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I've been listening to a bunch of XTC today. I decided to find the scoop on their break from touring. I remember that Andy Partrige had some stage fright but I didn't know the full story. It's pretty crazy.

The last major hit of XTC's touring phase was "Senses Working Overtime", the first single from their double album English Settlement and a top 10 hit in 1982. At the peak of their popularity, the band embarked on a major tour, but Partridge suffered a mental breakdown on stage during one of the first concerts of the tour in Paris on March 18, 1982.

Andy Partridge's breakdown, which manifested itself as uncontrollable stage fright, was reportedly precipitated by his wife throwing away his supply of Valium. According to the band's biography, Andy had become dependent upon the drug after it was prescribed to him as a teenager during his parents' divorce. He reportedly was never withdrawn from the drug and became dependent on it.

Concerned about her husband's dependence on the drug, Partridge's wife threw his tablets away — without seeking medical advice — just before the Paris concert. Partridge particularly needed the medication to cope with the grinding monotony of concert touring, which he had always hated, but had endured for the good of the band.[2]

As a result, when deprived of the medication Partridge suffered anxiety attacks of such severity whilst touring that he was soon forced to withdraw permanently. The European and British dates were cancelled and after completing only one show in San Diego the whole US leg was also abandoned. Since then, XTC have been exclusively a studio band, although they have given occasional live-to-air performances from radio stations, and have made a handful of TV appearances as well.

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Along with Bowie, Beatles, OMD, Talking Heads and a few other bands I really got into when I was a kid, XTC helped shape the way I still look at music ... I can still remember most of the lyrics to Life Begins at the Hop; Making Plans for Nigel; Generals and Majors; Senses Working Overtime, and; No Thugs in Our House.

Pop songs, sure, but incredibly well crafted and produced (by the cream of the crop of producers, like Steve Lillywhite, Hugh Padgham and Todd Rundgren).

When we renovated a house a few years ago, I played the Nunsuch album at least 15 times in a row one day.

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