Complimentary tickets are a great boon to young musicians, enabling them to attend concerts they could not afford to hear otherwise, giving them growth opportunities that will pay dividends for years to come. They are also tremendous for anyone else who – for whatever reason – doesn’t have the wherewithal to pay the price of admission.
But I’m always amazed at the number of people who live perfectly comfortable lifestyles, yet insist on asking for comps at every opportunity. With all of the things we pay for without thinking, why do so many people consider music an essential part of their lives, but one that they should get for free?

In particular, I can’t understand why successful professional musicians want comps – after all, they can take the price of concert admission as a tax deduction.

Music is my favorite thing to spend money on. I hate spending money (although I do, grudgingly) on water and electricity — who owns those things? Who made them?

Just compare to other entertainment options. People pay exorbitant monthly fees just for basic commercial cable. 90% of the channels they are paying for, they never watch. What exactly is their money buying them? Nothing – they are simply paying rent on a wire that runs from the street into their homes. In a sense, they are paying tribute to a more powerful social force – the cable company – as if they were locked in a feudal relationship with an overlord.

The concert world is a very insignificant force in our society. I’m happy to give it all the help it can get. I’m not rolling in dough, but as far as I’m concerned, if you have money to spend, spend it on the things that mean the most to you.

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