Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Return of Daughtry

Daughtry dishesNo, I didn't DISCOVER Chris Daughtry - but I did meet him days before he sang for Randy, Simon and the animatronic nutbag known as Paula Abdul. By then Shannon Smith and I were grizzled veterans of the American Idol audition circuit; we'd interviewed hundred of hopeful vocalists and tried not to cringe as one by one, they caterwauled into our microphone. Chris was different. First, he didn't seem at all insane. Second, dude could wail. When he first opened his throat for us in a downtown Greensboro parking lot, Shannon and I were flabbergasted with what came out. She was sure he'd win the judges over. I figured he'd have a fine career singing Alice in Chains cover tunes. Neither of us knew he'd breathe new life into the world's cheesiest talent show, let alone sell five mee-llion copies of his debut CD. Perhaps you've heard of him...

Anyhoo, Daughtry's been kind of busy since Shannon and I last sat down with him in Los Angeles. A tour with Bon Jovi, a handful of American Music Awards, hogging the top spot on VH1's Top Twenty Countdown: these things can keep a fella pretty occupied. But Chris did a funny thing on his way to world domination. He threw down roots right here in the Piedmont, the same region he called home when no one knew his name. That officially makes him 'a local boy' - albeit one who regularly jets to the West Coast to hang with the music industry elite. Lately though, Daughtry's been busy in the studio, crafting the follow-up to his initial release. Now that it's completed, he's kickin' back for a bit before 'Leave This Town' drops in mid-July.

Which is why it was so cool of him to drop by El Ocho - even if he did so a full 24 hours before we expected him. Originally tasked with helming the interview shoot, I was uncharacteristically out of pocket when Chris rang up Shannon and said he was on the way. A great scramble ensued, one in which managers spoke in tongues, studio techs were torn from their post-show coma and a cat by the name of Weaver stepped in and stepped UP. When all was said and shot, they did quite fine without me - though I couldn't resist dropping by with the wife for an after-camera chat. If this kind of thing interests you, go check out Weaver's backstage account, peruse the exhaustive photo gallery or simply watch the first in a series of breathless reports. After all, I still had to edit the damn thing...

Thanks, Chris -- Daughtry AND Weaver...

1 comment:

Joel Leonard said...

Cool behind the scenes story!

Really wish that Chris would do a version of the Maintenance Crisis Song. He is one artist that could do it justice.