Smile Politely

Wake Me Up: I Thought She Looked Familiar

There was a day when I avoided big “rawk” shows like the plague. Now I don’t mind them all too much, but big bands like these generally bring big egos which bring lots of headaches to my world on show days. That being said, I’ve learned that I cannot avoid them forever, and I seem to be working them more and more all the time. Over the last few years I’ve promoted some club-level shows with bands that have either gone on to be much more or already had a following larger than the show they were doing for us. This is called an “underplay”. Jack Johnson, Fallout Boy and Maroon 5 are just a couple examples. Seether is another one of those bands that reached a much broader fan base than 1000 or so tickets a night.

Or rather, they dated people who had already reached it.

On the day of the show, June 30th, 2005, the band’s tour manager asked if I could take the singer, Shaun, and his girlfriend to the hotel before sound check. When they first climbed him, they got into the backseat like I was their chauffeur. I instantly felt like they thought they were a bit self-important. They had greasy hair and super cool shades hid both of their faces and eyes so I couldn’t really identify either of them, even if I would’ve known who they were. They were pretty quiet and we only exchanged a few words of mindless chatter before I dropped them at the hotel.

When I picked them back up an hour later, it was a different story. I still couldn’t see their eyes but they looked a little cleaner, so I’m guessing they took advantage of the running water at the Baymont Inn.
Both Shaun and his girlfriend were very talkative and energetic, joking around and just generally being upbeat and kind. They asked me to run them by the grocery store, and so, of course, I obliged.

We got back to the club and I dropped them at the bus. After sound check, the tour manager asked if I’d run a couple of the crew guys over to Wal-Mart. And so, five roadies jumped into my car and we headed towards the store. In the car, I gathered from conversation that one of these crew guys was Shaun’s brother. The other guys were all asking him how it was going between Shaun and his girlfriend, who I learned was named Amy. Normally, it wouldn’t have seemed like a big deal, but, the tone in their voices made it seem like something was awry. It seemed weird, but then again, I didn’t really know these dudes and what they’ve been through with Seether.

After sucking down a shake from Culver’s with the carload of roadies, I headed back to the club where my next task involved taking the tour manager to Kinko’s to copy some passports. While hanging with him at copy shop, I couldn’t help but inquire about the singer’s girlfriend. I felt like we were getting along well enough, and I knew that he would probably have some insight.

“So, who’s the girl that’s with Shaun?“ I said.

Instantly, his attitude changed towards me. Perhaps I made a mistake.

“Uh, that’s Amy,” the tour manager shot back, very condescendingly.

I tried to work the humor angle to try to change the trajectory of the exchange.
“Oh, is that some sort of famous rock band groupie that I should know? Like she’s been around the block and maybe come through the club with another band before?”

He went deadpan.
“Uh, dude. That’s Amy Lee from Evanescence,” he said and rolled his eyes. I nodded and kept my mouth shut for the rest of the time we were there.

Amy Lee. Grammy winner. World famous. Ugh. Open mouth. Insert foot.

A couple months after the show, Shaun went into rehab for some drug addiction and Amy left him, unable to deal with his drug use. She went on to write a pretty popular tune about him not choosing her over dope and pretty much making a public ass out of him while personifying that whiny girlfriend to every average male hard rock fan. Needless to say, something tells me that it might have been better if she had been nothing more than a rock band groupie. His career is pretty much cashed.

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