3 July 2023

Taylor Swift fans have no idea how good they've got it

| Sally Hopman
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Man in cap surrounded by fans

At his Canberra concert in 2017, James Taylor – you can almost recognise him in the flat cap – got up close and personal with his audience. Not sure if his namesake will do the same. Photo: Sally Hopman.

Taylor Swift fans take note. Getting everyone you know and perfect strangers to log on to get those tickets isn’t the way to go. We need to go back to those good old days – so long ago that we don’t remember the bad bits – when all you needed was your sleeping bag, a trashy novel and a thermos of something hot/alcoholic and you could get tickets for just about anything.

It was all about queuing outside the ticket venue, preferably overnight which made you feel you were quite the adventurer. Or a complete muppet.

Speaking from experience … well I did it once back at the turn of the century when you could still understand the words when Bob Dylan sang. It was some ticket office in Sydney where I heard Dylan tickets were going on sale at 9 am the next day. I loved him. And of course, I assumed he wrote Just Like A Woman for me. (Or It Ain’t Me Babe, more like.)

I got there early evening. My partner, who had a brain, warned me against doing it. Saying words like: Woman. Alone. Sleeping Bag. Serial Killer. But it’s Bob, I told him. I’ll be at the pub, he said.

READ ALSO Here’s cheers to the good old bad days

I expected at least a few people in crushed velvet, or at least a whiff of patchouli to waft about, but there was nothing. The combination of my bad novel, even worse alcoholic soup and boredom sent me to sleep and when I woke, some very un-egalitarian folk had lined up at the window just up from where I was – yes, dear reader, I was at the wrong window.

I was probably in the line for Nana Mouskouri – whose tickets you couldn’t give away. Of course, by the time I’d worked out I was at the wrong window, it was too late.

A kind old hippy, clutching what looked like a book of tickets, took pity on me. Try, Grace Bros, he said, referring to a department store around the corner.

I was there as the doors opened, on the third floor where the ticket place was, and handing over a small fortune for two Dylan tickets in a matter of minutes.

Yay, but it didn’t feel right for it to be so easy after I’d spent the night Like A Rolling Stone – or at least a stagnant one.

Concert tickets

It was a lot easier to get these Taylor tickets, back in the day. Photo: Sally Hopman.

It’s a pity Grace Bros isn’t around any more. It’s a greater pity that Dylan can no longer sing/play guitar/hates the world and everything in it with the sort of passion he once used for blowing away bad stuff, in the wind.

In later years, it got so much easier. Buying tickets, that is.

Not so many people like the music that I do any more, so when their wheelchairs rolled them into town – Eric Clapton, James Taylor, Van Morrison and John Martyn (I lived in hope that the latter would tour sometime, any time, but the inconsiderate soul went and died), you could just ring up, speak to a human, and get the tickets – for the price of slightly less than a small family car.

As for Ms Swift, well, she seems very nice. And, in her own sweet way, she has changed the world like Dylan once did, albeit one boyfriend at a time.

She also looks a lot better than Bob, with her shiny, sparkly clothes and her voice like an angel. The fact she was, true story, named after James Taylor, also helps. She told him so when he joined her on stage at Madison Square Garden in New York back in 2011.

Whether she will do what James Taylor did at his concert in Canberra back in 2017 – when his band took a break, he came back out, sat on the edge of the stage and invited his audience to come and say g’day/take selfies/sign stuff – I don’t know.

Over to you, other Taylor.

Original Article published by Sally Hopman on Riotact.

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