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.”