Tuesday, February 11, 2014

50 years ago today the Beetles played their first concert in the US. How much do you suppose a ticket cost? See it here and how a minimum wage worker is 64' could get a ticket with little effort.

Here is an print advertisement for the first appearance of the Beetles in the US.

The RED circle marks the price of a ticket to this epic event exactly 50 years ago today.

In 1964 the minimum wage was $1.15 (increased to $1.25 in Sept 1964), so it would take 5.2 hours for a working stiff to buy himself and his significant other two medium priced tickets to the concert.

Usually at this point I would take today's minimum wage and divide it into the price of a similar concert in scale and scope in order to compare the purchasing power of the minimum wage in each time period.  However, I think it is not necessary in this case. It would take far more hours of work to buy a mid-priced ticket to a big time, one of a kind concert today.

The minimum wage worker in 1964 wins.  Hope they had a good time.

Edit: Here is the ticket for the Final Concert for the group.

It cost $6.50 in 1966.  The minimum wage in 1966 was $1.25.  It would have taken 10.4 hours to earn enough for two tickets. (note: not sure if this ticket is comparable to the one above in location or quality).

To purchase 2 of the expensive tickets ($4.00) for the first concert at the 1964 minimum wage of $1.15 it would have required 7 hours of labor.  In terms of Beetles concerts, the minimum wage still had more purchasing power in 1964.  However, the quality of the show in 1966 may have been better and it was in the middle of the hippie years in San Francisco.  I am guessing fun quotient was much higher so that might compensate for some of the decline in actual purchasing power.  :)

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