When Rhode Islanders purchased their tickets to see The Who in 1979, they probably didn’t expect to wait 34 years to attend the show. That show ended up being canceled, but fans who kept their tickets — as souvenirs or scrap alike — now have the opportunity to see slightly older, grayer versions of the rock legends more than three decades later. Lawrence Lepore, general manager of the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, has graciously offered seats at the February 26, 2013 Who concert to anyone who can scrounge up their ’79 tickets.
Then-mayor of Providence, Buddy Cianci, canceled the 1979 concert citing safety concerns. Two weeks before the Providence concert’s scheduled date, 11 people died in a stampede before a Who concert in Cincinnati. The Who have not visited Providence since.
Ten fans took Lepore up on his offer, according to the Providence Journal, trading in 14 tickets for seats. They won’t be seeing the same band from 1979: Ringo Starr’s son, Zak Starkey, has replaced Kenny Jones as drummer, and Pino Palladino replaced John Entwistle on bass when Entwistle died in 2002. But that didn’t deter the most patient fans in Providence — or at least those with the best memory — from recovering and exchanging their tickets. Fan Ed McConnell told the Journal that he had no problem retrieving his two ’79 tickets: one was in a cigar box in a closet and the other was pinned onto a cork bulletin board in his brother’s old bedroom at their parents’ house.
And for making the journey to his parents’ house, Ed was rewarded with quite a deal. His new seats are worth $129.50, while the original tickets only put him back $10.95. What’s more, he told the Journal, his new seats are even better than those he had for the canceled concert. Hopefully he still remembers the words.
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