2012.12.06 blog

cancer. canceling. postponing. waiting. growing.

so, you may have seen this coming if you’ve been following the blog.

i’m canceling the upcoming year of touring so that i can stay with my friend anthony while he faces cancer treatment and whatever else is about to happen.
i’ve talked a lot about anthony and my relationship with him in recent blogs, but if you’re new to the story, go read this one: http://bit.ly/blog110612
it explains things and has an excerpt from the introduction i wrote for his book of short stories.
in a nutshell: he’s one of my biggest relationships, my life-long mentor. my best friend.

this is really, really hard for me to tell you. i feel like i’m letting a lot of people down.
if you know me, you’ll know that in 13 years of touring, i’ve almost never canceled a single engagement.
it’s not my style.
i take my professional commitments really seriously. even if i’m sick, i play.
but i also take my friendships really seriously.
this situation calls for no other solution.
my best friend is really sick and his future is uncertain.
so i am going to stay with him while he goes through this.

i know it’s going to affect so many people – my band, my crew, all of you, especially those of you who have already made travel plans, booked hotels, bought plane tickets. all i can do is ask for your forgiveness and understanding…and ask you to wait. i will come.

this was an agonizing decision to make, but it was also…an easy decision, if you know what i mean. he’s my best friend.

it’s not enough, when this happens, to be “on call” to be a flight away at any moment. it is only enough to stay close, to join the story in real time.

it’s funny, timing and life.

about a week ago, fiona apple (whose music i love, especially her new incredible album) sent a letter to her fanbase announcing that she was canceling a whole run of dates to south america, because one of the biggest relationships in her life needed tending. in her case: it’s her beloved dog, janet, who’s nearing the end of her dog-ness. if you read fiona’s letter, you get that this isn’t just any dog, this is a core relationship in her life. that’s the way i feel about anthony. he’s always been there for me, and now it’s time for me to be there with him.

here’s fiona’s letter: http://huff.to/SEEz4M

and here’s the part that really hit me, because i feel like she was literally writing from the depths of my heart:

“I just can’t leave her now, please understand.
If I go away again, I’m afraid she’ll die and I won’t have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out. Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed. But this decision is instant. These are the choices we make, which define us.

I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship.”

these are the choices we make, which define us.

i spent a few months struggling with this whole decision. i wanted to believe that i could do everything, make it work, somehow juggle being a really good friend and also somehow go to australia and new zealand and europe and play shows every night.

i thought about maybe doing one tour, or shaving off a few dates here and a few dates there and keeping the momentum of my album, my band, and my career going.

this is my moment. my record got stellar reviews. ticket sales are soaring. everybody is excited. this is the time.

but honestly, when i came home from thanksgiving and sat down with anthony and felt the true weight of what he’s about to go through….twelve weeks of treatment with no guarantees…it was obvious. i just had to stay and be here. running around would be the worst thing i could do. i need to just….abide.

because no matter what happens with him, no matter what the outcome is, this is when he needs me.

now, during this. at this time. not later.

right now.

it’s also funny (funny weird, not funny haha) how becca’s sudden death has entwined into all of this.
she left, on the first day of our fall tour in the UK, with no warning.

she was there, we were emailing, we were sending each other links to songs, and then the next moment….the phone rang and she was dead.

i didn’t have the luxury of saying goodbye. it was just the end. bam, like that.

and the one thing i’ve found we all feel, me and all of her other friends, was a pang of regret that we didn’t do more, spend more time, connect more.

one of the first and heaviest emotions that hit me when she died was remembering an email she wrote me a few months ago saying “when are we REALLY going to spend some time together? i feel like we haven’t really talked in ages. when when when??” and the response from me, which was probably along the typical lines of “fuck man, things are so crazy right now with tour and this record and everything…i swear it’ll clam down and we’ll grab a drink when i get home to boston. sorry i’ve been so busy….”

we didn’t grab our drink.

she left.

we all know, you never know. and you can’t live your life in service of some morbid philosophy.
but i consider it a blessing, even if it’s a morbid one, that i have the luxury of canceling this tour and being with my best friend.

i’m imagining a world in which he left like becca, suddenly, in the middle of the night.

and imagining what i would give to be able to be with him one last time, to abide by him, to be present with him as he faced the music.

and i know, i’d give anything. any forward momentum in my career, any number of record sales, any amount of success. anything.

because if i wasn’t willing to do that: what is my life even worth? why bother to be successful?
if i can’t throw it away and sit by my friend when he’s this sick…who the fuck would i be? really….who?

so i’m canceling.

i know how disappointing it will be to so many of you, to thousands of you who have bought tickets and were waiting to see me and my amazing band…and i assure you, they are amazing. not just amazing musicians and performers and touring mates, but amazing human beings. chad, michael, and jherek…my brothers, they’ve been right there with me and this decision. my crew, too. jaron my tour manager, dave my soundguy, dave my lighting guy, and sarah at the merch desk….this is affecting all of their futures, their lives. they’ve all been incredible….they didn’t blink an eye. they know this road of life and rock is long and we’re all in it together, and this is where the story is taking us right now.

the story won’t stop.

i said, at the beginning of this, that i felt like i’m letting a lot of people down.
having written this….i actually don’t believe that.

i believe that you know me. i believe that you trust me.
and i believe that actually, i’d be letting you down if i decided to leave my best friend hanging and leave on tour anyway.

because that’s not who you’d want me to be.

i fucking love you.

you all – every one of you – have helped MAKE ME into a person who can decide to do this.

i don’t feel like i’m letting you down. i feel like i’m being the person you’d want me to be.

i want to be the person who would cancel this tour. the person who would tell the whole truth, share the story, ask for forgiveness, and sit by her friend’s side, hold his hand in the hospital bed and fetch him hot water bottles to ease the chills while a bag of chemicals drips slowly into an IV in his arm. i know, if i were in that bed, he’d be by my side doing the same thing. about that, i have no doubt.

and whatever i’m learning, i’ll share it, eventually, in some way, with all of you. that is the way i work, and the way art works, and i need you to allow me to make this choice. to send me on my way with your permission…into wherever this adventure is taking me.

i’ll tell you man, it’s a new kind of tour. into somewhere, instead of out to somewhere. i need to know that you want me to go. you’ve always been so good to me.

thank you, every single one of you who is reading this, for making me so strong….you all affect me more than you can ever know.

onwards, all of us, forever….


love from cafe pamplona,


p.s. there is a video of anthony reading from his book of stories, “lunatic heroes”, at his book launch the other week, the one me and neil performed at.
the story is called “swamp”. i think if you listen to this whole story, you’ll understand something about him, and about me, and about why he is so important to me.
it’s not safe for work….in that it’s long, 25 minutes, and it’s very emotional. i find a hard time listening to it without crying. i would listen/watch at home, or somewhere quiet.

here’s the link if the embed doesn’t work: https://vimeo.com/54980785

also, a lot of you, esp those who’ve been reading his book, have been asking where you can send stuff to anthony. just contact him via facebook: https://www.facebook.com/camstories
he has been getting, and reading, and loving all of your love, especially those of you responding to/reacting to his stories and book. just know that he’s getting the message even if he isn’t getting back to you. he is understandably, overwhelmed at the moment, especially by his quasi-celebrity friend tossing him into the limelight pit like this. but he’s loving the love. love on.

p.p.s. ALL the info you will possibly need about the canceled dates is below.

if you have any questions or hit walls with the system, please don’t hesitate to look for answers or post a message HERE on the shadowbox.
my team will be keeping an eye on all fronts as best they can (and i’ll try and keep updates/new info coming as best as i can).
i’ve never canceled a tour before, and need you guys to let me know if things with ticket refunds don’t go smoothly.

my whole team is working hard to reschedule the dates for later in the year, and we hope to have that info in the next few weeks. we’re eyeing around september or october 2013. fingers crossed. if you HAD already purchased a ticket for shows in january or february – your tickets are going to be STILL VALID for the rescheduled dates. you can keep the tickets you have, don’t need to purchase new ones. you’ll be updated directly by Frontier with further info about all of this, as well.
if, however, you would like a refund before new tour info is announced, please contact your relevant ticketing agency directly:
MELBOURNE – Ticketmaster 136 100
• SYDNEY & BRISBANE – Ticketek 132 849
• PERTH – Show Ticketing (08) 9370 5888 or boxoffice@showticketing.com.au
• ADELAIDE – Venue*Tix (08) 8225 8888 or bookings2@venuetix.com.au
• BYRON BAY – Oztix 1300 762 545 or info@oztix.com.au.
• WELLINGTON – Ticketmaster 0800 111 999 or customer.help@ticketmaster.co.nz
• AUCKLAND – Q Theatre (09) 309 9771 or boxoffice@qtheatre.co.nz

i won’t be appearing, and tickets are fully refundable. i hope you consider going to the festival anyway, it’s AMAZING. i’m so bummed to be missing it – it’s one of the things i was looking forward to most of all. MOFO will offer full refunds on tickets purchased.
to claim a refund, please call or visit the Theatre Royal Box Office. they’re open 9am–5pm (Mon to Fri) and are located here, at 29 Campbell St in Hobart. their number is 03 6233 2299 (or freecall outside Hobart 1800 650 277)

at the moment, we are not certain when these shows will be rescheduled. i DO plan to make up the tour, hopefully within a year. if you wish to hold onto your ticket, it will be valid for the rescheduled show. but we understand you may want the refund, as the future is vague. if that’s what you’d like to do, please contact the outlet you purchased your tickets from directly. they will handle everything for you. sadly, the ticketing outlets cannot refund the actual booking fee, only the face value cost of the ticket. i’m really sorry about that one, but it’s just the way the business works, and it’s out of our hands. i really wish there was more we could do there. thanks for all of your understanding, and let’s pray for the future of ticketing to change.

if you purchased your tickets through amandapalmer.net (via our Topspin presale), a refund will occur automatically to the credit card you used for purchase. sadly, we must refund all of the direct-from-me pre-sale tickets. the way the system’s setup, it won’t allow us to let folks hold onto their tickets. if you wish to attend the shows when we get back on tour, you’ll have to purchase a new ticket when we rescheduled dates are announced.

the grand theft new year’s eve at Terminal 5 in NYC is still happening.
(and the band is going to “purple rain” the shit out of all y’all.)
tickets of all sorts are still available here.
please come, dressed to the nines, and please SING LOUDLY WITH US.
we need you.

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