Probably not, for the average concert fan is usually more concerned about where Cyndi Lauper is playing on December 14, or how to acquire tickets for Phish on New Year’s Eve than whether or not their local promoter is a member of Mensa or how the booking agent for Thin Lizzy did on his college SATs. Most fans are totally oblivious to the fact that live-music professionals are often the best and brightest people of the land, trained experts dedicated to selling you tickets for Barenaked Ladies, Nickelback and Phil Collins.

In fact, if you could take the individual intellects of every man, woman and booking agent that make up the concert industry and put them end-to-end, you would have a line more improbable than a Guns N’ Roses original band members’ reunion and twice as wide as the talents of Mariah Carey, Marilyn Manson and Wayne Newton combined. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

Of course, there are those malcontents who believe that the industry’s collective talents are wasted on presenting shows by Ozzy Osbourne or Eric Clapton, and that they would better serve humanity by focusing their skills on discovering cures for cancer or bringing an end to war and injustice. But would you want to live in a world absent of disease, hunger and despair if it meant giving up a chance to see Elton John in Las Vegas? We didn’t think so.

So the next time you find yourself moaning about the state of current affairs, the next time you wonder if the world is on an express train to oblivion and that we’re all traveling to hell in a handbasket, consider this: If it weren’t for the concert industry, you wouldn’t have blink-182 playing in Toronto on December 2nd, you wouldn’t have David Bowie playing in Boston on December 9, and you most assuredly wouldn’t have Westlife playing seven shows in Dublin next May.

That’s why, come this Thanksgiving, we urge you to take a moment to remember the dedicated folks who make up the concert industry, for if they hadn’t chosen to follow the path that results in shows for Radiohead or Seal, it would be a sad world, indeed. A world where everyone is healthy, wealthy and wise, but at the same time, a world where no one has a ticket for Aerosmith, Pink or Simon & Garfunkel. A world without love, joy and Jewel performing in Bakersfield on November 25. Thankfully, that isn’t our world.

Reprints of this article available upon request.