The ticket policy utilized for Tom Waits’ upcoming Glitter and Doom concert tour is receiving mixed reviews among the musician’s more vocal fans. This policy, primarily designed to ensure that scalpers do not have an opportunity to acquire and then resell tickets at butt-puckering inflated prices, limits the number of tickets to two per household per show, requires the purchaser to show both the credit card used and government-issued photo identification the night of the show, and ends with a quick, relatively painless blood donation that would seriously go a lot smoother if you’d just stop squirming and crying and remember this needle can very easily go somewhere else but if you’re good you’ll get juice and cookies.
Many Waits fans feel this is the best way to ensure that his most dedicated and affluent fans have an opportunity to see the musician live, without having to pay exorbitant prices to scalpers that they would willingly pay anyway.
Warner Spencer, a self-confident 45-year old advertising executive who has worked with several high-profile musical legends in co-opting their tunes for commercial use and still uses the word “bro” way too much, stated that he supports the policy. “Just because I like hearing Tom sing about Peoria Johnson, Scarface Ron, and Yodeling Elaine doesn’t mean I want to sit next to those scumbags. This ticketing approach, along with the fact that tickets start at around $70, will keep most of the leeches, mooches, and smelly societal bottom feeders outside the palace gates.”
Spencer added, “I know Tom is vehemently opposed to licensing his songs for commercial use. While that’s very noble – Tom, buddy, pal, homey, bro – you’re missing the boat on this one. "Hoist That Rag" would be perfect for a Lysol commercial. The homely yet still attractive housewife actress has already been cast. We’d just need to clean that song up a bit and get a more conventional voice to sing it. I could have the baksheesh heading you’re way in no time. Call me bro.”
Other fans are far more ambivalent about how tickets were sold for the upcoming tour. Ian Middleton gave a half-smile/half-frown as he expressed what could only be described as a mixture of apathy and confusion: “I easily got tickets for St. Louis but was shut out of Columbus. Now unless I somehow find a sympathetic person with an extra ticket or violently incapacitate someone the night of the show and steal their credit card, tickets, and identity, I’ll only be seeing one show this time around. It sucks, kind of.”
Middleton, a divorce arbitrator who describes himself as a “middle-of-the-road guy, most of the time, for the most part,” ultimately gave the policy a mild endorsement: “You can’t please all the people all the time. So some of the people will be upset part of the time. Which means some of the people will be happy most of the time. I guess you can’t get much better than that.”
Nevertheless, a small segment of Waits fans are very angry with the policy, coupled with the high demand for tickets for a very limited number of shows. “The only way to ensure true fans get a chance at tickets is to sell them at the venue’s box office, where those without wives, jobs, children, or other societal responsibilities can sleep outside for days subsisting only on beef jerky and Swordfishtrombones to snag the first tickets,” said Justin Bukeler of Columbus, Ohio.
Other fans are upset that a credit card is required to purchase tickets. “Some of us have made a conscious decision, assisted by several aggressive and unrelenting credit agencies, one foreclosed home, a giant Samoan loan shark nicknamed "Stumpy," and two separate stints at bankruptcy, to live the aimless, rootless, drunken, quasi-romantic bohemian lifestyle that Tom abandoned sometime in the 1980s,” said performance artist Josh Brokeman. “I only carry cash. I’m very disappointed people like me won’t have the opportunity to con unsuspecting people by selling them magazines for the homeless in order to buy a ticket with their cold, hard, stolen cash.”
With tickets for some shows selling out in a matter of minutes, such as in Phoenix and Columbus, some fans won’t be seeing their musical hero in concert this time around. These fans feel there is a simple solution to this problem: “If Waits really cared about his fans, he’d tour like a beaten one-eyed dog, play 25,000-seat venues in the same city for a week at a time, and reserve a seat each night just for me,” Brokeman offered.
“I’m very disappointed in Mr. Waits,” Brokeman lamented. “I can’t get a ticket and I also don’t have the opportunity to be exploited by scalpers by paying thousands of dollars for one. Is that looking out for your fans’ best interests? I don’t think so. Thanks a lot, Tom.”