In this Tour Pranks segment, the industrial rock musician, Dre DiMura, chats about pranks that have happened on tour. You can check out the story, after the break.
In 2019, I did a 12-week amphitheater tour as a hired gun opening for Three Days Grace, Chevelle, and Breaking Benjamin. Being the baby band on tour, you don’t expect much in the way of hangs, but the guys in Three Days were super friendly with us right from the start. We hung out after almost every show and even met up to kick it on days off.
Three Days had an end-of-tour prank history of their own, most famously in the early 2000s, when they pranked Breaking Benjamin by driving motorized toilets on stage sporting custom T-shirts that read, “Diarrhea of Jane” (an amusing play on the band’s hit song, “Diary of Jane”). Needless to say, we wanted to plan something big as the tour drew to a close.
Our idea was to break into the Three Days dressing room while they were on-stage at our last show and create a life-size parody of the band, complete with all sorts of lascivious party favors you might see hanging up at a really bad frat party. To substitute for each band member, we bought inflatable love dolls at a gag store in Boise, ID, some of which weren’t even human. Our photographer replaced all of the backstage signs with photoshopped versions (like Three Ways Grace) and printed life-size faces of the band, which we glued onto the love dolls. We even recreated the guys’ tattoos with Sharpie markers and canvassed the room with balloons, streamers, and Canadian flags.
That morning, I told the production manager about the prank and asked him to leave not only the dressing room unlocked but also the band’s wardrobe cases. This way we could use the guys’ actual clothes to dress up the dolls. To throw them off the scent, we also came up with a dummy prank, by placing a large phallic-looking water bottle on stage during their set. In the meantime, we were staging the world’s worst bachelor party backstage.
“Old Town Road” was the song of the summer, and we left it blasting on repeat once we were done. It was so loud and obnoxious that the band next door, Chevelle, thought Three Days was pranking them. We ran side-stage just before they finished playing to look inconspicuous, and then followed them back to the dressing room.
The guys were shocked at first, and then totally in stitches, hunched over and laughing hysterically. The likeness of the dolls, their clothes, and all the little easter eggs we placed around the room were so elaborate and personal, that it made the prank not only funny but also endearing. To add to the hilarity, Breaking Benjamin requested not to be pranked, which everyone honored. However, the Three Days guys brought the love dolls side-stage to show off to the crew while they were watching Breaking Benjamin’s set, and at some point, the dolls either blew into the pit or got tossed in there (side-eye).
The result was an entire mob of people playing keep-it-up with blow-up dolls in the likeness of Three Days Grace, and subsequently tearing them to pieces and tossing the remains on stage while Ben was performing in front of 15,000 people. Now Ben thought the prank was on them, although they were ultimately great sports.