do you know what you are really paying for Derby and other tickets!

For the first time in years I will not be at the Championships.

So I looked at ticket prices for Milwaukee. For one day adult it is $31.25, for kids under 13 and senior $23.25…..not bad, really for this championship event. But the Ticketmaster surcharge ranges from $8.25 for the kids all the way up to $20 for a 3-day ticket!

Wouldn’t you rather have the extra money for merch, programs, whatever.

The building has a Ticketmaster contract, so WFTDA has no choice. And where does that extra fee go? It is split between Ticketmaster, the building and probably somewhere else. So ironically, even though WFTDA has paid a rental fee for the venue, they are paying an additional amount on tickets sold.

And for many events with tickets running much more expensive, the service fee can run from $100 to much more.

Whoever devised this terrible excess charge for the simple act of computerized ticket distribution?

OK, I confess, at BASS Tickets when we started we gave promoter Bill Graham a 25 cent rebate on each ticket we sold for him. Then at Ticketmaster, where I was executive vice president, sales and marketing, we used it as a method to compete against Ticketron. Eventually we were making large advance payments plus box office computerization to such organizations as the Forum in LA, Madison Square Garden etc. click to see photo of Madison Square Garden with Roller derby.

But what is occurring today is far in excess.

That is why I am so happy at this time to be with Brown Paper Tickets. We can do anything that is necessary to service and sell tickets: by PC, mobile device, and we still take phone orders, all for just 99 cents per ticket plus credit card fee, which I believe is the lowest out there.

And we have tens of thousands of clients around the world, a 13 year history, and unlike any one else, we have Derby personnel (as well as theater, music and more) and the best 24-hour live client service. And you may get free support: free pr and social media, venue location, fund-raising, donations, and so much more. This is a fair trade,not just for profit company that serves more Derby leagues than anyone else.

At least go to our website ( and try to digest all we do for so little cost (no cost to the leagues).

Hey, Rollercon uses only Brown Paper Tickets.

And BPT hired The Commissioner.

One more great bit of excitement for Rollercon

Really exciting news… good friend Baron Wolman is coming to Rollercon.

I wrote about him in another post.  Baron was the first chief photographer for Rolling Stone, and his classic photographs from that era grace many galleries and all of the Hard Rock Cafes.

He was on stage at Woodstock, and you may have seen him on PBS recently when he introduced his photo book of that weekend.

If you go to, you will see the amazing photographs he has produced; ….he wandered into our arena one day and started taking Derby photos, and they are the basis of the classic book: “From Roller Derby to Rollerjam”……no one else has ever caught the game the way he has.  At the top of his website click on “beyond rock” and you will get the idea.

This is how he captured Joan Weston and Ann Calvello…..(do not copy this photo without his permission!)  look at some of the other photos on his site.

Roller Derby, 1967

He recently published a book on “Groupies” which is absolutely beautiful.  And he created the wonderful fashion magazine of the 70’s “Rags”.

Anyway, he will be hanging with Judi and me (and I imagine looking for some great shots…..I would love him to do the great photo book on Modern Roller Derby people, so look Derby when you see him)

Although the greatest rock photographer, he is so cool.  check him out  at either at the Roll Models booth (#24), or at Brown Paper Tickets booth.  You want to get a photo with the commish and with the Legend.  I charge 19 cents…..I don’t know his fee.


Another fine mess I got myself into

Weird things:  I skated with the munchkins, yes the real munchkins from the Wizard of OZ; wrestled for intramural championship at Stanford, and took third place (more on that later); rode with the Hells Angels; toked with Willie in his bus; and I could go on.  But yesterday was terrifying.

I decided yesterday morning I was going to go to a club on Open Mike night and do stand up.  There actually was an ulterior motive….more on that later.

I had been around comedy all my life; my father had Red Skelton and Lord Buckley as MCs for the Walkathon; I was at Roller Derby at the Pan Pacific in Los Angeles when Jack Benny, Mary Livingston, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Joe E. Brown, and Mickey Rooney were there; and of course saw most comedians in person later, from Bob Hope to Mort Sahl to Robin, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Richard Pryor, and on and on.  I became friends with Tom and Dick Smothers.

And lately have become comedy enthused again after seeing Torio Van Grol and the great comedy acts he has brought to Sonoma (tickets at Brown Paper tickets of course).  And along the way have established friendships with Kevin Pollak (the best impressions of Jack Nicholson, Alan Arkin and more) and Bobby (pitbull comedy) Slayton.

So I figured if I could get a decent opening and closing and didn’t screw up too badly, I might get away with it  (sample later).   So I wrote it out, put a bunch of things on a small cheat sheet and went over it   a few times.

There are three great clubs that have opened in Marin and Sonoma County the past five years called Hopmonk.  Really good food, great bars and outside areas, good music….and I was hoping to add them as clients for my employer, Brown Paper Tickets.  So I came up with his idea of why not go and perform at open mike night…..I can’t sing or play an instrument worth a damn.

And I figured if I did it in Sonoma a lot of my friends would show up and kindly laugh at anything……wrong.

I tweeted both Kevin Pollak (you know him from “The Usual Suspects”  the other attorney with Tom Cruise in “A Few Good Men”, Daryl Hannah’s boyfriend in “Grumpy old men” and many more movies) and Bobby Slayton (he  has been in a number of films, played the Casino manager in “Get Shorty”) asking for advice.

Kevin tweeted “Record it”…..sorry Kevin, not a chance.

Bobby was a little more down to earth:  “Since you are a senior citizen, the audience will be more tolerant when you fuck up”……gee, Bobby, why would you assume I would not be perfect.

So I went to the Hopmonk in Sonoma and signed up.  There were about 6 other music acts and one other comedian (I cringed at the name “comedian”).

It turned out the manager of  Hopmonk was BJ, an old friend, and we chatted and I guzzled down a merlot.  And then Allison Coats, the daughter of  PR friend Michael Coats, came over…..I was feeling better already.

After two really good singers and guitarists performed, the MC called my name….I don’t really recall walking to the stage.  I looked out and saw none of my friends had come to support me, but the twenty-somethings and others looked okay so I grabbed the mike and started in:

“Hi, my name is Jerry……I am a sex addict…….oh shit, is tonight Thursday?”

“When I was born, Hoover was President…..took me years to realize that a vacuum cleaner didn’t cause the Great Depression”

“But Americans are tough and resilient…look how well we have managed to exist without  Hostess cup cakes, Ding Dongs, and Twinkies”

“As  you may or may not know, James Gondolfini died today….what a a tragedy….and Boehner is already blaming it on Obamacare”

“Sorry for the cheat sheet (actually, I hadn’t looked at it!),  I usually write the notes on my hand but Sarah Palin still has the Sharpie”

Good response, happy faces, chuckles, laughs, and I am wondering how much of what Bobby had said was true…. it was not great stuff but it all came from my brain.

I then did a bit of family history, a couple of funny stories from Roller Derby times, some from my ticketing days, and explained I was now working for the best ticketing company in the world, not just for profit and community oriented as penance for being part of raising the service charges with BASS and Ticketmaster.

I then closed with “people ask me why you are able to function so well at your age; well I don’t smoke and rarely drink, exercise, take vitamins and I never eat anything that Michael Douglas does”      Huge laugh, leave the stage.     Whew.

So Torio asks if I will pursue this career.  Of course, right after I swim the Everest.

Oh, there were only two other wrestlers in my weight class (110 pounds).  I lost badly to both, but still got third place for valuable points for Encina West…we ended up being intramural champs….who was our best athlete in our wing?  Bob Mathias, Olympic decathlon champion.  Don’t tell me I didn’t have friends in high places.

The best way to bring additional revenue to your event!

Brown Paper Tickets – The fair-trade ticketing company..

If you are in a service organization, a theater, music or sports group, click on the above.

Do it even if you aren’t, it will make me happy.

I represent Brown Paper Tickets in outreach, and it is the least expensive way for a customer to buy a ticket; usually costs the producer nothing, and adds to your event by having it on a website used around the world.

Great 24-hour customer service, phones answered in English, French and Spanish, and it is what all ticket companies should be.

I should know:  I used Ticketron, started BASS Tickets in Northern California, and was executive Vice President of Ticketmaster.

This company is different, and you can use them for donations and/or fundraising.

I think you get the feeling I really like them.