Although the tour-dates / concert fan relationship prevents us from mentioning his name, we can you tell you he was a lumberjack living just south of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Seems that he got a hold of some bad David Bowie dates, a preliminary schedule that was never meant for release, and he was feeling mighty ill.

So we went to work. First, we stabilized him with about 10 cc’s of the Muse tour, and followed that up with an i.v. jam-packed with the latest dates for Wookiefoot and Guster, along with a Metallica suppository guaranteed to melt away any obstructions. Needless to say, he was on his feet in no time. However, treating the symptoms of tour-date poisoning is only half of the job, for we wouldn’t be good concert info suppliers if we didn’t root out the cause of the problem.

And find it we did, for sitting on a table next to an out-of-date schedule for Jason Mraz, we discovered a smear of maple syrup as well as a few donut crumbs and a couple of empty Molson bottles. “Not again,” we said to ourselves as we made the call to arrange for an in-home concert caregiver. “When will they ever learn?”

For the past few years, desperate concert fans have been traveling to Canada to take advantage of that country’s tour-date price control policy. Sure, they think it’s a bargain when they pick up a load of dates for Liz Phair or Sheryl Crow at prices much lower than what are charged in the U.S.A. However, it’s what they don’t tell you up in the Great White North that you need to be aware of.

First of all, Canada has no quality control infrastructure when it comes to tour dates. Go ahead, check it out for yourself if you don’t believe us. Canadian Web sites purchase tour dates, such as the latest itineraries for Smile Empty Soul and Built To Spill, from American companies in bulk, often before federal regulators have inspected the routings and certified them safe for public consumption. What happens to them after that is anybody’s guess, but we have received reports that remnants of William Shatner trading cards were found in the schedules for The Dead and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers that were sold on the streets of Toronto. Clearly, the problem is getting out of control.

What can you do? Patronizing American concert-info Web sites like this one is a start, but the Canadian tour-date menace will not be subdued until everyone makes an effort to understand that which differentiates the commonwealth to the north from the civilized nations of the world.

Bassically, one must know the difference between kilometers and miles, between curling and professional wrestling, between Lorne Greene and Jimmy Stewart. For only when everyone comprehends the impact of the socialistic tour-date system that is Canada, will we learn to live in peace with our flannel-clad, beer-belching, vowel-mispronouncing neighbors of the northlands. But until that day comes, when you want schedules for Eric Clapton, Anthrax and Nelly, for your own safety, please buy American. You’ll be glad you did.