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Blind Panic

Blind Panic

Editor: Lizette McMillen

1997 was an interesting year in my life.

I moved from California to New York with my Father, after having lived with my mother for the last three years.

It is also the year my journey with Third Eye Blind started.

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It was the Spring. I remember listening to a song that started with “doot, doot, doot.” The 10 (almost 11) year old turning me was instantly hooked. I had been in a deep funk and that song pulled me out of it. I have dealt with anxiety and depression for most of my life. I knew nothing of the subtext of the song. I was just captured by the overall of feeling of happiness and I waited to record this song called, “Semi-Charmed Life” off of the radio and onto a cassette tape so that I could listen to it over and over again. The place where I lived at the time was a 45 minute drive to the nearest record store and didn’t always carry singles so that’s what we had to do to listen to songs at will, before the advent of streaming. In a weird turn of events, I never actually bought the self- titled album because I had recorded most of the singles and had some B-Sides from CD Singles and soundtracks.  

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In November 1999, I remember seeing a commercial for the new 3EB album, Blue. It had asnippet of the track “Anything.” I remember the very next day, going to the local record shop and pre-ordering a copy of the album for November 23rd. We had a couple of snowstorms that month and I went around my development offering to shovel driveways. I needed the money to not only buy the album (I used my lunch money to put the deposit) but a Sony Discman so I could listen to the album on the rides to school. The night before the album came out, I actually came down with the Flu and I panicked. I panicked because I wouldn’t be able to listen to the album at its launch. My Father and Stepmother left for work that next morning and I decided to throw caution to the wind. I should have been home in bed. Instead, I went to the local record shop (now located a mere 5 minute walk away) to pick up the album and my CD Player. The album was worth all the shoveling and sickness.

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With my anxiety, I had to hide my love for 3eb. Most people my age wouldn’t have considered them cool at the time and I had to always make up a lie when anyone asked what I was listening to on my discman. I got tired of the lies and instead of telling the truth, it came to a point where I only listened to them when I was at home.

Over the next few years, I went through the normal ups and downs that most teens experience. I lost track of 3eb and actually missed the release of Out Of The Vein completely. One day in 2004, I was at a record store that sold used CD’s for 3 dollars. As I was going through the CD bins, I came across the Self -Titled debut. Like I told you earlier, I never owned the album but heard the singles and a couple of B-Sides. I decided to finally buy the album. I went home, put the CD on to play, and dimmed the lights. This is when I realized that I had missed the greatest back side of an album that I have ever heard. The last three songs on the album -“The Background,” “Motorcycle Drive By,” and “God Of Wine” - are simply perfection.

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Fast forward to 2017. I had Apple Music on shuffle and “Semi-Charmed Life” came on a 90’s playlist, pulling me out of a funk just like it did in 1997. I decided that day that I needed to finally see 3EB in concert. I shared the song on FB like I normally do. The very next day, the algorithms gifted me with a FB ad that said 3EB was touring for the Summer. I clicked on the article to find out more. Not only were they touring, but they were playing the entire Self-Titled debut from front to back and the show was going to happen on June 23rd 2017, the night before my Birthday. I looked for presale codes and bought the concert tix as soon as I could.

I counted the days down, waiting for my first Third Eye Blind show. During that time, I dug deeper into the music. Of course, I listened to Self- Titled, but I also discovered deep cuts on Out of The Vein like “Faster,” “Wake For Young Souls,” “Palm Reader,” and many more.

As the days were counting down towards the concert, I started to experience a really heavy depression. I dated someone the prior year that broke my heart and had some things going on with my job. Things started to really hit the fan.

On June 9th, only 2 weeks before the concert, I was driving and I closed my eyes. I wanted everything to stop. I wanted the pain to go away. My Apple Music playlist was on shuffle as I was driving down the road, Blinded and “Semi-Charmed Life” came on. I took that as a sign from above that I need to put my hands back on the wheel. I swerved back onto the parkway and drove until the next exit. I haven’t shared that story with too many people but I feel like I needed to get that out there.

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The 2 weeks passed and lead to an event that truly changed my life - my first 3EB show, on June 23rd 2017.

I finally saw 3eb in Concert. I had Goosebumps the entire time they played.  It was my rebirth in many ways. When I left the venue to go back to my friend's car, it was midnight already. It was officially my Birthday.

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There’s a quote I love that says, “difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” I believe that in many ways it was my destiny to go to that show, and also to experience the ups and downs I had on my way there. To me, that is truly what life's about. Life is a balance. Joy would never feel as good if we never felt the pain.

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Thank you, Liseli and the 3eb Lifestyle team, for allowing me to write this and to be part of the family.  My next goal is to meet Stephan and the band. I want to tell Stephan and Brad how much the music has meant to me and how they have literally helped save my life.

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