“Timmy Tour Date” is what they called me. I must have had the largest collection of tour dates on the east coast, but were they impressed? Heck no. Throughout my college years it was nothing but ridicule and physical abuse.

“Hey, Timmy Tour Date! Did you get the latest dates for Brenda Lee?” someone would ask while their buddy sneaked up behind me and yanked my jockey shorts up past my ears. College students can be so mean.

I remember this one guy in the dorm named Bill, a sophomore math geek who used to razz me. He would make jokes about the dates for Don McLean and Thin Lizzy that I kept in a shoebox in the closet, or the Loretta Lynn dates I hid under the bed. He told everyone that I liked to spend long periods of time in the bathroom touching The Lettermen schedule. He also told all the girls on the floor about some study he read in Playboy that claimed that people who collected tour schedules were obsessive, flatulent nose pickers who would rather fondle the dates for Don Rickles and Neil Sedaka than go out on a real date. Yeah, Bill was one mean S.O.B. Thank God he dropped out after that year.

Yes, they all laughed at me, but now I have Pollstar.com, and every day I fill it with new dates for acts like Fishbone, Joe Diffie and J Mascis & The Fog. I get a warm sensation down in my loins every time someone looks up tour information on my site and sees the latest shows for Julian Cope and Sawyer Brown. Oooh, just thinking about it makes me squirm in my chair.

And Bill? I still hear from him every now and then. He still calls me “Timmy Tour Date,” and he always likes to make jokes about the length of my Chris Whitley routing.

But I just let him laugh. He may be the richest man in the world, but he’s up to his butt in antitrust action, while I have the latest dates for Systematic, Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs. It just goes to show you that money can’t buy happiness. Sure, Bill has Microsoft, but I have Pollstar.com.

Who’s laughing now?