When I’m on tour I suffer a nameless anxiety that is pretty much all pervasive and is with me somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty hours a day. It involves various unfounded (and therefore unresolvable) worries that include, but are not limited to me finding myself in an extremely bad situation far from home, something terrible happening to my home and/or family while I’m gone, running into someone I really don’t like or for whatever reason really don’t want to see, playing horribly and letting people down, playing great but having a terrible show because of circumstances beyond my control, getting sick, not being able to get a decent night’s sleep, missing home, hating wherever I am, loving wherever I am and dreading having to leave, car accidents, plane crashes, general social situations where I’m forced to deal with some asshole until they turn me into an asshole and thereby confirm the rumor that I’m a total asshole, actually BEING a total asshole, no one showing up to the show, people showing up and then leaving before we play or while we’re playing, pissing off my only friends, having to deal with being pissed off at my only friends and on and on and on like this.
This anxiety pretty much starts first thing in the morning and goes all day until about twenty minutes before we go on stage. At that point, something kind of switches inside my head and I’ve got no worries. While I’m on stage, with very few exceptions, I’m having a great time and I find myself thinking ‘wow, this is the best thing in the world. I’m so fucking lucky to be out here, carefree, doing what I love.’ Then, I get off stage, and everything’s great. My mind switches back to regular mode, but I’m not anxiety stricken anymore. I’m stoked. My other brain did a good enough job on stage that my regular brain feels at ease and I get to go hang out with friends and fans or climb into a van or a bus or a hotel room or a train or whatever and just kind of drink or sleep or bullshit with people or whatever. I’ll drift off to sleep feeling pretty much like I do at home, namely at peace and totally comfortable.
Then, I’ll wake up and the whole thing will repeat. It’s a guarantee. I get to a point where I can’t wait to get home. But here’s the thing. Once I get home, I realize how stupid all the anxiety on tour is and I’m confronted with a whole new anxiety: the taxes aren’t done, the projects I’m working on have stalled in my absence and maybe they aren’t worth doing in the first place, I’m a deadbeat, I’m a fucking bartender and I can’t stand it, I’m about to have another child and I have NO FUCKING IDEA how I’m gonna deal with two of these screaming little crap factories, much less shepherd them through life so they don’t end up being depraved lunatics. I don’t make enough money, people hate my (record, band, attitude, blog, bloody mary, kid, wife, whatever), I’m dangerously out of touch with whatever it is that I’m supposed to be in touch with. I’m not going to be able to tour again for so long!
This one’s the most hilarious, because as I mentioned above, tour is pretty much non stop anxiety too. I guess that’s what happens. As you live longer and longer you just gather up bad past experiences and put them in your brain, look out for them approaching in your future and worry and try to guard the things you love from the various crap monsoons that rain down on everything and everyone. It’s the fear of everything that turns cool kids into worried old shitheads who find no humor in anything and no passion in adventure. It’s all just another way to wind up fucked. That’s what they’re thinking.
I can see it happening to me and my friends. I don’t think it’s something you can avoid. In the words of John Hughes, ‘you get old, your heart dies’.
Sheesh. That’s depressing, huh? Well, look. I woke up this morning and started firing off emergency panicked emails to everyone, and now I feel fine, but shit. I got home from the UK last night. It was such a fun tour. Every show was a blast. We made great new friends with a group of drunken Northern Irish dudes and we played some of my favorite shows we’ve ever played. You’d think that I could get one single day of peace in my brain before the worries about everything else kick in, right? Shit. Stupid worries. Stupid fucking all pervasive dumb fucking worries. Get out of here. Everything's cool. I don't need you around today.
That’s why god invented beer, I guess.
Okay, I gotta run to a meeting. Tomorrow, I’m gonna talk about nothing but felching and then defend some controversial subject and get you all riled up for no good reason. Does that sound good?
I’m real glad to be home. Loved the trip, but I missed my house, my routine and Mexican food. to paraphrase a very astute and handsome friend of mine: Fuck all these worries. They don’t mean a goddamned thing. Keep that in mind for the day, kay? There’s no way around it, everyone has them, even me, and I’m the coolest most totally radical guy on the planet, so relax, have a beer and enjoy the things you have while you have them, not in retrospect. That’s the lesson I’m teaching myself today, and with that, I’m off to look at some pornography.