Celeste, Rose Marie, that lucky creature, Annette.
Have you ever wondered if there are real, corporal counterparts to the women referenced in your favorite Old 97’s songs?
Well, if you’ve ever stood next to a striking, flaxen-haired, Teutonic beauty in the front row, you’ve met Doreen. THE Doreen who has a penchant for downing whiskey sours and galloping through boroughs like a thoroughbred, in song anyway.
Meet Dorin Schadel, long-time fan from the band’s infancy. Originally from Boardman, Ohio, Dorin migrated south to Dallas in 1987 when her company relocated to Plano, Texas. Young and spirited, Dorin frequented the local music scene in Deep Ellum every chance she got. There, she fell for a rapid-fire blue grass/killer hillbilly band by the name of Killbilly.
(That’s Dorin, front and center at 1:46 in the video above.)
In 1994, Killbilly had two band members who couldn’t tour due to health issues. That’s when they asked a myopic former teen folk heartthrob with a lightning quick strum, and a long-haired, bespectacled, punk-loving bassist with fast fingers; better known as Rhett and Murry, to join their tour.
Dorin first met Rhett at a Killbilly show at Ozona’s, and then again at a Fort Worth show.
So how does one go from fan to musical muse? We asked the Muse herself.
“They (Killbilly) went on tour, and I received a postcard from a Killbilly band mate informing me that Rhett wrote a song about me. When they returned to Dallas, Rhett asked me to stay until the end of the show (as if I wouldn’t!) because he wrote a special song for me!”
“Rhett performed ‘Doreen’ for the first time with Killbilly on June 4th at Club Clearview in Deep Ellum. I was told the song was about a girlfriend he suspected was cheating on him. After first meeting me a few months earlier, he had a dream about me and upon wakening, he realized my name worked for the song.”
When asked about her feelings being immortalized in this iconic Old 97’s gem, she had this to say:
“I’m EXTREMELY flattered and feel SO lucky to not only have a song written for me, but that the song was a creation of Rhett’s. And it’s a bad-ass Old 97’s song, to boot! It’s a wonderful part of my 15 minutes of fame! I am forever grateful and blessed to have such good friends in these guys. All of them have brought so much joy and great music into my life. To me, I went from being Killybilly’s #1 fan to being the Old 97’s #1 fan. I’m sure other fans may fight me for the title, but there is plenty of room for all of us to share that title.”
We’re all giant fans of this band of uber talented Texans, but Dorin definitely has the cred to be #1. By her own account, aside from a few Naomi gigs at their start, Dorin’s been to every Dallas show. She’s seen the 97’s and Rhett solo all over Texas and up north in Ohio and Pennsylvania when she visits her Mom in Boardman. Rhett himself recently acknowledged her role as muse in an IG message:
And if you still need validation from the horse’s mouth, here’s video proof:
So next time you stand near a striking, flaxen-haired Teutonic beauty in the front row of the Melt Show, give Dorin a little shout out of thanks (and a whiskey sour) for inspiring one of the greatest songs in the Old 97’s catalog.
And don’t forget the 3rd Annual Old 97’s County Fair is right around the corner on April 14th! This year’s line up includes Valerie June, Lord Huron and the Mavericks. See you there!!
And be sure to check for upcoming tour dates starting the week of April 15th on our tour page.
(photos courtesy of Dorin Schadel)