Show Me Your True Face: Unraveling A Mystery

Written By Lizette McMillen

If you follow Third Eye Blind or any of their fans, chances are good that you’ve heard about the fanny packs available on Summer Gods Tour. You’ve probably even seen the video about the fanny packs with Stephan stuffing various merch and memorabilia inside while proclaiming with a boyish glow that,

“it’s like Cracker Jacks! You get special shit, but it’s all different shit.”

Aside from the appeal of an official 3EB fanny pack to rock from the front as homage to Summer Town, the fanny packs quickly became the most sought after item at merch booths on tour due to the possibility of an After Show Pass. Fanny packs quickly sold out, and several shows had to go without because there just wasn’t time to restock and keep up with the demand. These Fanny packs are like Wonka Bars and everyone wants a Golden Ticket. Yet, while everyone else was dreaming of an After Show Pass, one fan noticed something else in this video that held much more meaning to him.

Expert, Alex Aita began watching the video with as much excitement as any of us, but twenty seconds in he saw something familiar. Stephan sketches a face onto a blank sheet of printer paper. To the rest of us, this was just fun. Alex, however, had seen this face before.

“It only took that first time when I watched that video that I recognized the drawing,” Alex told me. “My jaw dropped. Time froze and I was sent back in time to about nine years ago. I really never knew what that picture was. I couldn’t figure it out. Then SJ made that video showing that same picture of the face and all of my doubts and mysteries were all answered after all those years. I think it was the way he positioned the picture that made me see it. Truly, it was a realization and moment I will always remember.”

So where was it that Alex saw this mysterious picture before? It’s on his guitar, and here’s why the drawing was always a mystery…

“It was raining that day. I was driving home from somewhere, listening to my 3EB CDs. As I was switching them out, the radio automatically comes on. There was a DJ on when he mentions a private show at a studio in my hometown just minutes from where I live. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The chances of hearing that on the radio and, mind you, I never listen to the radio. So I rushed home in an excited panic. I called this studio place and asked questions about what they offer. They offer guitar lessons. I told them that I would be down there to talk and sign up. As I walked in the studio, I noticed some of the guys setting things up on walls and what not. I calmly asked if there was a special event going on, but I, of course, already knew. He says, “yeah, a band called Third Eye Blind is coming over to perform an acoustic set.” I acted like a casual fan and said, “oh, yeah. I’ve heard of them.” I also told him that I’ve never taken guitar lessons before. So I told the guy that if he could get my guitar signed by Third Eye Blind, I will sign up for guitar lessons. He was very happy to do it and that’s how it happened.’’

Courtesy: Alex Aita

In the end, Alex got his guitar signed, however, he didn’t get to do it himself.

“The owner got it signed for me. I wanted to stay but the private event was only for radio contest winners. Similar to that KFOG event in SF. I came back later that evening to pick up my guitar. I saw Tony during sound check then I bounced.”

When he got his guitar back, it was signed by Stephan and Tony and also had the mysterious face.

Courtesy: Alex Aita

Courtesy: Alex Aita

I loved interviewing Alex and learning the story behind the face on his guitar and the pure joy it brought him to see it turn up again in the video. “It was SJ all along,” he wrote. Now knowing that it’s something Stephan has been drawing for at least a decade or so, I am curious as to where it came from, though. What inspired it? Does it have a special meaning? Alex told me, “It is reminiscent of the cover of the self-titled cover in my mind.” Maybe we can get a tweet from the magic man himself giving us the scoop (pleeeease, Stephan). Until then, it’ll have to stay a mystery.