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Read the lyrics.

The long-term benefits of reading the lyrics have been proven by those who have gotten front-row seats, looked like idiots because they didn’t know the words, then had their idiocy pointed out to them by Steven Page. Or by another fan. Trust me on this, as the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering barenaked existence.

I will dispense this advice now:

Enjoy the power and beauty of Stunt. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of Stunt until BNL has retired into their nice Ontario homes, radio has ceased to play "One Week" at all, and you no longer have any reason to keep it sitting on your shelf like you do now because you think they "sold out". But trust me, one day you'll put it on and suddenly realize the true greatness of "It’s All Been Done" and "When You Dream" and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much Kevin really did for them and how fabulous the songs really were.

Even "One Week".

Steve, Ed, and Tyler are not as fat as people say they are. They are pleasingly plump.

Don't worry about the future of the band. Or worry, but know that worrying will get you no farther than if you tried to pull off a rap about a character named Father Beard. Twice.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your way of mind. Like Cancer.

Listen to one song everyday that you hate.

Sing the verses of "One Week". It impresses people.

Don't be reckless with your CDs. Don't put up with people who are reckless with them.

Sing some more.

Don't waste your time on jealously. Sometimes you're in the front row, sometimes you’ve got a nosebleed half way through the set. The tour is long, and in the end, being there is all that mattered.

Remember compliments you hear about BNL. Forget the insults Or try and get the people who gave the compliments and the insults together in a fight to the death. Sell tickets.

Keep your unsent fan letters. Throw away your ticket receipts. Tell yourself "It was worth it."

Stretch. It will help you when you try to imitate Steve’s kicks.

Don't feel guilty that you weren’t a fan in 1992. The most interesting people I know had no clue at 10 years old that BNL would change their life. Some of the most interesting 20-year-olds still don’t. Until they see them in concert.

Get plenty of sleep. Especially the day before a concert.

Be kind to people you meet online. They might just get you Ladies Rooms seats one day.

Maybe the band will break up, Maybe they won't Maybe they’ll have another #1 hit, maybe they won’t. Maybe Jim and Kevin will traumatize us all when they hi-jack a tour bus and elope to Vermont. Or Maybe BNL will do the Farmboy Homeboy dance at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Whatever they do, remember that we are just pins on the bowling lane of life. BNL has the big ball, and however they roll it will either leave us standing or knock us down hard. And 999,999 out of 1 million, I prefer the latter.

Take BNL’s example and Enjoy your body. It's the greatest site gag you’ll ever have.

Don’t talk, Dance. Even if the only album you have is Maybe You Should Drive. Put tracks 7 and 10 on repeat and dance like you’re onstage. Then head to the record store, cause you need some more CDs babe.

Do not read articles by Mike Bell, they will only make you feel homicidal.

Get to know the security guards. You never know when they'll be closer to BNL than you will.

Be nice to your siblings. They're the ones who give you presents. And rides to concerts ‘til you get your license.

Understand that the hits will come and go, but your favourites will last forever.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography between you and a BNL concert. 'Cause the older you get, the more you need to see them to refresh your memory.

Live in New England once, but leave before you go broke seeing every show they do there. Live in Florida once, and feel what its like to be BNL deprived. Then leave, and take me with you.

Travel to Canada.

Accept certain inalienable truths: CD prices will rise, the band will get bigger, and both you and they will get older. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were younger, prices were reasonable, BNL was better when they were unknown, and yet Ed still keeps looking better with age.

Respect your elders. Especially if their the ones lending you money.

Don't expect anyone else to support your obsession. So don’t tell them what the money’s for.

Don't mess too much with your hair. Or by the time you're 30 you’ll be looking at yourself in a video monitor and wondering what the hell is up with the spikes. Or just wondering how you lost it.

Be careful with who you decide to trade with. But be patient with those you do.

Spread the BNL love. Play it for your friends. Download the old stuff. Because Music is a form of nostalgia. And sooner or later, everything old IS new again.

But trust me on the lyrics.



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