Sometimes a panic attack isn't so much about encountering the thing you fear but rather the fear of not being able to control your response should that happen.

Don't Panic!

There was a show at a Wrigleyville bar on Saturday and I really wanted to go. I had a lot of time to plan for it but it was sort of a logistical challenge with times, train schedules, Lollapalooza traffic, etc.

As we got closer to the event, my brain started thinking about the opportunities for things to go wrong, for things to throw me, things to make me panic.  Eventually, the panic began, panic because I was sure I was going to be confronted with something for which I wasn't prepared. I don't respond well in situations like that. I freeze. I shutdown. I park and hyperventilate and then I turn around and go home and feel like shit because I wasn't able to do what I set out to do.

Here is a list:

What if traffic is bad?
What if there is construction or a detour?
What if the GPS tells me the wrong info?
What if I can't find the parking lot?
What if the parking lot is closed or full?
What if I can't find another parking lot?
What if I get lost looking for another parking lot?
What if I mess up the bus numbers?
What if we can't find a cab?
Do I really want to take an Uber and get in to a car with a stranger?
What if we can't find the venue?
What if the venue is really crowded and we can't get a seat?
What if people are loud and talk over the music?
What if people are drunk and rude?
What happens if we miss the train?
What happens if we can't get back to the car?
What happens if I can't find my way back to the highway?
What if traffic is bad?
What if there is construction or a detour?

It was overwhelming. It was horrible. My brain, once started, can't be stopped. I tried relaxation, more planning, anything, but the anxiety still rises.

The solution, of course, was to avoid the situation entirely so we just stayed home. By staying home I wasn't subject to any of those potential outcomes. Panic averted.

I also missed a really great show and the chance to meet some great people.

I'm not ok with that.

Photo via CC 2.0

"This is the perfect time to panic!" - Woody 

I've been trying to force myself to dig a bit deeper in to my own music collection, revisiting some things that I haven't listened to in far too long. I thought I would share some of my newly re-discovered gems as I come across them.

From Pete Townshend's 1985 White City: A Novel which is a really enjoyable record, not sure why this one ever faded for me.

Hope you enjoy.

Live Aid was thirty years ago this week. Joyce Millman from The Mix Tape shares her story.

"Oh sure, Joan, this was just like Woodstock — if Woodstock had been held in a football stadium on I-95 instead of a sleepy hamlet, or if Woodstock had been partially underwritten by Pepsi, Chevrolet and AT&T. This was just like Woodstock, except that if you weren’t there, you could watch it on TV, and if you were there, you could look forward to reliving it through the magic of your VCR."

I remember that I watched it but I have very little memory of it. I mostly remember the horrible commentary from MTV hosts, particularly Mark Goodman. No, Sting didn't change the lyrics on "Driven to Tears" just for this event, idiot.

I only vaguely remember some of the musical performances. There was David Bowie doing TVC 15 and Heroes with Thomas Dolby on keys, that was cool. I had forgotten about the Zeppelin / Phil Collins thing until reading Joyce's article and I agree it's best to not discuss it further. I think I might remember Style Council but reading through the performance lists now, it's mostly a blur of lackluster performances with no spontaneity in either song selection or execution.

Honestly, I think the only performance that still resonates with me  from that day is Queen's legendary 40 or so minutes. Freddie Mercury cemented his place as one of the greatest live performers of our age to the whole world, and if nothing else was accomplished from the event, that alone made the day worth it.

I also have a tape of Live Aid that I recorded on my VCR. I never watched it.

That's ok Joyce, I never watched mine either.

I was saddened to wake up this morning to the news that Chris Squire has passed. The only constant member of Yes, Chris was famous for his intricate bass lines, all expertly played on that ubiquitous Rickenbacker.

There will be no shortage of videos posted today displaying his work with Yes, I thought I would share something different and give you a couple favorites from his 1975 solo album A Fish Out of Water.

I've felt him literally shake stadiums, the world definitely lost some thunder today. You will be missed Chris.