By Jeff Girod
Tennessee teacher Nathan Blankenship was recently kicked out of a Chesney concert near Nashville. The reason? Blankenship reportedly caused a disturbance because of his resemblance to the real country singer. That’s when a security guard snatched his ticket, grabbed his arm and boot scoot boogied Blankenship toward an exit.
“He just said that (I was) purposely trying to impersonate a celebrity, so we’re kicking you out,” Blankenship told MSNBC.com.
Every good country song starts with some poor sap down on his luck. The nice thing about a Kenny Chesney concert? Even if you’re not hard up, drunk or depressed, they’ll still throw you in a gutter.
“Here or there somebody asked to take a picture to make their friends or family think they were with Kenny,” Blankenship said. “I can’t help the way I look.”
Since when is looking like Kenny Chesney a crime? Chesney is 5-foot-six, 140 pounds, with a puka shell necklace and spray-on tan. Every 10th-grade girl in America “looks” like Kenny Chesney.
For every Springsteen, Vedder and Lady Gaga who rolls into town on a tour bus, there’s a 100 wannabes in wigs and bandanas.
But here’s a tipoff for the next handsy gorilla making $8-an-hour as weekend security: When the stadium announcer says, “Ladies and gentleman, Kenny Chesney!” Then somebody who looks like the CD cover walks out on stage dressed like Yosemite Sam? At that point it’s safe to assume that everyone else, for as far as your unibrow can survey, is not the real Kenny Chesney.
As a rule, when you’re wearing anything windbreaker-ish printed with the word “SECURITY,” don’t concern yourself with big-picture decisions such as people who may or may not look like other people. Just guard whatever you’re standing near. And when somebody asks you where the bathroom is? Point.
Even though it’s not expressly printed on the ticket, it should be assumed that anyone who drives themselves to a concert, pays for parking, admission and a $12 pretzel is not intending to watch his or her own singing performance.
Just how dumb/drunk/country do you have to be to think that Kenny Chesney is wandering around a Kenny Chesney concert; standing in line for a Coors Light, buying a tank top with his own face on it; moonwalking in the crowd while—wait a minute—he’s also soloing on stage? Is this a summer concert series or the mystical magical wizardry of one David Blaine?
Also, just how gullible and desperate to meet the real Kenny Chesney are the people of Nashville? Holy crap is the place literally that flat, backward and starved for excitement? Give me one Burger King cardboard crown and I could rule their fiefdom. Halloween must really throw these people for a loop. I’ll bet they think all of Tennessee has been overrun with three-foot Transformers and Spider-Men demanding snack-sized Snickers.
To Chesney’s credit (and I’m all about showering praise on platinum-album selling, mega millionaires), he had no idea that a fan was kicked out of one of his concerts for looking like him, according to his record label.
Added promoter Kate McMahon, “We never want our fans to leave disappointed and we are reaching out to him to make this situation right.”
Apparently that includes refunding Blankenship’s $200 concert ticket and mailing him several CDs. (They still make CDs?) It should also include some sort of intervention where they find the security guard who tossed Blankenship and point out every horse’s ass he looks like.
For his part, Blankenship seems over it.
“I would like to thank my family, friends and the many well wishers who have supported me in the past 24 hours, which has probably been the most hectic day of my life,” Blankenship wrote in a statement.
Chesney sings about heartache, alcoholism and broken families and this was the most hectic day in Blankenship’s entire life?
For that statement alone, he should have been booted from the concert.
Contact Jeff Girod at email@example.com.