I'll admit being a little surprised when I heard the news that Dixie Chicks singer-"guitarist" Natalie Maines married actor Adrian Pasdar in Las Vegas on June 23, taking advantage of the situation when the group's tour stopped there. After all, it was little more than a year ago that Maines' first marriage, to Pat Green bassist Michael Tarabay, ended abruptly and bitterly. In the aftermath, Maines' health deteriorated and she put on weight as easily as someone might slip into a new T-shirt. It got so bad that publicists at the Chicks' record label closely guarded any photos of her, and the band's road crew nicknamed her "J.R." (for "Jelly Roll") behind her back. It wasn't surprising that the marriage ended. Consider the situation: One minute, you're a spunky sorority girl, trying to find the rest of your clothes after one too many trips to the keg; the next, you're performing in front of 20,000 people on a nightly basis and decorating your house with Grammy awards. It can be quite a shock to the system.
Tarabay obviously didn't survive the transition, though he's currently residing at the top of the Most Likely to Get Revenge by Writing a Scathing Tell-All list. Now, back into fighting trim and firmly ensconced in her role as the brash (read: not terribly bright, yet terribly annoying) leader of one of the most popular country acts this side of Faith Hill, it doesn't make sense that Maines would chance that hell again. Of course, none of that probably even occurred to Maines and Pasdar, who met on the set of the band's video for "Goodbye Earl," off last year's Fly. (The video, incidentally, also starred exhibitionist and fake-cop-for-life Dennis Franz.) When they entered Las Vegas' A Little White Wedding Chapel and dropped $55 for the service, they no doubt assumed that it was the beginning of the rest of their lives together. Sure thing, kids.
Let's face facts: Showbiz couples don't work. Never have. What draws the famous and semi-famous to each other (an intimate understanding of the life of a performer) is usually what splits them up. They both crave center stage, and usually, it's not big enough for two people; someone has to go looking for a new theater. For every Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, there's a Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra, or Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, or Lorenzo Lamas and every single B-actress he's married. Pasdar has a fighting chance, mainly because he gave up on a vaguely promising Hollywood career (early roles in Top Gun and Carlito's Way) to move back to New York for a career in independent film and off-off-off-Broadway plays. Eventually though, I have a feeling he'll tire of constantly being referred to as "Natalie Maines' husband," his profession reduced to a cute hobby that keeps him busy while Natalie's out making money on tour. They'll call it "irreconcilable differences" in the press release, but that'll be the real reason--count on it. I give it a year.