When Damon Scott first sat down with the Plain White Ts, they told him in three years they’d probably all be working at K-Mart. That was six years ago, so the multi-platinum artists have clearly proven they have more staying power than even they predicted. Their latest song, “The Giving Tree,” is the latest in their string of hits, but giving is more than just a song lyric to the band… they pulled double-duty in Connecticut last Saturday, performing at All-Star Christmas, as well as a toy drive to benefit We Are The Children earlier in the day at the Angry Bull Saloon in Hartford. “We love anything that helps the kids,” explained frontman Tom Higgenson. “That’s our soft spot.”
Over the years, the band has garnered quite the following, and as is often the case, some fans have odd ways of expressing their appreciation. The strangest gift the Plain White Ts can recall? Dolls of themselves.
“We got these dolls that were made of each one of us, and the detail of the dolls– they had our guitars that were exact replicas of our real guitars we played on our last tour,” Higgenson recalled.
“I’m wondering if they were voodoo dolls?” pondered guitarist Tim Lopez. “Anytime I get a shooting pain in my ass, I wonder if it’s from that girl.”
Before you get too concerned, despite their detail, the band admitted the toys were NOT anatomically correct, at least!
“They weren’t,” stated bassist Mike Retondo. “And they couldn’t have been voodoo dolls, because I rubbed the crotch of my own [doll] and got nothing.”
If being immortalized in doll form is not enough to establish Plain White Ts as having truly “made it,” then a TV appearance certainly would. Lopez had that privilege, as a competitor on NBC’s short lived reality show Ready For Love earlier this year. But while his bandmates were not on camera for the show, the entire affair felt like a shared experience.
“We just sat back and laugh and make fun of him a lot,” Retondo recalled. “It’s a really awkward thing, seeing him date girls on TV. It’s pretty weird.”
“Did you watch that show?” asked Lopez.
“If it aired long enough, I would have watched it,” Higgenston joked.
The band’s most memorable hit, “Hey There Delilah” actually has a connection right here in Connecticut– the subject of the song, athlete Delilah DiCrescenzo, won the Manchester Road Race last year. That’s one fun fact that band was not aware of, and Higgenson commented, jokingly “I’m surprised she didn’t text me and share the good news with me. Good for her, she is a runner.”
Not unlike watching their bandmate on his reality show, the Plain White Ts also kept tabs on the star of their hit single during the last Olympic trials. “We knew she was preparing for the Olympic trials,” Lopez recalled. “We kind of followed them and saw her fail miserably.”
“She made it all the way to the Olympic trials, but didn’t make it to the Olympics,” said Higgenson. “That’s an accomplishment, right?”
Immortalized in song, mediocre at sports, what more do you need in life?
–Bill Sencio, 96.5 TIC