This is part of a series of posts I’ve entitled, “Stories From the Road.” Each week I will post a new story from Rick Sikes, a Texas musician who traveled the roads of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and out to California for well over twenty years. With hours to pass in a bus full of sweaty musicians, they found ways to entertain themselves. These stories are told in Rick Sikes’ words. I’ll do my best to correct grammar, but I want to keep them in his own voice.
Since we are entering a New Year, I thought I’d take a step back and show the vast difference in the economy between the 1960s and now. I found these interesting.
I couldn’t find the exact date on this, but do know it was somewhere around 1965 or 1966.
The following are entries from a 1967 Yearbook in which Rick noted every gig played and what clothes he wore. That was important to him. He never wanted to duplicate the costume at a venue.
Now, to put it into perspective:
The average price of gas in 1967 was Thirty cents per gallon.
The average price of a new car in 1967 was $2,750.00
Average rent was $125 per month
Average income was around $7,000
So, you can see from these journal entries, that playing music for a living wasn’t exactly lucrative. But, Rick managed to support a family, a girlfriend and keep the band members paid. He did pay the band members less than he paid himself. After all, he did all of the bookings, advertising, choosing songs, providing costumes, and transportation.
So, I’ll end on this note because I can’t say it any better.