Groupies have always existed, they say. Whether with Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones or from the nineties with Rammstein. Wild rock ‘n’ roll, part of the business, part of the myth. But something seems to be different with the current allegations about Till Lindemann, the lead singer of Rammstein. Although a lot now revolves around the stories of young women who want to be close to their idol, it seems as if closeness has become a very flexible term in the Rammstein cosmos.
Do the connections here also come from a fan cult? Do they take place by mutual consent? Do women really know what they are getting themselves into?
A lot is still unclear – and a lot has gotten mixed up in the loud outcry in recent weeks. Since Northern Ireland’s Shelby Lynn attended the start of the Rammstein tour in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on May 22 of this year and made her allegations public on May 25, there has been talk of a wide variety of things: power, abuse, drug use, a sex system behind Ramstein.
Rammstein condemns “any kind of abuse”
Shelby Lynn, the 24-year-old woman who documented injuries to her body and publicly alleged she may have been given knockout drops at Rammstein, has filed a complaint. The police in Lithuania are examining the descriptions. It is still unclear whether there will be investigations against Lindemann. He didn’t touch Lynn, she says herself, he only got “angry” after she said she didn’t want to sleep with him.
The 60-year-old himself has not commented on the allegations, not even when asked several times, after the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, the NDR or the “Welt am Sonntag” presented other witnesses who described similar experiences. A request from t-online to the band has also remained unanswered to this day.
However, Rammstein has twice taken a public position. On May 28, they posted a statement on Twitter, three days after Shelby Lynn’s publication: “Regarding the allegations about Vilnius circulating online, we can rule out that what is alleged to have happened in our environment.” The band is not aware of any investigations. Six days later it was said on Instagram: The allegations were taken “extremely seriously”. In addition, Rammstein condemns “any kind of encroachment”, it is written there on a text board.
Shelby Lynn has achieved something that apparently no other female Rammstein fan has been able to do before. Lynn started a wave. If you scroll through Instagram and Twitter, you will suddenly find numerous descriptions that are always knitted according to a similar pattern – and that resemble the descriptions in the media reports in which interlocutors have given affidavits. It’s about Till Lindemann, sex with young women, alcohol and other drugs.
A name that keeps coming up is Alena Makeeva. This woman has been the talk of the town since the first allegations were made. She is said to be significantly involved in the so-called “Row Zero” system. This is the name of a concept that allows fans to be in the “Row Zero” at Rammstein, to be able to get close to the idols. It’s the gateway to the band’s parties, a door opener – and Makeeva is the key figure in that.
t-online also wanted to get to know this woman and talk to her. Various allegations are circulating. She introduced women to Till Lindemann and quenched his thirst for female fans. But Alena Makeeva leaves a request from t-online unanswered. The “Welt am Sonntag” told Makeeva that Shelby Lynn was lying. She wants to destroy Makeeva’s reputation, she only wants attention. However, Makeeva tries to save Rammstein’s reputation with all her might.
After Shelby Lynn’s accusations, she wrote in a band blog: “We need help.” She urges other women to tell the “truth”: “We never spiked girls,” says Makeeva. So your version is: Rammstein never made women defenseless. But who is she to speak up so loudly, to put herself in the public eye like that?
From Marilyn Manson groupie to Lindemann assistant?
On Instagram, in front of her around 34,000 followers, she simply calls herself a blogger and a little less simple, but all the more curious: “Casting Director”. She is “on tour with Till Lindemann”, it says in the biography of her profile. Pictures show her with him in different locations, the two seem familiar. They also pose together in front of a Christmas tree. She can also be seen in snaps with other prominent names in the music scene: Nick Cave, Iggy Pop, Marilyn Manson. From the latter – also a musician who was recently in the public eye in connection with allegations of violence – she was a groupie “a long time ago”.
All of this is publicly visible on her Instagram account – initially. That changes on June 5, her profile is suddenly set to private. The reasons for this can only be speculated on. Alena Makeeva’s Instagram activity now takes place in an intermediate area, in a cosmos of friends, acquaintances, fans. Like her casting job, where she apparently mediates between Rammstein fans and her tour companion Till Lindemann. Who she casts and what exactly her job description means, she has never officially explained. According to various media reports, it is all about one thing: women.
The German influencer Kayla Shyx also documents this in a YouTube video published on Monday evening entitled “What really happens at Rammstein Afterparties”. It shows chat histories, WhatsApp messages in which Alena Makeeva is the central interface between the “Row Zero” groupies and the Rammstein parties. Shyx’s portrayals are similar to those of Shelby Lynn and other women who have spoken publicly about Makeeva’s role.
“Good make-up, well-groomed hair, elegant cocktail dresses”
Not much else is known about the woman, who is said to be in her mid-30s and apparently specifically seeks contact with women via social media in order to win them over to Rammstein concerts. In an interview, Makeeva once said that she came from a small village in Russia and dreamed of being close to the big stars. Till Lindemann met her at concerts.
Whether Kayla Shyx, Shelby Lynn or many of the other previously anonymous women who talk about their experiences with Till Lindemann in the media: Alena Makeeva seems to be the contact person. Instructions from the self-proclaimed “Casting Director” are quoted in “Welt”, which are said to have been sent via WhatsApp: “Good make-up, well-groomed hair, elegant cocktail dresses in bright, bright colors, summer flowers. Please not completely in black. If it has to be, then mix it with other colors.”
Alena Makeeva gone? Rammstein apparently draws consequences
Precise instructions for use, a selection system for women created by Alena Makeeva? Is she both fishing rod and bait, picking girls and gaining their trust in a “cunning” way, as Kayla Shyx calls it in her YouTube video? Does she lure women into the Lindemann trap with her offers disguised as “fan service”? It would at least be a detail that makes the stocktaking that there have always been groupies and that sex between fans and rock stars is part of the game look different than it was in the 1970s and 1980s.
Perhaps that is also the reason why a new development in the matter will become public on June 6th. As reported by “Welt” on Tuesday, Rammstein’s management banned Alena Makeeva. According to the report, the self-appointed “casting director” was “banned from attending Rammstein concerts with immediate effect.” Apparently, the woman now has to start her journey home to Russia from Munich, where the band’s next concert is scheduled for next Wednesday. A short-term request for a statement on the matter was initially unanswered by Rammstein.