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Stubs of memories

8/31/2022

Terry Bentall has collected concert ticket stubs — and now ticket printouts — since attending her first concert more than five decades ago.

A large envelope stuffed with varying sizes of faded paper contains more than 50 years of music memories for Terry Bentall.

Inside the envelope are dozens of half-torn concert ticket stubs, full-size tickets and — her latest — printouts of tickets for concerts she’s attended.

One of the first concerts dates back to 1968, a Three Dog Night concert at the old KRNT Theater. She paid $5.50 for the general admission ticket, writing details on the back of the ticket.

As Bentall picked up each ticket stub, she turned it over and gazed to the ceiling to invoke her memory of the concert. At Steppenwolf’s Chosen Few concert in 1969, she was just 13 years old when she and a friend walked to Veterans Auditorium for the concert.

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“I danced on the speakers,” she recalled. “I remember go-go dancing as they played ‘Get your motor running’ as we climbed up on the speakers.”

Thirteen may seem like a young age to attend a concert, but it wasn’t out of the ordinary. 

“My parents didn’t seem to mind. We lived close to Vets and could walk straight up there,” she explained. “I was known as being responsible.”

Bentall, a graduate of Des Moines Technical High School, acknowledged being naive about attending concerts and being fashionable.

“My friend Kim had been to concerts before. She knew what was going on. She wore a leather floppy hat and talked about CCR,” she recalls. “I didn’t even know who CCR was.”

(It stands for Creedence Clearwater Revival, if you’re wondering.) 

As she circled through her tickets, Bentall reminisced about seeing Paul McCartney, Edgar Winter, Carole King, Jefferson Starship, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and the Rolling Stones — twice.

For certain concerts, Bentall spent time in line at Peeple’s Music, a record shop that sold concert tickets.

“I never camped out for tickets, but I did stand in some long lines. That was the only way to get tickets at the time.”

One of her most surprising concerts was in 1972. John Sebastian was the main act, with Earth Wind & Fire opening. Sebastian canceled, so only Earth, Wind & Fire played.

“They were just getting to be popular,” she said. “It was a fabulous concert. It was really cool.”

Bentall attended a Pink Floyd concert, complete with a big whimsical psychedelic pink pig. Pink Floyd concerts were notorious for concert-goers sharing a certain green leafy substance.

Bentall was hesitant, but admitted, “People used to smoke pot all around us. My friend and I traded a joint for two cherry cigars. I took my younger sister to concerts, and she was wide-eyed looking at everyone lighting up all around her.”

Certain tickets were works of art. Bentall has begun a spreadsheet of concerts she’s attended and searches the Internet for exact details. She said she’s upset with old Ticketmaster tickets, which began being issued in the early 1980s.

“All of the Ticketmaster tickets’ ink has faded. It’s disappointing.”

One concert she recalled was singer Shawn Phillips. 

“He used to have the longest hair. We heard he was in an accident where he got his long hair caught in a boating motor. He didn’t have much hair at the concert. I really wanted to see his hair.”

She also remembered unpleasant concerts, including The Black Crowes. 

“They played one song and disappeared for 20 minutes behind the stage, probably doing drugs. It’s disappointing when you pay that money for tickets, and it’s a bad show.”

She recalled a Foghat concert at Veterans Auditorium, where she and her friends were being shoved together into the stage.

“Oh, that was scary, getting crushed into the stage,” she said. “I can relate to the concerts in the news, where people have gotten crushed in the crowd.”

As paper tickets give way to electronic tickets, Bentall logs her latest concerts onto a spreadsheet, reminiscing her wonderful concert memories. And even as Bentall has hit retirement age, she continues to attend as many concerts as possible. 

“Sometimes we’ll be the oldest people at a concert. If you like the music — you like the music. It doesn’t matter the age of people who go.” ♦

One Comment

  1. LT Sacco says:

    “As she circled through her tickets, Bentall reminisced about seeing Paul McCartney, Edgar Winter, Carol King, Jefferson Starship, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and the Rolling Stones — twice.”

    Ah, yes. “Carol” King. Such a talent. Who could forget?

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