How I learned to stop worrying and accept Scott Stapp's LinkedIn invitation

by Jim McGuinn

Singer-songwriter Scott Stapp and The Current's Jim McGuinn meet backstage at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell at the Minnesota State Fair.
Singer-songwriter Scott Stapp and The Current's Jim McGuinn meet backstage at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell at the Minnesota State Fair. (MPR photo/Andrea Swensson)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post wondering how LinkedIn worked, and why Scott Stapp, former lead singer of Creed, would've invited me to connect, as getting an email from a sorta famous rockstar whom I'd never met before seemed odd — imagine a random email coming to you from Eddie Guardado or perhaps Young MC?

Reaction to my post was varied to say the least, with some listeners weighing in with their own LinkedIn wonder or punny observations, and others feeling that I'd violated Scott's intent by questioning it. With Scott coming to play the State Fair this week, I reached out to his manager, who had seen my initial post and hubbub, and was at the same time reaching out to me to facilitate a meet-up.

I went backstage yesterday before Scott's set at the Leinie Lodge Stage, and met him, his wife, Jaclyn, and his son, Jagger — all of whom were extremely friendly and invited me in to hang out backstage and in their tour bus before they were heading out to sample some foods on a stick.

Scott Stapp has been through a lot over the past decade — including drugs, depression, attempted suicides, release of a sex tape, domestic assault and declining record sales. But today he's sober, he's written a memoir, and he seems at peace with all aspects of his past and is hopeful for the future.

There's something appealing to his honesty about the past and his desire to move on. Musically, if you liked Creed, a Scott Stapp solo show mines a similar vein — with his deep baritone voice surrounded by a band kicking out some heavy rock. There were a few thousand Minnesotans pressed up against the stage to hear Stapp's songs, and also his messages of hope and redemption. And sincerity.

When I asked him if he knew how we got Linked Up together, he said, "I think it was just me trying to connect with people that might come to the show; I don't really know much about how that stuff works."

I certainly never expected to meet Scott Stapp, but somehow on a gorgeous State Fair evening, things worked in mysterious ways to bring us together, and now that I've met Scott and his family, I've taken the advice of the best comments to my initial post: to Link In with Scott Stapp "with arms wide open."

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