I quizzed Lilian Garcia about her fans because she told me, “One of them has my face tattooed on his leg, and he put angel wings on it.”
“So there’s this huge face of me, and it really looks like me, and it’s on his thigh,” she said.
Garcia will sing Saturday at Sunset Station.
“There’s another guy, I signed his arm, autographed it, and then he had that tattooed,” Garcia said.
“Wow,” I said.
“They’re pretty crazy. They’re pretty crazy,” she said. “But you know what? Thank God for them. That’s why I’ve had a job here for 13 years.”
It’s not just guys who follow Garcia so adamantly. She has hugged her share of girls who shook and cried while saying, “I can’t believe I’m meeting you.”
“That’s why I always say, ‘When you’re a celebrity, a lot comes with the territory.’ You have to care about your fans and make an effort to say hi to them and sign autographs. Sometimes they live vicariously through you, but they look up to you.”
Garcia, 47, has been singing for years for the WWE. Recently she sang and co-hosted performances at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during race stuff. Then she sang around Las Vegas during March Madness.
She was so popular, she is now booked to perform three sets from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday at Sunset Station.
When I phoned her the other day, she was staying in a New Orleans hotel, but the operator wouldn’t patch me through. Getting a hold of Garcia was like cracking Jason Bourne’s Pinterest password.
Garcia apologized. I told her not to worry. Then she explained the hotel was housing WWE stars, and fans were going wild.
“They’ll start calling our rooms,” Garcia said. “So they put a block so we don’t get those kinds of calls.”
I told her, “That’s why you’re supposed to check in under a fake name, like Minnie Mouse or Pam Anderson.”
“I know, but I want the people from the company to be able to call me,” she said.
Sunset Station is getting its money’s worth out of Garcia. I mean, three sets of music spread over three hours? Her pop-rock band is a full rock group (drums, guitar, bass, keyboards) with a violinist for flair.
“I am rolling out everything, from covers to my originals, new songs people haven’t heard, songs I haven’t released yet, and songs from my last two records, ‘¡Quiero Vivir!,’ which was a Spanish record, and then my last EP called ‘My Time,’ ” said Garcia, who was born in Madrid.
“I have a little bit of everything. I have high energy. Then I will tear it down to the bones with just the violinist, the guitar player and myself and have intimate moments there.”
I told her it’s remarkable that bands still exist because some DJs in Las Vegas pocket $500,000 per night after showing up at clubs equipped with nothing more than a thumb drive of songs.
“I don’t care that DJs are making that much money. I care that artists aren’t making that much money,” Garcia said.
“I’m just hoping people crave live music again. I love going to the clubs, too. I don’t mind DJs mixing while I’m dancing my ass off. But I want to see live music, too.”
Personally, what I want to see is for Garcia to hire a tattoo artist for her merchandise table at Sunset Station, someone who can ink Garcia’s face all over her fans’ bodies.
I explained to Garcia I’m just jealous because no one has a tattoo of my face on their thighs. She laughed.
“Not that you know of,” she joked.
No. I’ve looked around town. I’m pretty sure.
Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.