A note from a Dissatisfied Fan
Sunday, June 10, 2018
You know, you just can’t please everybody and in my line of work, sometimes these feelings of dissatisfaction manifest themselves in the strangest ways. I just got a letter from a woman whose return address simply said, ‘Ms. Ripped Off,’ NYC. See Foto below.
I had to think about this one a little bit.
This is what I came up with:
Keep in mind; it’s always nice to get fan letters … good and not so good. It helps to keep everything in perspective. This one came this weekend and was one I just couldn’t pass up sharing.
The first few things that came to mind were that the only VIP packages that came remotely close to costing $250 were at the Beacon Theater almost two years ago and last years City Winery gig in Manhattan. We actually performed 4 nights at the Winery on that run and there was only one night that featured what the Winery folks called a VIP Package. As I recall, this VIP package without any extra’s was about $105. If you bought the whole package it was about $195 and included a lot more than just a meet and greet. The artist would participate in a brief meet and greet with a photo op for up to 50 persons prior to the performance as part of the Mastercard/City Winery promotion. The folks who bought this package were also treated to a visit to the winery room, a four course dinner and wine flight which is basically the tasters getting to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, but sometimes as many as fifty. I have no idea how many glasses were involved. I must note here that this event was in November 2017… 7 months ago.
The Beacon VIP packages are much different. You get VIP seating which is very nice and up front as I recall and a brief meet and greet after the performance with Jorma and Jack, which is always heavily orchestrated by Beacon staff. Another side note: this event was in December of 2016 almost 18 months ago. Now it seems to me that if Ms. Ripped Off really took umbrage at any of these events, she would have made her complaints known a long time ago.
Now as far as autographs are concerned, it is true that Jack Casady actually has a John Hancock style signature. It is truly magnificent and always looks the same. I will be the first to admit that my penmanship was miserable when I was a kid and remains so today. That said, whether or not you like my handwriting, it is mine and that’s the best I can do. Since I have absolutely no recollection of the incident Ms. R.O. describes, I can only say that while I am not normally a Chatty Kathy I would like to think that I am a moderately entertaining conversationalist if I am being made a part of an entertaining conversation. Good dialogue is a team effort. Perhaps Ms. R.O. should look in the mirror and spread the blame out a little.
Well, it is what it is, and VIP packages are what they are. At the Beacon for instance regular ticket prices are divided by price tiers and seat locations. They start at $69 then go up to $89 and $99. When you add a VIP option as pricey as it is, it’s a venue set price and they get a chunk of that fee. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. Jack and I love our fans and try to be there for them as best we can without being untrue to ourselves, but buying a VIP ticket does not entitle one to make unrealistic personal demands. As far as the aforementioned Ms. R.O. not enjoying the show, all can say is I am a story teller and if you didn’t like the story I told that night that’s OK. Art is an ephemeral beast at best. You may not like what I had to say, but it is my right to say it in any way that I want.
Last by not least, since Ms. Ripped Off told me I suck, this is a fine time for me to quote my father, may he rest in peace. ‘Why are there so many more horses asses, than there are horses?’