In August of 1999, a road manager I knew called me and asked me if I would like to come to New Orleans and photograph the band he was working with. They were called the Dixie Chicks, and they were playing at the Superdome, opening for George Strait. I didn’t know much about them- I kind of thought they were a country version of the Spice Girls. But, I will go to New Orleans for anyone, so I flew down there and called the road manager from the lobby of their hotel. He suggested that I put my luggage in his room, and wait for them on their bus, which I did.
Soon, the girls jumped on the bus, and immediately started a conversation about my career, all based on the fact that they had looked at every page of my website. I was very impressed. When we got to the Superdome, they had to immediately go into a meet and greet. I played a fly on the wall, and watched them spend one and one time with every person in the room. I was even more impressed.
Then they hit the stage, and my being impressed went through the roof. Man, they were great!! Great musicians, great voices and some great songs. When they got done playing, they asked me what I thought, and I told them I was officially a fan. They gave me the keys to all their rooms, told me to pick the one I liked and bring the rest to the front desk, as they were heading out. They dropped me off and headed out into the night. As they left me at the hotel, they invited me to the Chicago show the following week.
About a year later, they put out a new album, called “Fly.” They flew me down to Nashville, and I took pictures while they shot a series of television commercials for their first big headline tour. The commercials were hilarious, showing them mistaking a bidet for a drinking fountain, dropping a purse in the middle of a fancy hotel lobby and having about a hundred small shampoo bottles and soaps spill out, and jumping out of the back of a limo to pump their own gas. One of the first singles from the album was a song called “Goodbye Earl,” a story about an abusive husband, and how his wife dealt with it. Very controversial for country music, but it became a hit very quickly. So, they shot a video in Hollywood, and flew me out to shoot around the video. I spent two days in the Hollywood Hills with the Dixie Chicks, Dennis Franz, Lauren Holly, Jane Krakowski, Adrian Pasdar and Michael DeLuise. Two beautiful days and two really cold nights in the Hills made for the #1 country video of the year!
Early the next year, they flew me to Winnipeg, to begin 4 days of shows across Canada, pictures of which appeared in ads and tour merchandise. I have followed their careers since then and have thoroughly enjoyed their music through the years whenever I went to photograph them. It is nice to see they good guys win!!