We just got a call from ex-Boston rocker and devout Red Sox fan Kay Hanley, who actually found herself stuck in Colorado for the first two games of the World Series. Well, maybe "stuck" isn't exactly the right word: she was among friends, including Stacy Jones (bio: Letters to Cleo drummer, Veruca Salt drummer, American Hi-Fi frontman) and AmHi-Fi guitarist Jamie Arentzen.
But the real shocker is what brought them all to Denver. The answer?
Hannah freaking Montana.
Jones is the music director on the blockbuster tour by Disney's hugest teen idol (aka Miley Cyrus, daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus). You'll perhaps recall that the tour is so ginormous, and sold out so quickly, and sparked such huge scalper price gouging, that a U2-like kerfluffle ensued, with angry moms and dads up in arms. Jones brought in Arentzen to play guitar in Hannah's backing band, and also asked Hanley to come sing backups. As you might expect, they're not really living the sex-drugs-rocknroll lifestyle (not that they were, anyway; Hanley's married with children). But they're finding plenty of ways to have fun: for updates, check Hanley's blog.
So what's it like touring behind every red-blooded eight-year-old's favorite rock star? Well, there's shopping at Barney's in Seattle. There's nightly exposure to "18,000 young girls screaming." And, most importantly, "great hotels, a sweet tour bus with door-to-door service, awesome band and crew, sold out arenas, and a generous star for whom I am happy to be a sideman," says Hanley. "No worries, no hassles. I am so spoiled that I almost feel guilty. Wait, I feel guilty about everything so perhaps my guilt is not a good barometer. Suffice it to say that this is the best job EVER."
Plus, she's getting to know the boys in the opening band -- next-in-line teen princes the Jonas Brothers -- and taking notes on the purity-ring movement, the Christian evangelical version of straight-edge. Look for more reports soon.
-- Matt Ashare