Kermit Ladd: Snooping


It has become such a burning question that even seemingly innocent Internet sites are now speculating on the topic. While many question the need for this to be a topic of discussion, there seem to be an equal amount who need to find the answer to this glimpse behind the scenes of one of the biggest bands: what’s on ShapeShifter’s catering rider?

Before embarking on the dangerous mission of sneaking into a backstage room prohibited to men wearing certain sticky passes on the fronts of their silk shirts, Kermit Ladd, your intrepid reporter of the day, sought guesses, speculations, and hypotheses from the many ShapeShifter fans littering the landscape. He was mightily entertained and often would chuckle as he set about, discovering the ultimate truth about what ShapeShifter eats.

The adventure began with a knock at a side door of the Great Energy Center, where a black-clothed young man with short hair and a spider tattooed onto his neck allowed access for your secret snoop. Credentials were presented, a business card handed over — and quickly, carelessly deposited on the floor by the guard’s booth with a practiced flick of the fingers — and the sticky pass affixed to the reporter’s shirt despite the presence of the lanyard and a proferred hole-punch to allow for fast attaching.

Luck was on this reporter’s side, as a quick but whispered discussion between the man with the spider tattoo and a burly, bearded man, who also wore a black t-shirt and who held a clipboard, resulted in Mr. Spider escorting yours truly to the last room expectation had thought possible: the catering room.

It’s not much of a room. Not to look at it. Half a dozen round tables are set up, each with a white cloth covering. There are no centerpieces. Eight folding card table chairs are tucked under the lips of the tables, unfolded and ready to hold up the vaunted stars and their most important of guests.
At the back of the room sits two eight-foot rectangular tables. They also wear the white cloths. Anchoring them are seven chafing dishes, lids askew, heating element absent. It must be too early for food, although the far right end of the table holds a bus tray filled with ice. From the table in front of which all reporters seem to be placed — as there are two others sharing space with yours truly — nothing can be discerned. Getting up seems to be against the rules of etiquette.

When the band members reveal their determination to keep the press waiting, your intrepid reporter decides to break those unspoken rules. Perhaps the rules have been broken already, when a sticky pass was affixed to the front of a silk shirt.

The food, a gentle inquiry reveals, will come later. Some pasta, two broiled fillets of fish. Hamburgs will be brought directly in from the caterer’s grill and placed directly on the band member’s plates; no warming tray needed. Broccoli and cauliflower will be steamed and some seasoned zucchini will be stirred in. A rice dish will also be added, for variety. Dessert will be served after the show.

At this point, the caterer smiled like she was about to share a big secret. Kermit Ladd leaned in to hear what she had to say. Big secrets are why intrepid reporters prepare themselves to sneak into catering rooms.

“They love ice cream sandwiches right as they get into the dressing room. I stand right outside their dressing room door and hand them over as they walk past.”

Any other secrets?

“Serving key lime pie will get you fired.”

While this hasn’t been the most revealing investigative reporting ever done by this particular intrepid reporter, the most ardent ShapeShifter fans ought to be pleased with a hard day’s work.
Perhaps best was the discovery that the dry cleaner could save Kermit’s favorite tan shirt. It shall live to go backstage another day.

Not only did I link to this week’s Sunday Scribblings above, but I found a new place to link up your fiction, too. It’s called Weekend Writer’s Retreat. I have high hopes for the future of this new meme. Come join us!



  1. bunnygirl

    March 21, 2010 7:02 pm

    I once worked for a restaurant that catered a ZZ Top rehearsal. It was an interesting experience.

    Maelstrom, of course, does not typically get big enough gigs to merit a catering rider. Not that it would make much difference if they did. They’d still need Ricky to get them the sort of food they really eat.

    I love it that the ShapeShifter guys like ice cream sandwiches. Blue Bell makes delicious ones, and I never pass one up if they’re on offer. Did you know you can also get freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches? They’re terrific for camping trips.
    .-= bunnygirl´s last blog ..Maelstrom Extra: Backstage Demands =-.

  2. Gel

    March 21, 2010 11:33 pm

    Hi girl,
    Good to be reading you again.

  3. Alice Audrey

    March 22, 2010 12:39 am

    I was waiting to see how key lime pie would work it’s way in there.

    Welcome to WWR!
    .-= Alice Audrey´s last blog ..245/365 Couch =-.

  4. Dee

    March 22, 2010 11:10 pm

    Ha – I figured pizza and beer unless Val was around 🙂 Okay – was key lime the prompt from the weekend writers? When do they start and how does it work? Not sure I can play every weekend but I would love to drop in sometimes…
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..Night Wings – Emelia =-.

  5. Gel

    March 25, 2010 2:42 am

    Peppering your fiction with food made me hungry. 🙂
    Oh, this is nice to show us a different writer’s place. Is that why you highlighted those words?
    .-= Gel´s last blog ..Peeping Mom (continued) =-.

  6. Shelley Munro

    March 26, 2010 12:57 am

    Why do I suddenly feel like an ice cream sandwich?
    .-= Shelley Munro´s last blog ..Looking Forward to April =-.

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