April 27, 2008

Exhibit 6: Drink tickets

The first use of drink tickets as currency for the production of musical commodity is thought to have occurred in Wales in 1267, where a minstrel band was hired to play an after-party for the signing of the Treaty of Montgomery. The band, whose Celtic name cannot be spelled in English, played a six-hour version of the popular favorite, "The Dolwyddlean Stoympe," culminating in a 45-minute crwth solo. Since monetary currency at the time was in a state of flux, the band received four scrolls from the newly entitled Prince Of Wales, Llywelyn II, indicating that they were to be compensated with "40 ouynce servyngs of the fynest Medd (mead), in addytyon to six bowls of qualyty pebble syzed sweetmeats, wyth brown ones removed." Not realizing the scrolls were intended as compensation, the band ate them.

The use of drink tickets thrived throughout the next seven centuries; it is widely acknowledged that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed "The Magic Flute" on the backs of them. As rock music proliferated in the 20th century, drink tickets became an important add-on to contract riders at many live performances. Certain establishments paid bands exclusively with drink tickets in lieu of cash, such as The Jacked Bass in Mobile, Alabama; Crispy Puffy's in Memphis; Frippy's Soil Farm in Edina, Minnesota; and Shea Stadium in New York.

Modern drink tickets have evolved considerably from the digested scrolls of Llywelyn. The most common type is the surplus "Admit One" detachable ticket, easily purchased at office supply stores in rolls of 2000 for approximately five US dollars. When used as drink tickets, one roll of "Admit One" tickets has an approximate inventory value of $10,000 in America, or $8,500,000 in Europe. This partially explains why American bands frequently make massive purchases of "Admit One" tickets at office supply stores while touring Europe, although many of those tickets are also eaten by bands unable to assimilate to European cuisine. Thus the tradition of the unpronounceable Welsh minstrels continues.

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