Blues Traveler bassist Bobby Sheehan was placed on two years'
unsupervised probation by a Canadian court on Friday as a result of a
Sept. 29, 1997, arrest on drug-possession charges.
Sheehan pleaded guilty to one charge of narcotics possession for less than
a gram (.91 g) of cocaine that airport authorities found on his person. In
exchange, a more serious charge of importing an illicit substance into
Canada - which carried a maximum of seven years in prison - was withdrawn.
Sheehan was arrested and detained by Winnipeg, Manitoba, airport police en
route to an opening date for the Rolling Stones.
"The whole point of the exercise was that he not be convicted, and
that's how it turned out," said Sheehan's Manitoba-based attorney,
Ray Flett, on Monday morning.
Sheehan was present at the hearing. Barring a breach of his probation,
Flett said Sheehan should not have to attend any further Canadian court
proceedings on this matter. The 29-year-old bass player for the bluesy jam
band does not have to follow up with a probation service, Flett said,
adding that no court-appointed drug and alcohol counseling was required by
the court. However, Flett said he was "reluctant to discuss"
whether Sheehan had voluntarily entered a rehabilitation program.
According to a spokesperson at Blues Traveler's label, A&M, Sheehan
had no official comment on the matter.
Contrary to some published reports, Flett said that neither actor Dan
Aykroyd nor musician Neil Young provided specific letters of reference for
Sheehan to bolster the bass player's case. "There were various
letters that came in, including the ones from Aykroyd and Young that were
not specific to the case," he said, "but they were the result of
their [Blues Traveler's] charitable work done in the past."
The letters were presented with other materials in the case to demonstrate
that Blues Traveler, as a band, are good corporate citizens and
responsible members of the community, Flett added. Sheehan and Blues
Traveler performed an acoustic set at Young's annual Bridge School Benefit
concert in October.
Sheehan and Blues Traveler lead singer/harmonica player John Popper are
scheduled to play under the name High Plains Drifter on Thursday at San
Francisco's Bimbo's 365 Club in a benefit for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard
Team. Also in the all-star jam band are Jono Manson and drummer Mark Clark
of Jono Manson and the Mighty Sweetones and ex-Spin Doctors guitarist Erik
Blues Traveler will headline this summer's H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons of Rock
Developing Everywhere) tour.