The Heartbreak Tour 2013

St. Patrick’s Day weekend is the equivalent of the Super Bowl to Irish punk bands.
These past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of shows, 12 in 6 days to be exact, and it feels like I haven’t seen my husband in weeks.

I now fully comprehend why many Rock Stars and their loving, supportive wives, find themselves stopping in for a stint in rehab somewhere along their heart breaking tours.

Last weekend was pre-game warm ups – 4 shows in 3 days. The girls and I spent all weekend at the Irish Faire while BTB played their sets. We ran home to catch a quick nap for D and a wardrobe change before he and I were out the door for the House of Blues show Sunday night. One week later, I am still “recovering”. I tossed back 2 Blackberry & Jacks on an empty stomach in an effort to meet the HoB $20 minimum for an early entry (Wives don’t qualify to be on the list for back stage access at HoB, so we gather at the bar, commiserate about the shitty service and wait for the doors to open). Half cocked inside the venue, and after 2 more Jamesson & Gingers, I broke my fun meter.

I found myself dancing in 6” platform heels and thrashing in a mosh pit swirling full of people.

My girl friend and I left the show, her in my boots and me in her oh-so-comfy, just-like-butter rainbow flip flops and four fists full of warm, fresh-out-of-the-vendor’s-window churros. D came home to find me naked and giggling, blathering on about how much I loved those cinnamon and sugar laced snacks. He had the shot; there was no danger, so he took it.

This weekend, the band has 8 shows in 3 days ranging from Riverside to San Diego. In true “V”, horrible timing form, I have decided this would be a great week for me to start a full detox and have stayed behind with the kids. D’s diet has consisted of Starbucks and 5-Hour energy shots to get him through. I woke up with him at 4am this morning to “Hoist the Colours” and paint his platinum blond mohawk like the Irish Flag. He was on the road by 5am for a 7am call to play a live set on one of the local San Diego news channels. During our “in between” phone calls, he mentioned he was thinking about taking “another one of those diet pills” from his band mate’s fiancé in order to maintain. They have 3 more shows to play, their last set slotted to end at 1:30am. I can hear the exhaustion in his voice.

“Don’t worry – It’s the good fen not the bad one” he pleads. He can tell I am less than thrilled about his need for speed, herbal or not, but I refrain from punching him in the face in hopes to not add anymore stress to his already over flowing plate.

“Awesome, I just burned the cinnamon rolls.” is all I can muster as a response.

And so begins the spiral descent of self-destruction.

For them it starts with venti, quad mochas and a 5 hour energy chaser or diet pills in the form of herbal speed to chase the dragon of show biz. It is “coming down” by means of an over indulgence in alcohol or bong rips in the bathroom, to help them slip back into the dull hum of day time jobs and domestic life in suburbia. The wives, left behind to hold the fort down, and keep the kids schedules “normal” end up in love affairs with Jack (Daniels), Jim (Beam) or (Makers) Mark in an attempt to numb the pain of lonely nights waiting by the phone for that call between sets. A desperate answer to the insomnia and early morning anxiety laced with fear when the phone rings. This slippery road dead ends into drug and alcohol addiction or worse, that phone call we all dread where instead of your husband’s voice, it’s the CHP on the other end telling you “there’s been a terrible accident”.

Being a Rock Star or a loving, supportive spouse of one isn’t for the faint of heart. Us wives may not be under the lights performing to packed houses of roaring fans, but the dedication and strength it takes to maintain both life styles is really like nothing I could have ever imagined. The taunting and merciless teasing by the beast that is this industry, taking our husbands away from us on a regular basis, is heart breaking. We bite our lip and fake a smile as we send our men off into the venues bursting with groupies, hoping for the best for them; A packed house, A record deal, A sold out tour, knowing full well that we have now created our own brand of living nightmare in an effort to support or mates’ dreams.

I really only get to experience a small taste of what the major-league players do and I tip my imaginary hat to those women who are the solid foundations for their mega performer husbands. For those about to rock (and those who stay behind so that they can do so), I salute you!

Horns Up, Lovers, and never let them see you cry.



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