Robb Flynn, the lead singer of the heavy metal band Machine Head, posted a story on the band's official website today that included an unexpected cameo from Elaine La Russa, wife of former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.
Life has a funny way of playing out, how seemingly innocuous encounters can take you to places you never thought you'd go.
Flash back to about a year and a half ago... I'm walking through Whole Foods in Walnut Creek talking on the phone to my friend Tom when a lady and her daughter approach me wide-eyed. "Are you fucking Robb Flynn?!" ... "I could be..." They scream with delight and make a big ol' to-do, "oh my god, we're huge fans, I love ‘The Blackening', I'm Tony La Russa's wife!" I'm tripped out, they're both super nice, we take pictures, my friend is laughing his ass off, more about the fact that I was swarmed in a freakin' Whole Foods than anything else.
We're going to go ahead and assume that this is the first time that a heavy metal musician has been accosted by a screaming fan who also happens to be the wife of a former major league manager. This story is already strange enough, but it doesn't stop there.
So, last February we headline The Warfield in San Francisco, and after the show, who walks in but Elaine, Devon and Tony La Russa. A bunch of my Chicago buddies are there and lose their minds, and hilariously begin sneakin' pictures with him while he's talking to someone else by "leaning in" and snapping a quick pic (which became the legend known as "The La Russa Lean"). My baseball fanatic Dad FREAKS OUT, and Tony L blows my mind when he tells me that I "have so much charisma, he wishes he could bottle it and make his players drink it".
"You have so much charisma, I wish I could bottle it and make my players drink it." Those are real words that were spoken by Tony La Russa to the lead singer of Machine Head. That actually happened. The world is a strange place.
Flynn goes on to talk about how La Russa recently invited him to play an acoustic set at a fundrasier, at which Elaine's credibility as a true metalhead became undeniable.
I get back to him on New Year's Eve and and say yeah, and if he's up for it, I can maybe jam a couple of acoustic songs. He's down.
It's an anniversary gift for his wife Elaine, who is a raging metalhead... like, bananas for super-random-obscure-euro-metal kind of metalhead. Elaine La Russa is the real deal folks.
Flynn isn't just making stuff up, either. A three-year-old article about Elaine and Tony's Animal Rescue Fund includes this tid bit:
A hard core heavy metal music fan, she travels frequently to attend shows across the country to see her favorites - KISS, Metallica, Black Eyed Peas, Guns 'n Roses, Iron Maiden, and other groups, including California Symphonies, Journey, Yanni, and more. She also giggles about playing Rock Band video games at home.
OK, so the Black Eyed Peas and Yanni don't exactly qualify as "super-random-obscure-euro-metal," but we'll assume that Elaine toned down her musical tastes for the sake of the readers of the Belleville News-Democrat.
But yeah, Elaine La Russa: big time metalhead. Now you know.