Lawsuit-free since 9/14/05

Friday, December 03, 2004

VH1 shares a very special sneak peek with TBOC! contributors

If there's one thing we like at TBOC! besides miscegenation, it's a good episode of VH1's popular series, Behind the Music. And so, dear reader, you can only imagine our surprise when we found that SLU's own Jake Shea would be the subject of one of the coming episodes in 2005. Indeed, it was an experience akin to Christmas morning (or in this contributor's case, one of the many mornings of Channukah).

At first, we didn't get it. "Jake doesn't perform any music," we conferred amongst ourselves. So we decided to contact VH1, who were kind enough to speak to us. The program's executive producer told us, "You see, lately we've been shifting away from our focus on the whole 'the music' part of the show's title. That's not really why people watch. Mostly it's just about all the drugs people use, and, well, more of the white stuff has gone up Jake's nose than Eric Clapton, David Crosby, and Rick James combined." She continued, "As with every episode, we'll follow the format of drug addiction, to overcoming the addiction, to relapsing into the addiction, to overcoming it yet again, and finally to becoming a preacher/family man/music producer/figure on our other show 'Where Are They Now.'"

VH1 not only allowed us to speak with the producers of the program, but also granted us permission to see a sneak peek. In one portion, an interview with Deana Dennis, Dennis relates one time not so long ago, when Shea approached her asking if she could root out some nose candy for him. "I tipped him off to some girl in the I-House," Dennis recalls. "Turns out my tip wasn't so good, and the girl told him to 'go away,' and then basically slammed the door in his face."

One SLU alum who lived in the same hall in '03/'04 as Shea's girlfriend is also featured in the program. In one of the episode's more memorable moments, she relates a frightening experience in which Shea went on an apparently extreme coke binge, shooting off the fire extinguisher on the floor. "When Security found out about the fire extinguisher, they told us they were going to fine the entire floor for it since Liz's boyfriend wouldn't come forward and admit it was him." Shea never did come forward to admit guilt.

In one of the most comical moments, one current student recalled how Shea stole the giant stuffed M&M that was being raffled off by the Pub. Pub workers, it seems, were rather unhappy about the affair. "I'll return it," she heard him say to someone on a cellular phone. "Of course I didn't really believe him," the girl says, "It's like he always said, though: 'Rules don't apply to me. I can buy my way out of trouble.'"

But could he? From trouble over his marks to that over a racist email ("Big Black... Boat") he sent to the Crew listserv that got earned him a stern reprimand by the coach, Shea's time at St. Lawrence, albeit brief, has been surrounded by controversy. Unfortunately, this is where our sneak peek ended--without resolution, but with a cliffhanger.

"What about the final recovery where he becomes a preacher or something, like Hammer?" we asked after viewing what progress had been made on the episode thus far. "Umm," said the executive producer, "are you f***ing kidding? We haven't even gotten to his first recovery yet."

The folks at VH1 are predicting the episode will be one of the most highly anticipated of the season. To be sure, we can't wait either--but we can sure waste our time while we do.


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