Chapter 9: Close Encounters of the Rock Kind (Odd Couples of the Musical World)

Bands don’t normally hang out with their opening acts. There are exceptions, but most of the time, they’re content to check out one show early on the tour to see whether the table is being adequately set. Future shows are spent chilling in the dressing room, land of complimentary deli trays and scarf-festooned lamps.

I did, however, witness an exception to that rule: the early courtship between Gavin Rossdale of Bush and Gwen Stefani of No Doubt. When I was trailing the Bush arena tour back in 1996, they were just sneaking off to the tour bus together and half-heartedly denying anything was going on (Rossdale hadn’t completely broken things off with another girlfriend yet); now they’re married. The other members of No Doubt (who I knew slightly, from when they had been the opening act on the Everclear tour) asked me discreetly but seriously if I knew what was going on, since they never saw Stefani anymore. The other members of Bush knew exactly what was happening, and would jokingly change the title of their hit single “Everything Zen” to “Everything Gwen.”

  1. I heard that Axl Rose used to hang out with Depeche Mode. True?
  2. A friend told me Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band and director David Lynch were college roommates–can that be true?
  3. Is Sheryl Crow’s “My Favorite Mistake” about her relationship with Eric Clapton?
  4. How did Eminem and Dr. Dre meet?
  5. Did Don Henley and Stevie Nicks have an affair in the ’70s?
  6. I heard Prince and Bob Marley recorded a song together. Was it ever released?
  7. I’ve wondered ever since I saw Oliver Stone’s Doors movie–was Nico really lovers with Jim Morrison?
  8. Did the Darkness have to pay Neil Diamond royalty fees for using his line, “touching you, touching me”?