• Wed, May 30 2012

I Was A Rock Band Groupie

Murder by Death

The members of Murder By Death, who are a whole lot cooler than I will ever be.

It would be super fun to tell you all that I had an illicit night with one of the guys. It would also be a complete lie. They’re serious gentlemen. But I did have an amazing time feeling special and hanging out with pretty cool people. I sat around with the band tour manager while they played their set and helped sell merch when the guys were packing up equipment. I was gifted numerous t-shirts and CD’s, absolutely all of which I still have. I can still sing every word to my all-time favorite song they play, “Until Morale Improves, The Beatings Will Continue.” If I remember right, I demanded that the band dedicate the song to me more than once. And they did it. Or at least they pointed and smiled at me singing along loudly in the crowd. This is the stuff young girl’s dreams are made of.

I’m not sure if I can actually call myself a groupie if I didn’t actually sleep with anyone in the band, but I do anyways. I tracked these guys down and showed up expecting free access and booze at their shows. And I felt super awesome doing it. I suppose it only speaks to their friendship with my brother that they placated me.

The very funniest part of this story? My brother has actually managed tours for Murder By Death since then, along with numerous other bands. I have every opportunity to meet plenty of other artists. Sometimes they have even shows in or close to Fort Wayne, but I don’t show up trying to reclaim my groupie position. For one thing, the band never starts playing until 11pm and I’m normally in bed by then. For another, finding a babysitter who can stay past midnight is seriously difficult. I’m sure the band misses my presence, but as a married mom, I feel like I’ve kind of moved on.

A while ago, my brother accused me of having a crush on a certain member of the band all those years ago. (By the way, it was like 6 years ago, not 30. I just happen to feel older than I am.) I vehemently denied it. I was completely lying. Of course I had a freaking crush on one of the band members. I challenge every straight woman out there to stand in the audience while an awesome musician plays great music and not feel a certain tell-tale twinge. It is not possible! Am I going to admit which band member? Of course not, because I happen to know that they will sit around for a couple hours next weekend in Chicago debating it. And it will drive my brother completely insane. Sorry Nicky!

I suppose it would be apt for me to say that it really was the music that made me love these guys and enjoy their shows so much. That would be a total lie. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy their music. My 4-year-old can sing some of the cleaner songs, I obviously still listen to it. But the truth is that it felt really awesome to be so special and cool. It’s a feeling that I had never had before or felt since. There is something amazing about feeling connected to people that lots of other people adore from a distance. I guess this means that I would be a really horrible friend to a celebrity because I would only like their popularity. I don’t know if I can successfully deny that.

Did I learn anything from my time as a groupie? Um, musicians are fundamentally attractive. Like, it’s just a very core part of being a performer. And young girls REALLY like to feel cool. I suppose those aren’t really life lessons or anything. But honestly, what is there to learn from being a fangirl? I guess the only thing left to say is that still water runs deep.

Share This Post:
  • Amanda Chatel

    I have never heard of this Murder by Death of which you speak. But more importantly did one of them at least look like Billy Crudup in their younger years?

  • Lindsey

    Ah, being a groupie. It IS a lot of fun. My ex-boyfriend was in the music industry, so I’ve hung out with my fair share of famous and semi-famous musicians (of country music, at least).

    The best parts? All the liquor on the tour bus. Sneaking around the tour bus, if you know what I mean. Making my own additions to the rider. And dancing with him just off the stage while a really, really famous country artist played.

    Man. I miss all that fun, but I don’t miss him being gone every weekend, getting drunk, having girls try to sleep with him constantly (he wasn’t even an on-stage person!).

    Good times though. Everyone should have groupie memories.

  • CT

    My long-time boyfriend’s dad is a musician, a big name among an older generation, so I’ve had some weird hybrid groupie/family time experiences. Like dancing on stage in a sold-out amphitheater… With my boyfriend’s mom. Or, now that he plays too, rushing my boyfriend through the line of autograph-seekers… So we can get in my Jetta and go home to watch Mad Men (sober). I suppose I meet the more technical criteria of being a groupie, but it seems too wholesome to call it that.

  • Maggie

    Murder By Death is a phenomenal band. Very thought prevoking. They tour with William Elliot Whitmore a lot, who is a fucking genious. I must say I would have killed to switch place with you!

  • Sara

    Love Murder by Death!

  • traci

    i spent the better part of my 20′s with famous and semi famous musicians. i agree with the above comment that everyone should have some kinda groupie memories! i am now older and settled down. but still- wouldn’t trade it for the world!

  • Fatima

    I feel like you just told my story, Lindsay!

    My brother-in-law happens to be the vocalist of one of the more popular Filipino rock groups of the 90s. They still play shows to this day; each and every time I feel like I’m a kid again whenever I watch them. I’ve met a lot of talented musicians along the way and I’m so grateful that I have.

    Ah, the perks of having backstage passes to every show.