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Tours de Farce: The Name Of The Game

12:00 AM Sunday 1/13/02 |   |

"You must have the greatest job in the world!"

Oh, if only we had a penny for every time we've heard that expression, we'd have more cents than most people give us credit for. After all, spending every single day collecting tour dates for bands like Ratdog and artists such as Mary J. Blige and Keller Williams must seem like the vocation from which one would never want a vacation, and ranks right up there with disc jockey and record company intern as the best employment opportunity on the planet.

But there's a downside to all the fame and glory that has dogged our steps since we first opened this Website back in 1931. In fact, Laurie Anderson mentions it whenever she's in town, and both Sevendust and Jethro Tull have jokingly threatened to write songs about it. We've hashed it out in late night bull sessions with Elton John and Billy Joel, and we've spent many a day fretting its consequences with Bad Religion, Asia and Tha Liks.

"It must drive you crazy," said Ani DiFranco when she stopped by to tell us about the string of dates she's doing with Dan Bern. "It must seem more like a blessing than a curse," teases Alicia Keys whenever she emails us from the road. And Bob Dylan? Well, Bob just cocks an eyebrow whenever his boot heels bring him to our door and says, "Ehhhh..."

We just grin and bear it. "It comes with the territory," is what we told Adrian Belew when he stopped by for lunch earlier this past week. "Just part of our jobs," we mumbled to Janet Jackson when she took us out dancing the other night. But no matter how many times we joke about it to Neil Diamond or try to downplay its significance whenever we play golf with Steven Curtis Chapman or Gorillaz, it's hard to hide our true feelings. Especially when we're chatting with Point Of Grace, A Flock Of Seagulls or the David Grisman Quintet.

It's not the danger. At least that's what we told Aerosmith when Steven called to ask us how many backstage passes we needed for Tuesday night's show. And it's not the violence. At least, that's what we told Justin when we were swapping booking agent stories with The Moody Blues over an afternoon cup of tea. But when the day is done, and there are no more dates to process for Red Giant, Voices On The Verge and Flickerstick, we hang up our pants one leg and a time and try to ignore that one factor, that one oblique feature that otherwise keeps this job from being the laugh-a-minute, the icing-on-the-cake and the Everclear in our morning O.J all rolled into one.

For if the truth be told, regardless of how much money we make and how many Jaguars we buy, there's one aspect of collecting dates for artists such as Amy Fairchild or Sex Mob, that we can no longer ignore.

There's just too much damn name-dropping in this business.

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