What if the Titanic missed the iceberg? Would that affect the routing for Our Lady Peace? What if the Confederacy won the Civil War? Would throat problems still cause Christina Aguilera to cancel her Mexico City dates? What if the Hindenburg didn’t explode in Lakehurst, New Jersey? Would this still be the last tour for The Smashing Pumpkins?

Some promoters say that history is nothing but cause and effect, and that an event of the past launches a wave through time that doesn’t crest until a headliner, such as Dr. John or The Hellacopters, takes the stage. “There is a clear connection between the Rosenburg executions of 1953 and the European leg of the Marilyn Manson tour,” claims noted promoter/historian Arthur Dent. “Rosenburgs, Mad Cow Disease, Marilyn. It’s as simple as that. Just connect the dots.”

Is it really that easy? While popular wisdom recognizes the relationship between the culinary habits of the ill-fated Donner party and the current consolidation of the concert industry, some promoters believe that perceived historical connections are actually the results of events taking place at the subatomic level.

“There is an infinite number of tours,” claims Dr. Zachary Smith of the Robinson Institute, home of the largest concert accelerator on the planet. “As there is an infinite number of artists and an endless amount of venues. Each ticket sale, every service charge, each groupie encounter, causes reality to split into yet another tour, say for B.B. King, Agents Of Good Roots and U2, where anything can happen.”

Are the big shows for Eric Clapton and Social Distortion really decided by seemingly random events of the past? Or will the box office grosses for The Doobie Brothers and Bryan Adams be the end result of collisions between photons, electrons, Eminem and Britney Spears? As promoters play the “What if?” game, science indicates that the answers may be found in a plethora of unlimited possibilities, including specific areas on Earth where tours have even been known to vanish from existence.

“These are holes, or ‘doorways’ into alternate routings,” says Dr. Smith. “Large vacuous areas that mark the crossroads of an endless array of possible conclusions. It affected The Beatles in 1966 as well as the sudden disappearance of the Diana Ross & The Supremes tour last summer. Mark my words, if I was planning the itineraries for The Whitlams and Ratt, I would stay away from these geometrically defined areas, these ‘Tourmuda Triangles.'”