By Tonya Fennell: CNJ Staff Writer
Keavin Lawdermilk protects a flock of country singers who have ruffled the feathers of some Americans.
The 44-year-old former Clovis resident travels the world as a bodyguard for the Dixie Chicks, a Grammy-award-winning trio that garnered criticism three years ago when lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience they were “ashamed” President Bush was from their home state of Texas because of Iraq.
The Dixie Chicks refer to the London performance as “the incident,” which led to Lawdermilk’s landing the job title of “Incident Control Specialist.”
“It (job title) is the girls’ way of being funny,” Lawdermilk said.
Standing more than 6 feet tall and weighing in at 250 pounds, the former U.S. Army police officer cuts an imposing figure in the finely tailored dark suits he wears while providing personal security for Dixie Chicks fiddler Martie Maguire.
“Big guys in dark suits stand out,” Lawdermilk said. “It’s an intimidation thing.”
While Lawdermilk’s job includes international travel, limousine rides and overnight stays at luxurious hotels, his daily duties are less glamorous, he acknowledged.
“I’m like a personal assistant,” he said. “If Martie (Maguire) calls me at 3 a.m. and needs something room service can’t bring her, then I go get it.”
The hulking bodyguard also buys diapers, baby-sits the musician’s two young daughters — which he refers to as “the peeps” — locates doctors and carries things.
“I go everywhere she (Martie Maguire) goes,” Lawdermilk said. “I am always a short distance from her.”
Shadowing the star during her exercise regimen is Lawdermilk’s least favorite task.
“I have to go with her,” he said. “But, I’m always like, ‘Please don’t run.’”
Maguire said she has an immense appreciation for her security staff.
“All of the public’s attention is always focused on us,” Maguire said. “The fans do not know how hard each of them works to make our concert tour a success.”
Maguire referred to Lawdermilk as an intelligent and dedicated person who would gladly give his life to protect her and her family. He performs his duties without question or complaint, she said.
Maguire said Lawdermilk keeps her laughing and often speaks of the years he spent as a teenager in Clovis.
“He (Lawdermilk) is very proud to be from Clovis,” she said. “He speaks very fondly of his time there.”
Although Lawdermilk lives in Albuquerque, he said Clovis will always be his home.
“We live a lot of places,” he said, “but we only have one home.”