Weezer Mourns Tragic Deaths Of Fan Club Leaders
by Addicted To Noise Contributing Editor Clare Kleinedler
They weren't in a band. They didn't work for any labels or publicity firms. They had nothing to do with music production, recording or performance. But they had everything to do with music.
In fact, some might say they had one of the toughest and most under-appreciated jobs in the music industry -- as fan club presidents for several once obscure and now well-known rock bands, including Weezer.
But last week, while returning from a show by one of their favorite bands, they were killed in a car accident.
On July 8, Mykel Allan, 31, and her sister Carli, 29, were killed along with their younger sister, Trysta, who was said to be in her early 20s, when the car they were in went off the road near Colorado Springs, Colo. on the way back from Weezer's Denver show. Their funerals were held Monday in Utah with members of Weezer attending.
With their tragic death, the music industry and fans around the world lost three true rock superstars, said friends and band members.
Karl Koch, roadie and "fifth member" of Weezer, recently wrote a letter to fans on behalf of Weezer to express their grief: "It is beyond words, beyond reason, how shocking this is and how cruelly unfair it feels," wrote Koch. "We have lost three of the most loving, giving and wonderful people we could ever be lucky enough to know. Mykel and Carli were the cornerstone of Weezer fandom and an inspiration to the band and fans alike."
The Allan sisters, well known to Weezer fans everywhere, were confidantes of the band members -- the most successful act the sisters supported through the years. In fact, some of the band's success can be attributed to their work through the fan club. Before Weezer hit the mainstream, they ran the group's nearly 4000-member club, sending updates on the band's progress to fans as far away as Japan, spreading the word. They stayed in touch with the group, and passed along any information they thought fans might be interested in, according to friends.
"I think what was so special about Mykel and Carli is that they truly did their fan clubs for the love of the bands," wrote Carli's housemate and friend, Tiffany -- who did not want to give her last name -- in an e-mail to ATN. "They put their hearts in everything they did. They treated the fans the way they would have wanted to be treated. Every letter got answered, every question got a response."
Not satisfied to handle just one act and always on the lookout for good new music, the sisters also ran the That Dog, Rentals, Space Twins, Special Goodness and Chopper One fan clubs, and aided in publicity for countless other Los Angeles, Calif.-based artists, including Supersport 2000, Blackmarket Flowers, Ozuma and Lava Diva. The bands showed their appreciation to the sisters by writing songs for them; in fact, there are at least three different tunes recorded called "Mykel and Carli." The sisters befriended many of the bands they worked with years ago in Los Angeles, where they liked to go to shows almost every night. Before Weezer had a record deal, the Allans religiously attended their gigs, bringing the then-struggling musicians cookies and snacks as treats.
This reporter got the chance to get to know them after interviewing Weezer for ATN last year. They took me in, treated me as a friend and invited me to visit them at their home in Portland, Ore. When I saw them last, they showed me old newspaper clippings of Weezer and That Dog, which were full of a lot of bad reviews and mediocre commentaries. They told me they always had faith in the bands they backed, and were thrilled to see the success each has since found.
The sisters laughed as they recalled the day Weezer singer Rivers Cuomo called and left this message on their answering machine: "Yo, Mykel and Carli. Guess what? We got signed to Geffen Records last night! You'll never have to pay for another Weezer show again!" After a recent show in San Francisco, That Dog's Rachel Haden and Tony Maxwell, obviously still in shock from the news told to them just hours before the gig, could only say that they "can't believe it still." During the encore, Maxwell dedicated a song to all three sisters.
Sadly, the circumstance behind their death may remain a mystery as there were no witnesses or survivors. It is believed that no other cars were involved when the car went off the roadway sometime late July 8 or early July 9, according to police. Paying their respect, Weezer canceled its show Monday in Vancouver so that band members could attend the sisters' funeral. But because Mykel and Carli would have wanted the tour to continue, the band said it has decided to fulfill the rest of their dates. A benefit concert in Los Angeles is in the works, and it looks like it may take place sometime in mid-August, according to the band.