The Killers are conducting an investigation of past and present tour staff following allegations of sexual misconduct against their road crew, BBC News reports. In a story posted online several years ago and recirculated this week, a female sound technician claims that she witnessed a woman being abused backstage during the band’s 2009 US tour.
“The moment that killed me, and still haunts me to this day was a gig at The Eagles Ballroom at the Rave in Milwaukee,” the technician, identified on her Twitter account as Chez Cherrie, writes. “The show was rocking and we were about half way through our load in when the FOH engineer came over radio and said, ‘Hey guys, there is a girl set up in Dressing Room A. Put your name on the list outside the door with your radio channel and we’ll call you when it’s your turn.'”
“I continued my load out, occasionally hearing a name come over the radio to notify them that it was their turn on the train in Dressing Room A,” Cherrie continues. “I consoled myself with the notion that this woman, whoever she was, was a consenting adult. She knew what she was doing and I couldn’t judge the men who were taking part, many of them ‘happily’ married with children. It wasn’t my place to judge.” But things allegedly got worse:
Everyone was swapping stories about this woman and their experiences with her. They talked about her intoxication level, yet had no qualms that she was obviously blacked out, or close to it. They made fun of one of the hired guns because he had made out with the woman when he was third in line. They called him a homo because he had made out with her post blowing other guys. I just tried to ignore what was going on.
As the bus was departing, a security guy came running to our bus. He stopped the driver, and our FOH opened the door to see what he wanted.
The security guy said, and I will never forget this moment because a piece of me died that night, “That girl in Dressing Room A is passed out and naked. Is anyone going to take care of her? Do you have a number of a friend or someone we can call?”
The FOH just shook his head as the other guys on the bus laughed. He shut the door as the security guy looked down at his shoes and the bus pulled away, and part of my heart blackened and fell to the floor.
I cried that night in my bunk. I should’ve left the tour. I should’ve spoken up for that woman. I should’ve defended her. I should’ve gotten off the bus that night and picked her up off the bathroom floor, found her panties and made sure she was okay. I should’ve known her name. I should’ve done something. I should have said something.
So this is what I’m doing. I’m writing about this experience. I’m giving her a voice. Sure, she may have given consent, at least in the beginning of the evening but I can’t imagine anyone consenting to being used, abused and left naked on the floor in a bathroom in a crummy club in Milwaukee. Where ever you are, Woman from Dressing Room A, I’m sorry. I will never let this happen ever again, on any tour that I’m on for the rest of my life.
Although the initial blog post published in 2018 did not name the band she was with, Cherrie identified them as the Killers when resharing the story this week. And although she doesn’t directly implicate the band members in the assault, she doesn’t have great things to say about them either:
About a week into the tour, the bus because unsafe. The band members (who had their own bus), would bring drunken groupies to our bus and laugh when the girls were too drunk to realize everyone was making fun of them. It was like a sport to them. They clued the audio crew into a special that they had going on. If we trolled for chicks for them, made sure we checked IDs and the girls would come backstage with the unspoken arrangement that they would blow a band member, we could get a $50 bonus. Even more, if the girl would get naked and shower for one particular member, we would get an extra $50.
The Killers have since responded to the allegations. “First and foremost, any allegations of inappropriate behavior by anyone on the Killers touring team are taken extremely seriously by the band and their management,” a legal representative for the band tells BBC News. “This person’s story is appalling and, while the Killers do not have the same touring crew in 2020 that they had earlier in their career, they will be conducting a thorough investigation into past and present tour staff.”
“Their legal team will be reaching out to this person for more information and clarity on the alleged incidents as detailed, as well as to the audio vendor who provided crew for the tour,” the statement continues. “The band are astonished and shocked by these claims. The behavior attributed to them and their crew is unrecognizable and in direct opposition to the principles with which they run their workplace.”
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual violence, please contact RAINN or call the National Sexual Abuse Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.