Billy Joel was doing a master class at Vanderbilt University a few weeks ago and when he took questions, Micahel Pollack asked if he could play "New York State of Mind" while Billy sang it. Billy said sure, and luckily someone captured it on video.
Have you ever tried to buy tickets to a big concert, but they sold out five minutes after they went on sale? It's more common than it used to be. And if you still want to go, you end up having to pay WAY over face value on sites like StubHub.com.
--For example, Justin Bieber was at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on January 18th, and there were just under 14,000 seats available. But only about 1,000 tickets were left when Ticketmaster started selling them on May 23rd of last year.
--So what happened to the other 13,000 tickets? Well, check out the top five reasons it's so hard to pay face value for good tickets these days.
#1.) Credit Card Presales. For a lot of concerts, companies like American Express reserve a certain number of tickets and hold presales, where cardholders can buy them before they go on sale.
--Which is okay. But about half of those tickets end up in the hands of brokers, who resell them for twice what they paid.
#2.) Fan Clubs. A lot of bands allocate a certain number of tickets for fan club members. But not all of them are actually "fans."
--A lot of scalpers join fan clubs multiple times, and then use several different credit cards to buy up as many tickets as they can.
#3.) Some Bands Scalp Their Own Tickets. Seriously. They just put something in their tour rider that says a certain number of tickets have to be set aside. Then they resell those tickets on sites like StubHub.
--It's actually more common than you might think. Katy Perry was criticized for doing it after TheSmokingGun.com got its hand on her tour rider back in 2011.
#4.) You Have to Compete with "Scalper Bots". Which are computer programs designed to flood a particular site with ticket requests as fast as possible.
--Meaning scalpers don't have to go through the same process you do every time they try to buy tickets. They just let a computer program place each order, which is obviously a lot faster.
--Most ticket sites have safeguards to stop it, like when you have to type in a specific word at the bottom of the page before it accepts your payment.
--But scalpers get past that by hiring real people in places like India or the Philippines, who manually type in whatever they need to after the program takes care of the more time-consuming stuff.
#5.) Inflated Service Fees. It used to be that no matter how good your tickets were, you paid the same service fee as people in the back row.
--But a while back, Ticketmaster realized that if you're willing to buy EXPENSIVE tickets, then you're probably willing to pay a higher service fee too. So they upped it for premium seats . . . meaning good tickets are even MORE expensive now.
--But Ticketmaster doesn't necessarily get all that money. Some big bands negotiate into their contracts that THEY get a percentage of the service fees.
--Then they save face by offering tickets at a reasonable price. And when people complain about the crazy service fees, they blame Ticketmaster.
There's a saying that being a parent is the only job where you're ready to retire before you get any good at it. But if you're looking to improve, "Better Homes and Gardens" has a list of five common parenting mistakes to avoid.
#1.) Losing your temper. This is a mistake that leads to all kinds of other mistakes. Because when you get TOO angry, you say and do things you regret later. And the only thing your kids REALLY learn is to be afraid of you.
#2.) Not enforcing your own rules. Set limits for your kids, and then stick to them. Nothing spoils a kid faster than knowing that they can talk you out of a decision you've already made. And then you're reinforcing the behaviors you want to prevent.
#3.) Using scare tactics. Never threaten your kids with outcomes that would never actually happen. Don't get them to obey you by bringing up the Boogeyman, or saying you're going to leave them behind.
#4.) Not getting all the facts. This can go both ways. Sometimes people blame their children without knowing the whole story. And sometimes they DEFEND their children without knowing the whole story.
--Getting blamed for something they didn't do will make your children think you're unfair. And if you defend them when they're wrong, it's harder to discipline them later.
#5.) Saying things kids shouldn't hear. This could be swearing, or insults, or gossip. If you slip up here, you better believe you'll hear it back from your kids before long. And you'll have no authority to correct it, because they learned it from you.