Sure, there are other inventions, such as the turnstile and the will-call window, that have aided humanity in its search for musical entertainment, but those wonders of the concert world hardly compare to the elegance that comes with additional charges for Backstreet Boys and O.A.R.

When and where did service charges first appear? For the past few decades most concert historians believed that the first service charge occurred in the early 60s during a Tony Bennett tour. However, a recent carbon dating analysis suggests that the first service charge appeared in 1791 when an unknown New England constable started charging a fee of one cent per person at public executions. Those “hanging fees” soon turned into “handling fees,” and the service charge was born.

To be sure, the modern service charge had many fathers. Edison, Wright Brothers, Rosen, Diller, they all contributed to the science known as concert ticketing. Of course, there were as many failures as successes on the road that led to localized purchasing of tickets for Jamiroquai or Inner Circle. But perseverance, along with good, old-fashioned American know-how, allowed technology to move past the Titanic and Hindenburg ticketing disasters to grow into the modern ticket outlets we know today.

So the next time you step up to the counter to purchase tickets for Marky Ramone, Judas Priest or Jerry Seinfeld, be thankful that you live in a land that gives you the opportunity to pay a fee in addition to the box office price. For the service charge, along with capital punishment and a deregulated power industry, made this country what it is today. God bless America, and may God bless the service charge.