Anna Shinoda

College, Sunset Strip, and Meeting Mike

Sunset Strip will always feel like college.  Living in Long Beach, it was only about a thirty minute drive away, and my friends and I often went there to see bands up close in tightly packed, sweaty venues that held no more than two or three hundred people.  I was in a sorority in college.  The one I joined was known for “letting anyone in” meaning, we didn’t judge girls by their race, weight or sexual orientation.  We weren’t your stereotypical sorority, so while others that fit that bill may have been busy doing whatever they do, my sisters and I were piling in our cars and going to the Whiskey or Roxy or Billboard Live or Troubadour or Coconut Teaser to see bands we loved and to support our friends in their musical endeavors.  It was at a party at Brad and Phoenix’s apartment after a Xero show that my friend from Long Beach State, Mark Wakefield, introduced me to the rapper in his band.

That was over fifteen years ago.  With passing time comes a loss of memory.  I don’t remember if the show was at the Whiskey or the Roxy.  I don’t remember what date it was (I know it was in February of 1998).  But I do remember Mike Shinoda handing me this tape and leading me around the party by the hand, as if we had been dating for months instead of just meeting that evening.

Xero Cassette

The next few years I spent a lot of time on the Sunset Strip and other places the guys would play.  Helping with loading in and out, selling merch at the shows, and later, after college, working publicity for other bands and, of course, going to gigs to check out new music.

I’ll be honest.  I haven’t been down to Sunset to see a show in a while.  I’m looking forward to seeing the street packed during the Sunset Strip Music Festival, and letting the atmosphere, the marquees, the smells of sweaty bodies and alcohol, and the excitement of the evening bring back all my memories.

Xero Flyers and Tickets 1998

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26 thoughts on “College, Sunset Strip, and Meeting Mike

  1. Ah, I just happened upon this by accident and even though it’s years old, I just wanted to tell you how sweet this story is… I wish you guys many blessings and a long and happy life together!


  2. I love your blogs


  3. Pingback: Shinoda Couple | Привет!

  4. matthew000mayer on said:

    that is what called Destiny ♥♥♥ Anna & Mike = So Suit Couple
    It’s one of cut meetings . . .
    All these years together passed lots of memories . .
    Wish you have great life through full of wonderful moments & happiness
    & I’m one of your thoughts fans . . your brain is adorable & I’m waiting for your book 2014 ♥
    I’m A LP soldier! is it familiar ? 😉 lol! yea I love your Husband much . . He’s my Music world


  5. Meanie Mouse on said:

    Reblogged this on The Meanie Mouse and commented:
    A writer and a musician just make a perfect duo.


  6. remymckwakker on said:

    This is the most adorable thing I’ve ever read.


  7. Reblog this on as tribute to Linkin Park and the celebration of LPU Summit in Hong Kong on Aug 15, 2013


  8. Romantic story. I found ur blog thanks a website about Linkin Park on facebook. I know that u write books, and it’s for me an honor read something written by someone know. I can not english well but I hope that u understand me.
    Ur story is like a fable. I can only imagine how do u feel when u find “this one”. You are a beautiful couple who is already with them so long. Congratulations.
    Greetings from Poland 🙂


  9. I loved your story. Here where I live, I spend every friday at the same bar to support a local band from friends, I wish someday, they can look back at this moment with fondness after making their dream come true, just like Mike did.
    You both are so lucky to have found each other and been together for so long, not many couples make it that long. You’re blessed and wonderful.


  10. parisafakour on said:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story 🙂
    Wish you have GREAT and BEAUTIFUL life together 🙂


  11. Hi there anna… I was wondering… could you please upload a scan of the tape cover , it would be nice to have it… I’ve never seen that before.


  12. Just the most beautiful and romantic story i was really touched thanks for sharing and here’s to many more wonderful years as you grow old together


  13. so cool to meet this guy before he became famous – it means a lot to me. It means fans can be sure you love him for real. And fans feel content. Love and light, Anna!


  14. You have really excited me. It’s a beautiful story, full of tenderness and specially, union. You’ve been there from start with Mike, accompanying him in every step he took, every triumph, every frustration. It makes me happy you’re still together. I’m happy you met that night and you were meant to be together. You insurance has been a great but great support for Mike all this time. Anna, you’re a great person. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.


  15. You married the most perfect man in this world. I hate you ok ;___;


  16. YoMarquesLP on said:

    Such a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!


  17. 15 years ago he was a part of the small band performing at the small venue like others, now he’s leading the show with Linkin Park – and YOU have been at the beginning! It´s great you guys are still together & I wish you very long life! Your story is very inspiring for beginning bands and also young couples. Thanks for sharing with us!


  18. evooba on said:

    That’s a really sweet story. Thanks for sharing with us!
    Small venues are nice for shows; it feels more intimate. I’ve a friend who’s in a band and trying to kick off right now (they just released their first EP) and they had like a mini gig in a tiny venue here, was so cool! A totally different feeling than an arena show.

    Out of curiosity, which bands/artists were you into when you were in college and which now? Any favorites?


  19. PaulGardinerLP on said:

    “But I do remember Mike Shinoda handing me this tape and leading me around the party by the hand, as if we had been dating for months instead of just meeting that evening.” – Isn’t that sweet!?


  20. That was lovely! Thanks for sharing. The smallest and familiar venues are indeed the best, even if the sound and everything isn’t perfect 🙂


  21. that was amazing, thanks for sharing it with us!


  22. davjola on said:

    I swear I cried … it’s so wonderful to know that you guys are still together! And it all started like this ^_^


  23. Aaaaww! Nice story.

    “Quit your bitchin’ and do something fun” Haha!


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