A few days ago singer Alex Band started performing with a fresh crew of musicians under The Calling moniker, the same name of the group he used to front in the early 2000s. The Calling were best known for the hit “Wherever You Will Go,” a 2001 slice of savory pop for listeners who needed lighter fare than the Pearl Jam derivative Creed, but still liked the sound of a singer who could earnestly mumble his way up the charts.
Unfortunately, the only people who gave a shit about the “reunion” were the same ones living in a world where The WB still exists and Smallville’s Lana Lang doesn’t get why farm boy Clark Kent won’t try to get in her pants.
If the Calling’s sudden comeback announcement last week didn’t generate proper headlines, his mugging in the early hours of Sunday morning after a gig in the sleepy town of Lapeer, Michigan, certainly did the trick.
But maybe not for the intended reasons.
According to Band’s publicist, the frontman was walking to a convenience store around 3am when a blue minivan pulled up and two men jumped out and forced him to get in, demanding his “Hollywood money.” In a post on the band’s Facebook page, written by Brad Taylor of Big Machine Agency, it was stated that “the singer suffered a fractured lower spine, 15 stitches to the lower chin, three broken teeth and is bruised on his side and stomach.”
TMZ, among other outlets, were inherently suspicious, especially after Taylor added that the only reason Band got away is because he told his abductors, “Don’t kill me as I am about to be a dad,” to which the evildoers responded, “We don’t kill fathers.”
“It’s your lucky day,” one of the attackers said to Band, according to CNN. Band continued: “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.”
TMZ posted pictures of Band which showed a stitched up chin, swollen lip, and a band-aid strategically placed over his nose. Still, a host of fans and media outlets are calling shenanigans, which both Band and Taylor vociferously deny.
Carter claimed to have taken out the hecklers because he is a, “sixth degree black belt in Muay Thai,” a rank which doesn’t even exist. He also released pictures showing a bruised up visage and scraped up knuckles. Even Carter’s brother, Backstreet Boy Nick, cast doubt on the story, telling Boston’s Mix 104.1 the following day, “He is not a black belt in anything. Dancing – maybe. Dance fighting.”
No police report was filed.
Carter’s official Twitter page currently lists Big Machine as his publicity reps, and there are press releases going back to 2009 that have the agency as his point of contact for media. According to Taylor, at the time of the June incident, Carter wasn’t on the Big Machine roster.
“I wasn’t repping Aaron at that time,” Taylor told Vanyaland in a series of e-mail exchanges. “I would think you would not compare the two and as a journalist you would think you would know there is more to a story than most gossip sites say. These are two very different stories and 2 very different artists. Band is working w[ith] the police so you might want to start by calling them as they have been very amazing to work with.”
When reached just after midnight this morning, a representative for the City of Lapeer Police stated: “We have no further update on this incident I know there is an assault but we were instructed by the city they have no updates.”
Asked if there will be sketches of the perpetrators released to assist in finding them, the rep replied, “Not that we’ve been made aware of, no.”
Taylor was incredulous that we questioned the coincidence of two artists on his roster — both of which whose peak fame days are behind them — having been engaged in violent interactions, and there being doubt of the authenticity of their stories just after news of each broke.
“You should be focusing on the fact that the man was in a serious situation and he has been seriously injured and there was nothing sinister about it,” added Taylor. “Nothing sinister outside what happened — it was sinister enough being abducted by the men that did this.”
Band is expected to appear on Good Morning America on Tuesday morning, around 7am EST, and tell his story. Here he is in more prosperous times.