Category Archives: Maroon 5

Thoughts On a Missing Keyboardist


Here’s the deal. I’ve got some things to get off my chest. This issue isn’t going to mean much to anyone but myself and the odd “Marooner” who might stumble in. People on Facebook and non-Marooners on Twitter are likely sick of my alluding to the situation. That’s okay. Being that I pay the bill for this blog I get to write about whatever I want.

So for anyone who’s not up to speed I will give a brief summary. Jesse Carmichael, hippie keyboardist extraordinaire for Maroon 5, is missing in action. Oh, he’s not actually missing in the sense that no one can find him. I mean he’s literally missing in action–music action. Since January 12th, Jesse has missed all of the band’s public appearances and performances. This includes a gig at the House of Blues in L.A. (which, incidentally, is where the band lives), the Super Bowl, the Grammys and, today, Mardi Gras, where the band was Grand Marshal for the Krewe of Endymion parade.

We know that Jesse is not sick, nor does he seem to be depressed. We know this from Twitter, where Jesse has been tweeting cheerfully, as normal. At the time of this writing he is in Berkeley at a conference on craniosacral therapy. (Told you he’s a hippie.)

I should also point out that this is not the usual m.o. for Maroon 5. They first hit the scene ten years ago, and, as far as we know, none of the band members has ever voluntarily skipped band functions. There may have been some absences for illness or other unpreventable issues, but to just decide not to go, not just to one event but several? It’s unprecedented. (FYI, the band is not currently keyboard-less. They have been touring with a second keyboard player, PJ, and he has been there in Jesse’s absence.)

Needless to say, this has the Maroon 5 fan community in an uproar. I think what is bothering people (including me) the most is the utter silence from both Jesse and the rest of the band. All of them are merrily sailing along as though things are completely normal; as if they haven’t suddenly misplaced a nearly-six-foot-tall ginger-haired piano player. Not one of them has said a single, solitary word of explanation or even just plain acknowledgement that Jesse isn’t there. Are we supposed to not have noticed? News flash, boys: WE NOTICE. Do they think we’re stupid?

You know, I’m not one of those types who thinks that because someone gets famous he surrenders all right to privacy. I don’t think celebrities owe fans all the details of their lives. But when you are in a band that has been playing together for more than fifteen years, and has been on the popular music scene for a decade, and has millions of devoted fans, and one of your members suddenly stops showing up to work? Yes, you do owe some sort of explanation. Even if it’s a lie. I mean, if you, as a “regular” person just stopped showing up to work one day, there would be people demanding an explanation, right? That’s what really gets me. Okay, so maybe he’s having personal issues. Maybe he’s questioning whether he wants to continue spending his every spare moment being in a band that’s as busy as Maroon 5. And maybe he’s not ready to share that with people. Fine. So make something up. Play it down. Just SAY SOMETHING. Say that 2011 was a really long, arduous year for the band (it was). Say Jesse wanted to take an uninterrupted month off to relax before things really kick off again this summer. Don’t simply ignore the fact that he is not performing with the group any longer! How can they just pretend things are copacetic? I don’t think we, as fans, have the right to intimate details of Jesse’s life, but I do think we are owed some sort of answer to our questions…even if it’s a fib or has a publicity spin put on it. We are loyal fans, we support them, and we love Jesse. We truly care about his well-being. Do you know, when people on Twitter first started realizing he was MIA, he hadn’t tweeted in several days and we were honestly worried about his health. I was upset all day when I finally clued in what was going on and no one had heard anything from Jesse. Just explanation from the rest of the group, who were at the Grammys, and no word from Jesse. I had actual, genuine anxiety about his welfare and I know others did, too.

At first I was simply concerned and sad at the implications of this hiatus. Now some time has gone by, and the guys have had numerous opportunities to offer an explanation or, hell, just acknowledge the elephant in the room, yet they choose not to do so. I am still concerned and sad, but I am also angry and disappointed. Adam always goes on about how grateful he is to the fans and how much they (the band) love us, but is this gratitude? Showing us, very clearly, that we don’t matter; that we aren’t even worth a made-up excuse? Treating us like we are stupid and haven’t noticed the enormous hole where Jesse’s rig has been every show for the past ten years?

Since we have ruled out illness and personal tragedy (thank goodness!) there are only two potential explanations, the way I see it. One, Jesse is merely exhausted after their whirlwind year last year and wanted an uninterrupted month (or however long) off. Jesse is a very chill person; I don’t think he buys into the whole “rock star” thing, so I can see how it might wear on him. He might feel like he needs some time off to pursue some of his other interests. Maroon 5 had a packed schedule last year and it’s shaping up the same this year. I am not sure they ever had much more than ten days straight at home all of last year, so I can see how it would be hard to schedule any leisure activities. However, if the explanation is as innocent as that, then why not make an announcement? I’m sure there are plenty of people who have shown up to the events he’s missed, wanting especially to see him, so why not let them know he’s simply on sabbatical? No, I’m afraid the apparent gag order points to something more sinister; namely that Jesse is considering separating from the group for good…that he’s taking this time away to think about it, and the band is holding his spot and refraining from making any sort of announcements until he is 100% sure on his decision. (I do think if he’d already left for certain they’d have made the announcement.)

What does this mean? Well, I can’t say for sure what it’ll mean for Maroon 5. I do think it will change the band dynamic. Jesse and Adam are best friends and have been since junior high. Jesse is so creative and offers so much to the creative process. It will change them, for certain. As for me, it will change my feeling about the band, as well. As fascinating as I find Adam, I go to see Maroon 5 live to see Jesse just as much as I do Adam. I am not sure my heart would be in going to see them if there was no gangly, red-haired hippie behind the keyboards. I just don’t know. I don’t like it. I don’t think it will be good for the band. Selfishly, I don’t think it’ll be good for me, either. As I told Robert the other day, “It’s a good thing the Beatles were broken up before I was even born.” I get entirely too attached to and invested in my favorite bands and I take these things very hard. But until we have some news one way or another, there is still hope, and I’m going to hold onto it.

Big shout out to my Twitter pal, D., who wrote about this same issue on her Tumblr. If you’ll read it you’ll see that I am not the only one who feels this way. I agree with everything she says.


Fairly painless, except….


Two thoughts about tonight’s Grammys:

1) Maroon 5 loses out to Amy Winehouse & Tony Bennett. Seriously? Okay, they only had the biggest song of the ENTIRE YEAR, but give the award to the dead lady because you feel bad and it’s the only thing she was nominated for. Up yours, Grammy voters. It’s not just that my boys lost; I don’t condone pity awards.

2) Jesse Carmichael, Maroon 5’s piano/keyboard player (and my other favorite, alongside Adam) was not with the band tonight. This has caused GREAT consternation amongst “Marooners” on Twitter, along with wild speculation. Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to unsubstantiated theories but it is really weird that he wasn’t there to perform. If they’d merely been attending as nominees, maybe not such a big deal. But not playing with the band? Plus he hasn’t tweeted in two days. It’s a bit unsettling. I hope we hear from him soon. Jesse is a wonderful guy, insanely talented, extremely chill, with a lovely soul. He’s a darling and I don’t want to think of seeing Maroon 5 again without him.

Miss You Love You


That picture? That was my reality Thursday night. Sixth row, center, for one of the best concerts I’ve been to in a long time.

I saw Maroon 5 back in July and didn’t have a great experience. When I was able to snag a seat so close for this show I had high hopes and expectations for a wonderful night and they did not disappoint. I was close, y’all. The picture doesn’t do it justice. Damned iPhone. I was closer than it looks like I was and I could see all of the boys’ faces very well, and it was heaven.

I have been to a lot of concerts. I have seen musicians who looked like they wished they were somewhere else during the performance. On the flip side I’ve seen musicians who appeared to be having a good time entertaining the crowd. But I have never seen anyone who came close to enjoying himself onstage as much as Jesse Carmichael did last night. I’ve never seen someone standing on stage playing and being present in the moment like that. He just seemed so into the music and happy to be alive, right there with us. It was an absolute joy to watch and it touched my heart. He’s a brilliant musician and then to see him being so invested in the performance and taking such delight in it was very special. I wish I could spend some time talking to Jesse because I feel like he’s got a really positive outlook on the world and seems like a genuinely good human being.

I would’ve been happy just to watch Jesse perform but….then there was Adam. Oh, Adam. No matter what was going on elsewhere around the stage, my eyes kept being dragged back to wherever HE was. The boy is compelling. He smiled a lot, which is unusual for him and probably part of why I kept staring. I got a whole different vibe off him than I did at the Paso Robles show. He seemed friendlier, more engaging, more relaxed and like he was having a good time. There was a girl in the general admission section with a sign that said “How” on it (one of their songs). They haven’t been performing it at all – but Adam sang a verse and a chorus just for her, while she bawled. He was simply lovely. And, God have mercy, those eyes. I was close enough to see them pretty well. He’s absolutely beautiful. You have to wonder when you see people on t.v. – do they really look like that in person? They may have twelve tons of makeup on, or be airbrushed in pictures. In Adam’s case, he looks in person just as he does on television – or possibly better.

The only complaint I have is that the show was too short. I could happily have gone for another hour, at least! But was I did get was a thrill. You know how I know it was a good show? When the band left the stage for the final time I had that moment of, “No! Wait! Take me with you! Please!” I haven’t had that since I saw Paul McCartney. I’d have given a kidney last night if they would’ve just agreed to let me stow away in a cupboard in the tour bus. Tonight I felt jealous of the people in Dallas who were watching them perform. And I felt sad that the tour is almost over and that I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to see them again.

Worth every penny. And then some.

(One last random, odd thing I noticed is that the guys’ sizes ran true to expectation. Sometimes you will see people on telly, then you see them in person and they are utterly and completely wee, and you had no idea they’d be that way. Not so with Maroon 5; they all looked as I’d expected.)

I didn’t think anyone had noticed


This morning I was at my Mom’s computer and had been sitting on my foot. When I straightened my leg my foot, of course, was asleep – fast asleep. As blood flow resumed I had major pins and needles. In response I started making yelping noises while still looking at the computer. Madalyn, asked, “What’s wrong, Mom?” Eliza figured she had the answer. With a sigh and in a long-suffering voice she said, “ADAM.”

Honestly, I don’t know what gives her the idea I’d react that way to him. Kids and their imaginations.