I meet with other concertholics one night a week in a classroom down at the local junior high where we talk about our problems and how great performances by bands such as Mustard Plug and Everclear have taken over our lives. That’s the first step.

The first step of 12, that is. For when we admit to each other that we are powerless over concerts and that shows by Beck or Cher have made our lives unmanageable, only then can we proceed down the path to concert recovery.

Oh, we’re a motley crew. Like Harriet, who once woke up behind a Bakersfield cigarette recycling center with her body covered in ticket stub tattoos after going on a three-day bender seeing Beenie Man, Destroyer and Roy Haynes. Or Harry, who gets the shakes every time he walks by a Ticketmaster. Then there’s Sam, who gave up everything to follow Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band around the country. They say Sam even left behind a wife and kids in Baltimore. Or was that Jack?

No matter, we’re a group of men and women who have taken that first step by acknowledging that concerts have complete control over our lives. Sure it’s tough admitting that we have no resistance to Bob Dylan onsale announcements or that Vanilla Ice and John Tesh control our every waking thought. That’s why we meet once a week, to help each other face the remaining 11 steps to a concert-free life.

Like step 9, for example, the toughest of the twelve steps. That’s when we make direct amends to all the people whose lives we’ve damaged by letting concerts control our destinies. Like my brother. I told him he was the only suitable donor for my much-needed appendix transplant, then I sold the organ on eBay so I could buy tickets for Don Henley and Nelly. Or my daughter, who was born at a Korn concert because I refused to leave before the final encore. Then there’s my son, who I sold off to Canadian gypsies from Ontario so that I could afford the service charges for Shawn Colvin and Aerosmith. I gotta tell you, when I think of all that maple syrup they’ve forced him to consume over the years, it brings tears to my eyes.

Yes, step 9 is a tough one, alright. Some say it’s the toughest of the 12 steps for concert recovery. In fact, they say that after one conquers step 9, it’s all downhill from there, that you can see the proverbial “light at the end of the support act,” so to speak. Of course, I wouldn’t know about that.

You see, none of us has ever made it past step one.