journalist or knowing someone), or for a real good deal. (Note: I’m not including concerts where people treated me as a gift).

Check it out….(note, all random off the top of my head, there are TONS more)

Free Outdoor Concerts

Elton John

Patti Smith

1910 Fruitgum Company

The Smithereens

Lou Christie

Tommy James

Gary Puckett

Ian Hunter

NY Dolls

Tom Tom Club

Peter Noone

Nancy Sinatra

The Turtles

Joan Jett

Chuck Berry

The Zombies

Sheila E.

And many, many more!

On The Guest List

Blondie

Tom Petty & Stevie Nicks

The Pixies

The Plasmatics

Diamanda Galas

Duran Duran

Judy Collins

Roger McGuinn (The Byrds)

The Fab Faux

Tommy James

And many, many more!

Tickets I Won

Richard Barone (The Bongos)

Jeffrey Gaines

Rain (Beatles Tribute)

Probably more, but I can’t remember unless I go to my diaries.

(And don’t get me started on tickets I won but couldn’t attend for whatever reason, urgh! Still kicking myself for not going to see the late Hasil Adkins at Maxwell’s in Hoboken!)

Shows I paid $10 or less! 

Sierra Ferrell (upcoming artist, Rounder Records)

Ratt (1980s hair metal band)

Brute Force (Apple Records Recording Artist)

And many, many more!

Maybe I’m blessed, or just spoiled, but with so many great musical acts out there, and so many opportunities to see cheap or free shows, why should I shell out big bucks to ticket agencies? It’s definitely not necessary. Especially since, when you think about it, what goes up eventually must come down. Not to put anyone down–no way, I love these musicians way too much–but it’s just a great fact for us fans that in years to come, one of your favorites that was charging a ton of money in a large venue will perform for much less (or even free) in a smaller venue in years to come. Just a few years ago I saw Cher in a theatre in Maryland for under $40.

What was your favorite cheap or free concert? What was the most you ever spent on a concert? How do you justify it? 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

Tommy James/Gary Puckett Double Bill at PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

Published September 20, 2014 by Maryanne

Tommy James Gary PuckettTwo legends! Tommy James & Gary Puckett

(I swiped this from Gary Puckett’s Face Book page — hope it’s okay!)

Last night was phenomenal! Very rare do you get to see two legendary acts in one night. My husband Dennis and I were waiting for this night all summer!

It was a perfect late summer night, a bit chilly, but nothing a hoodie and blanket couldn’t cure. The show was hosted by the legendary Cousin Brucie.

Gary Puckett hit the stage around 8:30 or so and played a very long time. He did all of his hits “Over You,” “Woman, Woman,” “Young Girl,” and “This Girl is a Woman Now.” Plus he did a medley of hits from bands he toured with in recent years like Three Dog Night and The Turtles. He also did a tribute to the veterans and at the end of his show thanked God for the glory.

Puckett’s voice is still amazing and he can also pull off hits of other artists. And he looks just as good — at 71 he could easily pass for late 40s. After the show my husband and I went to meet him at the merchandise table and he was very down to earth.

This was another one of many times my husband and I went to see Tommy James perform. Once again, he did not disappoint. He did all his great tunes, including my favorites “Crystal Blue Persuasion” and “Crimson and Clover.” He did “I Think We’re Alone Now” twice — acoustic and electric.

He also spoke about the upcoming movie based on his life and his journey with Roulette Records. Can’t wait!

We didn’t stick around to meet Tommy because it was getting very late and I had to present a lecture this morning. We met Tommy a few times before, plus I once had the honor to interview him. I’m sure we’ll meet Tommy again someday though.

Thanks for a fabulous show, Tommy James and Gary Puckett! For songs that gave me chills when I was a little girl and too young to know what you’re singing about. But, boy, I was feeling it!

The stadium was packed with over 17,000 people! And out of all those people, we were lucky to spot our friends Mair and Paul!

SAM_6054Mair and me!

Here’s a little magic for you all!

GARY PUCKETT

TOMMY JAMES

And one of my favorite songs Tommy never does (at least not when I’ve seen him). If you are reading this, Tommy, please do “I Love You Love Me!”