According to reports, Alex Band, the lead singer of The Calling was abducted by two men in a blue minivan around 3 am on Sunday, Aug. 18. Alex was walking down the street after the band performed at a music festival in Lapeer, Michigan.
According to Mr. Band, two men grabbed him by the shirt and forcefully shoved him into a minivan, then began to beat him with a police type baton. They pointed a gun in his face and demanded his “Hollywood Money.”
Who is really buying this story?
The Calling is known for a grand total of one song: Wherever You Will Go.
I know I am not the only one who finds it a bit strange that the lead singer of a defunct one hit wonder band would be an ideal target abduction. At three in the morning no less, in a town 60 miles away from Detroit with a population of around 8,000 people.
Still, the story has gained some serious traction. Band got to tell his story Tuesday on Good Morning America, and released a statement to CNN saying that his life was spared for one reason and one reason only.
“At this point, I was crying, I’ll admit it, I was scared, and I was pleading for my life, but then it occurred to me. I was like, ‘You know, I just found like a couple of weeks ago that I’m going to be a dad,'” he said.
The assailant responded, “It’s your lucky day,” Band said.
“He kicked me out of the car onto the train tracks, and that’s when I hit the tracks and I fractured the bone in my lower spine, and I was unconscious and they left.”
This is a bit tough to wrap my brain around. Two men are hanging out in their mini van in a small town in Michigan at 3 am, waiting for Alex Band to leave his hotel room for a chance to abduct him and take his “Hollywood Money.” They succeed in beating him up, throwing him in their vehicle, but when he tells his assailants that he found out he was going to be a father, their moral compass kicked in and they decided to let him go? I really can’t imagine anything more far fetched. Unfortunately, the story gets even worse.
It turns out that Band hired a PR firm, and they just happened to send out a press release that same Monday to all sorts of media outlets talking about the comeback for The Calling, saying things like:
“stronger than ever”
Alex has “brought together a new band and has a fresh look on his past hits like ‘Wherever You Will Go.'”
Alex Band “was at the height of music stardom in the early 2000s pop world but took a severe, almost death drop on a roller-coaster of a ride by almost dying from drug abuse combined with the struggle of personal relationships.”
The group is “in the midst of signing a major record deal and are setting up a global tour to bring forth their music to a worldwide fervent fan base.”
Let’s be clear about this: a band who had a total of one hit song 12 years ago, broke up eight years ago, and now only has one member left is about to sign a major record deal? We haven’t heard anything from this person in eight years, but he is basically kidnapped and “left for dead” 24 hours before his PR firm sends the comeback press release? Highly suspicious.
To be fair, being left for dead covered in blood with a broken back, cracked teeth, and needing 15 stitches on the chin sounds very traumatic. Not to mention the events took place at 3 am and Band wasn’t found by his manager until the morning after, leaving Band to suffer for hours. But this only adds to the suspicion. In a 911 call roughly six hours after the incident, Band’s manager told the operator that he was “bleeding everywhere.” After six hours of “bleeding everywhere,” wouldn’t he be dead?
To add to it, Band was taken to the hospital, treated, and released. Yet the description of his injuries is more consistent with a long hospital stay. This inconsistency almost immediately sparked talk of a hoax, but Band and his PR team attempted to shoot down this talk by showing the world his life threatening injuries:
If Alex Band is truly suffering, he has my sympathy and apologies. But squinting your eyes and putting a band-aid on your nose sure doesn’t look life threatening.
Hoax or not, the result of this story is exactly what Band and his public relations firm ultimately desire: people are talking about The Calling once more. Maybe the next chapter will play out in about 30 days as Band sits on Oprah’s couch, breaking down into tears as he explains that he made up the story, but only to provide for his child. It would bring it full circle.
While this story is great in Hollywood, in the real world, performing elaborate stunts or tricks to build a reputation is flat out silly. That said, it is fun sometimes to take a step back and see the crazy steps some will take to regain relevance and reputation.