So I Married a Rock Star

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Katherine Goldstein met Travis Morrison while working at The Huffington Post in 2010. She was an editor and he was a web programmer. As the two got to know each other, it quickly became clear that mild-mannered Travis had an alternate lifestyle lurking in his not-so-distant past.

Travis spent a decade as the frenetic front man of The Dismemberment Plan. The DC rock band toured with Pearl Jam and Death Cab for Cutie, but never reached the level of professional success that could sustain its members. So in 2003, the band split and got real jobs — drummer Joe Easley got into robotics at NASA, bassist Eric Axelson taught English, and Travis hung up his rock star shoes for his second love, the internet.

Tales of “The Plan,” as fans called the band, would resurface now and then, including at the dinner party which happened to be Travis’ first date with Katherine. Her friends were discussing college bands when the attention turned to Travis. When he revealed the name of his musical dalliance, Katherine realized it was more than just a hobby. Travis recalls, “This one woman [at the party] goes, ‘Woah!’ I saw you three times!”

A year later, Katherine had heard the band’s music (“It was kind of like reading someone’s diary or looking at baby pictures.”) but still hadn’t seen Travis perform outside of his church choir. A vinyl reissue of the band’s most acclaimed album, Emergency & I, created that opportunity. Turns out, The Plan’s fan base had grown considerably in its absence and a series of shows quickly sold out. The guy Katherine saw onstage was nothing like the one she fell in love with. “He spit water across the audience, he ripped apart a mannequin and started humping it on stage.” He’d often end performances bruised and battered. “I remember one morning waking up and he had all these cuts on him,” Katherine says. “I was like, ‘Honey, what is going on?!’” Morrison admits, “I have a habit of pounding myself in the forehead with my microphone.”

 

Video: The Dismemberment Plan,"Ice Of Boston" (live at 9:30 Club in Washington, DC)

Music Playlist

  1. Back and Forth

    Artist: The Dismemberment Plan
    Album: Emergency & I
    Label: DeSoto Records
  2. Living in Song

    Artist: The Dismemberment Plan
    Album: Uncanny Valley
    Label: PTKF
  3. You Are Invited

    Artist: The Dismemberment Plan
    Album: Emergency & I
    Label: DeSoto Records
  4. Ice of Boston

    Artist: The Dismemberment Plan
  5. Lookin'

    Artist: The Dismemberment Plan
    Album: Uncanny Valley
    Label: PTKF