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Collecting old tickets and stubs from the 1960’s on back probably revolves around big-name artists more than any other category. Everyone loves old hits like “Incense and Peppermints” and “At the Hop,” but few people would want your old Strawberry Alarm Clock or Danny & the Juniors ticket stub. With so little real estate to display and usually no picture, the artist’s name really has to jump out at you. So all of the action tends to revolve around the most collectible musicians – but there are plenty of them.

Naturally, collectors prefer full, unused tickets over torn-in-half stubs. But stubs can be highly collectible, too, for the right artist or show. And at least stubs are usually a “onesie” or “twosie.” With unused full tickets, oftentimes one is just the tip of the iceberg… the promoter may have a whole shoebox of them, and leak them out one at a time, to keep interest high. Once collectors catch wind of quantity, the desirability slacks way off. For example: Although a full, unused Beatles concert ticket from the 1960s seems very attractive to someone outside the hobby, there’s a surplus of them from the Suffolk Downs Racetrack in Boston, MA for the Fab Four’s August 18, 1966 concert there. As a result… they sell for a relative pittance.

One reason to focus on ticket collecting from the 1960s-on back is that right around the turn of the 60s/70s decades, Ticketmaster began taking over and computer-generated concert tickets started to all look alike.

Here are a few examples of fun concert tickets from over the years. And keep in mind that I pay top dollar for vintage concert tickets and stubs by my favorite artists.

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  Jimi Hendrix Experience ticket   Beach Boys ticket  
  The Beatles ticket Elvis Presley ticket  
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Slim Whitman show ticket Tommy Dorsey and Shep Fields ticket

The Rolling Stones ticket stub for their very first concert on American soil, at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, CA on June 5, 1964 (top); The Jimi Hendrix Experience ticket stub also for the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, CA on Sept. 5, 1968; The Beach Boys (“America’s Number One Recording Group”) full, unused ticket for Boise High School Auditorium in Boise, ID on Sept. 13, 1964; The Beatles full ticket stub for Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, MO on Aug. 21, 1966; Elvis Presley full ticket stub for the Florida Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL on Aug. 7, 1956; The Slim Whitman Show with unlisted opening act Elvis Presley and the Blue Moon Boys, full ticket for the Overton Park Shell in Memphis, TN on July 30, 1954; and Tommy Dorsey and Shep Fields, featuring unlisted vocalist Frank Sinatra, full ticket stub for a Dance Caravan at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, OH on Nov. 5, 6, 7 or 9, 1941, autographed on the back by both Sinatra and drummer Buddy Rich.

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