Loyalty is Garbage
Not long ago, I witnessed a moving example of customer loyalty, and had the term “hair band” redefined for me. It happened at a Garbage rock-and-roll show at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. There were some fans in front of the stage waving a sign at Shirley Manson, Garbage’s lead singer. Shirley acknowledged them, but kept shaking her head at them. In between songs these female fans grew increasingly insistent. I couldn’t see the sign, but it was clear that, even though Shirley knew these fans, she was not into whatever their sign said.
Finally Shirley stopped and looked at the women and motioned to one of them to come up on stage. Turned out that the woman was a long-time fan whom Shirley had met at many gigs. Shirley announced to the crowd that the woman had cancer and that she was starting chemotherapy the following week. The woman’s sign had read, “Shirley… shave my head!”
The woman handed Shirley an electric razor and Shirley paused to address the audience again. She told us how she had a really intense phobia about hair. A hair in her food would make her violently ill, and she would get queasy even if there was a hair on the back of the seat in front of her on a plane. I completely got what she was saying. She was visibly uncomfortable and seemed to be a little shaky.
They brought a stool out for the woman and Shirley commenced to shave the woman’s head. As the rest of the band played some “head-shaving music” hair tumbled gently past the woman’s shoulders and on to Shirley’s pants and gathered in a pile at her feet.
She got the woman down to “#2 clipper length” and wished the woman well. The crowd roared its approval as the woman fist-pumped and leaped off the stage into the arms of supportive fans.
It’s no wonder Garbage fans still love Shirley and the band, even though their latest releases have been pretty lame. We’ll keep going to their shows because we love them — it’s like family.