Nickel Revolution Looks Back on December 1967

Posted: November 12, 2011 in 1967

One of the great joys of publishing the Nickel Revolution website and blog is the discoveries members are making in their treasure boxes of rock and roll memories. Our bass player and forever member, Scott Jeffy, is a pretty organized guy and when he was going through his old Nickel Revolution stack of stuff, he discovered a calendar he had kept.

On the calendar he wrote where we were playing and how much revenue we generated. No surprise coming from an entrepreneurial family, Scott was tracking the money as a measure of our progress. The money we earned would go up every year and it is amazing when you convert 1960s dollars into 2011 dollars.

Here is a full overview of The Nickel Revolution’s December 1967 calendar of bookings, location and revenue.

Friday, December 1 –Wayzata High School, Wayzata, MN $120 

Saturday, December 2 – Interlachen Ballroom, Fairmont, MN $130

Thursday, December 7 –Arch Bishop High School, St Paul, MN $120

Friday, December 8 –New City Opera House, Minneapolis, MN $88 (creative spelling on Nickel for 12/8…they got it right on 12/31)

Wednesday, December 13 – Bimbo’s, West Bank Minneapolis, MN $96

Friday, December 15 – Eaton Ranch, Mendota, MN $130

Saturday, December 16 –Chaska High School, Chaska, MN $185

Tuesday, December 19 – Magoo’s, Minneapolis, MN $70

Hey look–the Magoo’s discount of 25 cents is good today…and tomorrow it will be good too. Only problem is that they are out of business.

Thursday, December 21, Bimbo’s, Minneapolis, MN $72   Note that Scott marked, “scale” on the calendar for this date. As union members, this was the minimum rate required for musicians. And the union received copies of all contracts. You can see we played above union rates the majority of the time, as did other rock bands.

Also, the top venues in the Twin Cities did not pay what the out of town ballrooms and schools were willing to pay. Thankfully our agents, Central Booking Alliance, kept a nice balance of getting us into the top Minneapolis-St. Paul clubs to continue to build our local following while booking us out of town to generate a better income.

Friday, December 22, Lakeview High School, Cottonwood, MN $130

Saturday, December 23, Zumbrota High School, Zumbrota, MN $150

There is a memorable story on the trip down to Zumbrota in southern Minnesota. As you can see, the band was racking up a lot of miles and our entertainment on those trips was generally Ron “Honeybear” Hort with his endless humor. He found the name of the town, Zumbrota, funny. “We’re heading to Zumbrota,” quickly turned into, “That’s Zum (some) brota you got there.” His antics didn’t stop in the van, that evening he entertained the locals constantly saying, “Hey, that’s Zum Brota you got there.” A little glimpse into road trips with Bear.

Wednesday, December 27,  Maple Lake Pavilion, Maple Lake, MN $120

Thursday, December 28, Adams High School, Adams, MN $175

Friday, December 29, Orchid Inn, Sleepy Eye, MN $150

Saturday, December 30, Someplace Else, Robbinsdale, MN $76

Sunday, December 31, New City Opera House, Minneapolis, MN $100

This New Year’s Eve gig was a blast to play. First of all it was heavily promoted on radio (WDGY and KDWB) and in the Minneapolis Tribune. Additionally, the club distributed posters and we have included a photo of one here. Notice how the art is drastically changing,  just as the music was changing—going for more of a San Francisco, psychedelic look.

What made this gig extra special was the opportunity to play with so many bands that we were friends with. You played short sets, which meant only playing the “A” list songs and not the lesser tunes used to fill long four hour gigs, “everyone take two solos…we got time to fill.”

New City Opera House was one of our favorite places to play, located on Nicollet and Lake Street in Minneapolis. It was formally the historic, Mr. Lucky’s club. They remodeled, updated the stage lighting and changed the name to reflect the times and changes in musical direction.

They added a second venue next door call Magoo’s, which had a different feel. While New City Opera House was a rock club, Magoo’s was more laid back and the music wasn’t as loud. They served pizza and beer and had plenty of seating for the audience.

Let’s look again at the revenue side of things

December 1967

Total number of appearances: 17

Total Revenue: $1,912

Average per appearance: $112

Using an online inflation calculator will tell you the relative buying power of a dollar in the United States between any two years. In doing so, we have converted The Nickel Revolution’s December 1967 earnings into 2011 dollars

Conversion to 2011 Dollars

Total number of appearances: 17

Total Revenue: $12,738

Average per appearance: $749

$1,912.00 in 1967  had the same buying power as $12,737.70 in 2011. Annual inflation over this period was 4.40%.

How many local/regional bands earn $749 per night in 2011?  The purpose of this illustration is to demonstrate how well musicians could do in what some people call the Golden Age of Rock—especially on a local/regional basis.

We welcome your comments and feedback on this blog. You can post here and share this with your friends via Facebook and Twitter (see easy links). If you want to email us any questions or comments:

Visit our YouTube Channel to listen to our recordings

See these great websites for further insights to Twin Cities bands from the 50s, 60s, 70s:

© 2011 © 2012 Jerry Lenz, Lenz Entertainment Group All Rights Reserved

  1. Dan Smith says:

    I was at the New City Opera House on Dec. 30, 1967, primarily to see the Litter. A former girlfriend’s brother was the drummer in C.A. Quintet, which also played that night, although I think they played in Magoo’s.

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