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Tours de Farce: Keeping Up With The Jones

12:00 AM Thursday 1/30/03 |   |

I'm an addict.

But my addiction isn't alcohol-based or drug-related. I don't gamble, I'm not an adrenaline junkie nor do I crave sugar. No, my friends, my addiction is not one of those afflictions, and it is certainly not a malady for which one may be treated. The monkey that's perched on my back knows no enemy and resists all attempts of intervention.

That's right. I'm addicted to concerts.

The Mighty Diamonds, O.C. Supertones or The Machine, I've seen them all. From the smallest junior-high gymnasiums to the most mammoth of stadiums, for longer than I can remember I've indulged in the temptations of live musical entertainment. Concerts are my life's blood and I've forsaken all else to be in my seat when the house lights dim and the headliner strides onto the stage. I love opening acts, I adore fog machines and strobe lights, and don't even get me started on mirror balls. I admit it. I'm a mess.

Oh, I've sought out cures. Psychiatric counseling, total immersion therapy, even the patch, but nothing has vanquished this jones that rules my life. I've sacrificed everything so that I may see bands like Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and 38 Special and artists such as Shemekia Copeland, Smokey Robinson and Tori Amos. I'm on Ticketmaster's email list, Tickets.com knows me by my first name and I'm number one on my local promoter's speed dial. In my life concerts are king and I'm the most obedient of subjects.

You can probably guess what happened. After I sold the car so that I could purchase Peter Gabriel tickets, after I hocked my wedding ring for tickets to see Spyro Gyra and Concrete Blonde, and well after I quit my job so that I could follow Tom Wopat on the road, my wife gave me an ultimatum - either give up the concert life or lose her love and devotion. That was it. I had reached rock bottom and I had to decide between shows, like Tim McGraw or The Sea & Cake, and wedded bliss.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I'm leading up to one of those punch lines that you see on bumper stickers. Something like, "My wife told me I had to choose between her and concerts. Boy do I miss her." But don't worry, for I won't insult your intelligence with such a flippant conclusion. I tried, I really tried, but in the end it was a choice seat for Pearl Jam that ended our marriage and sent me further down the road of sin, perdition and buying tickets for Shawn Colvin and Alabama. But make no mistake about it. I really, really tried to give up concerts.

In fact, it was the toughest 30 minutes of my entire life.

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