Thursday Thirteen: Gifts


Last year at Valentine’s Day, I talked about why our favorite fictional band, ShapeShifter, doesn’t write love songs. If you missed it, or just would like to remember, visit it here.

Once again, Valentine’s Day is on my mind. This year, I thought I’d focus on the gifts that ShapeShifter fans have given the guys over the years. Now, I’m not talking about the bras that grace the famous Wall of Fame. Nor am I talking about the panties that are flung at the stage or tucked into a jeans pocket.

Nope, I’m talking about the things that have real meaning to the fans. Things they have to share.

Things like…
1. The matching plaid flannel boxers each band member was given one cold December night.

2. The scarf knitted by a woman who worked for the band’s record label. It was an odd color, with enough black and grey to make Mitchell happy but with enough green, Louise said, to bring the green out of his hazel eyes. He wore it for a long time, until it disappeared. He tore apart the band’s dressing room. He tore apart the band’s tour bus. He tore apart Trevor’s suitcases and bunk on the bus, but in the end, it was decided that it must have escaped with Mabel the tenth. If you know the fan who might have the scarf, please ask her to return it. She can keep Mabel, though.

3. One fan, knowing of Daniel’s love of current events, gave him a book. Not just any book, it was a history book. An alternative history book, which some people hold as the truth. It scared Daniel so badly, instead of keeping the bus awake with his snores, he kept them up with the screams from his nightmares — and then his need to talk through them, usually with Eric.

4. This band’s love for home-made baked goods (Key lime pie notwithstanding) is legendary. Some fans think home-made treats are a great way to show affection. Unfortunately, management is more worried about the few who’ll sneak something harmful into those cookies and brownies. The baked goods can’t be eaten.

5. Fans love to express their love for their favorite band member through drawings. Of their favorite band member. Which they give to that band member. According to Trevor, not even Mitchell is vain enough to hang them in his house.

6. Jewelry is a popular gift! While there’s the legend of the girl who removed Mitchell’s dragon earring with her teeth — and then kept it! — the part of that legend that’s not told is that it had been a gift from a fan. Earrings and rings with skulls and dragons are the most popular gifts, but there have been all sorts of things, including a dangly thing for Eric’s unpierced nipple, which was believed to have been pierced and ready for the dangly thing. Ever gracious, Eric said thanks and didn’t raise his shirt to show that nope, there were no piercings there.

7. A small stone bear fetish was once pressed into Eric’s hand, so quietly that he never saw who did it. It hung out on the band’s bus for the rest of the leg of the tour, then got lost during the week-long break before heading to Europe.

8. One guy brought his bass to give to Trevor, hoping it would help make him a better bassist. He wasn’t allowed inside with it, so he mailed it to the band’s manager, JR. It didn’t get any farther than that.

9. One guy gave Eric the knife he was going to use to slit his wrists with. He claimed ShapeShifter’s music saved him. While the band doesn’t doubt he feels that way, they also believe that the guy chose to save himself.

10. One clever girl brought Mitchell a new set of grill tools, including an apron and hot mitts. He shipped those home immediately.

11. The band lost track of who it was originally for, but when a ten-gallon hat was handed over during their first big tour of Texas, it got worn on stage that night. Then they left Texas and it wasn’t cool to wear anymore. It’s since vanished.

12. Girls like to hand over stuffed animals, especially bears, and ask that the guys sleep with them. They get donated to hospitals.

13. One quiet girl said nothing but handed each band member a red rose, solemnly. It was Valentine’s Day, and for once, our four favorite blockheads got it.

This is where I act like all the other bloggers and ask what item of meaning would YOU give to YOUR favorite musician. And, of course, who that musician is. But… since this is me, I’m simply inviting you to do what you want. Just remember, if you don’t leave a comment, I won’t know you stopped by, and I won’t be able to return the visit!



  1. Adelle Laudan

    February 12, 2009 12:10 am

    What a great list. It’s hard to decide which group is my favorite. I guess it would be Nickelback, I’d give Chad Kroeger whatever he wants LOL I can say that, I’m a single gal now *wink
    Happy Valentine Day!

  2. julia

    February 12, 2009 12:22 am

    My sister used to bring a single yellow rose for Lyle Lovett whenever he played Toronto. I can’t think of something to give a favorite musician just now, because my head is pretty mushy. But I used to put together a bouquet of mixed flowers when I was an usher at the theatre in Toronto, and they were presented onstage to my favorite dancer (since retired) – Johan Persson, whenever he debuted in a role. That was always thrilling, and his family was in Sweden, so without my flowers, he wouldn’t have had any for those debuts. 🙁

    Susan – just wanted you to know I received my special delivery a few days ago. Look for a book review in two weeks, on Thursday Feb. 26th.

  3. Lori

    February 12, 2009 12:42 am

    Great ideas…Happy TT:)

  4. Wylie

    February 12, 2009 1:00 am

    Come over to my place to see what I think of your baseless accusations!

  5. Carol @SheLives

    February 12, 2009 1:16 am

    I have NO idea what that was about, but I caught a whole new side of groupie activity that I’d never even considered.

    Happy, T-13, girl!

  6. Alice Audrey

    February 12, 2009 1:43 am

    I love the way you bring the band to life with all these little details.

  7. Janet F

    February 12, 2009 6:05 am

    Great list, I like #12.

  8. Carmen

    February 12, 2009 8:54 am

    What, no underwear thrown at the stage? 😉

  9. Brenda

    February 12, 2009 10:15 am

    Hmm, now you have me wondering what I’d give, should I be close enough at their next gig to hand something off. Happy TT!

  10. Janet

    February 12, 2009 11:59 am

    The lost things made me sad…
    #3 made me laugh
    #6, the teeth thing, totally grossed me out!

    I once gave my favorite guitarist (this was back in the 70s, cut me some slack) a picture of an eye with a star earring through the middle of it…ROFLMAO!

  11. Susan

    February 12, 2009 12:02 pm

    Lots of slack, Janet. You do those things ’cause at the time, they feel right. Nothing wrong with that!

  12. Karen

    February 12, 2009 12:07 pm

    Great list!

    Happy TT and Valentines

  13. samulli

    February 12, 2009 12:37 pm

    Gee, I’m afraid I’m just not good groupie material – I wouldn’t dream of giving my favorite musicians half of the stuff you mentioned.
    I couldn’t even say who my favorite is right now. It would probably be a toss-up between Josh Ritter and Amy MacDonald at the moment. But for the life of me I can’t think of anything I would want to give them, except lots of applause for their great music. 🙂

  14. Frigga

    February 12, 2009 3:40 pm

    Like the previous commenter, I’m just not groupie material. I mean, my favorite band is The Clash and I know waaayyyyy more about ShapeShifter then I do The Clash! I just know music I like.

    Your post totally makes me think of Thank You by the Descendants – I LOVE that song!!

  15. Ivanhoe

    February 12, 2009 3:56 pm

    Hmmmmm… I see Chad from Nickelback is taken, so I’d have to choose Simon from Duran Duran. I would love to have a beer or two with him ;o)

  16. Thorne

    February 12, 2009 8:02 pm

    Fun and imaginative gifts!
    Happy TT! Im up with TT#26- A Lil Too Straight?

  17. Bella Mocha

    February 12, 2009 9:13 pm

    This is great- 12 and 13 especially! I had a school friend years ago who had an older brother who hung out at an Abba concert and gave one of the female singers locks of his hair that he’d just had cut off. That was kind of gross and we never heard what Agnetha (blonde Abba star) thought of it!

    Great T13!
    Bella 🙂

  18. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)

    February 13, 2009 2:52 pm

    I love this post! LOL

    Tori Amos is the musician and I would provide her with some great poetry from Arlene Ang and others, since her music and lyrics are sometimes enigmatic and poetic!

  19. Shelley Munro

    February 13, 2009 4:24 pm

    I loved this TT, Susan. Me, I’m shy with people I don’t know, and if I met famous band members, singers etc and tried to talk probably nothing would come out. I’d resort to my normal method of communication, which is a wide and sincere smile. I don’t think you can go wrong with a smile. 🙂

  20. Thomma Lyn

    February 14, 2009 8:57 pm

    What Shelly said — I’m shy, too, so I’d probably smile and fumble around with something to say, then smile some more. As far as a gift, it would probably be some kind of book, depending on the artist.

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