This tale began soon after Y2K. I was living in Atlanta. For a series of weeks, my phone rang off the hook every morning around 6 AM. I figured it was a bill collector or something, so I never picked it up. If you knew me back then, the only way I would be awake is if I hadn't gone to sleep from the previous night. That went on for a few months; I finally had the decent sense to check my answering machine, to see what all these calls were.
As the tape ran, it was message after message from friends that still lived on the East Coast saying “Dude, turn on the radio Howard Stern is playing Dick Delicious and a Tasty Testicles every morning!”
Back then Howard Stern was on terrestrial radio, and because of my location in the buckle of the Bible Belt, we didn't have him on the FM dial. Finally, in a feat of technology, somebody was able to capture a few MP3s of Howard commenting on the band and playing our songs.
Howard Stern on Dick Delicious:
On a side note, it's amazing how much the world has changed in the last 16 years. The Internet was in it's dial-up days, a lot of people (including myself) didn't have cell phones, and if you wanted your music heard you had to snail mail a CD. Funny, it doesn't seem like that long ago.
“While technology will progress at geometric rates, socially we remain belligerent neonates.” – Peter Steel
Howard Stern started playing one of our songs “Diarrhea“. It was getting decent feedback from listeners. Even though everyone encouraged us, we never sent material to the show because we figured our CDs would wind up in the garbage with 50,000 other wannabe joke-metal bands.
The odd thing about “Diarrhea” it was one of our songs that we didn't like. Even stranger, the version of the song he was playing was the demo that we had never released. We later re-recorded “Diarrhea” for our second album, and it sucked even worse. Not that it's even the same stratosphere, but “Paranoid” and “Smoke On The Water” were both filler material and became bigger-than-life rock classics.
We asked the band's “manager” (which wound up to be nothing more than a telemarketing scam run by a convicted felon from Austin) if he could get a hold of Howard Stern. As with many of our former managers, he completely dropped the ball.
After much aggravation, I wrote an email to email@example.com. I didn't know if that was the correct e-mail address or if anyone would get it at all. I wrote that I knew that he'd been playing our music, but we never got a chance to hear it because we lived in Atlanta. I wasn't respecting a response.
To my surprise, the next day Howard Stern read my email on the air. Again, I didn't hear it, but I got calls from at thousands of people that did. It took me a little bit of digging, but I found that MP3.
Here is the MP# of Howard reading my e-mail:
I called into the show because I knew this could be a big break. Howard's staff was super cool and said, “Just let us know when you'll be in the area, and we will have you on the show.” We would be on tour not far from there in just a few months, so we set a date to appear.
A few months later, we're leaving for tour. After we had finished our 9 to 5's, we packed ourselves and our dancers like sardines into our brown child-molester-looking Ford Econoline and with the aid of some printed MapQuest directions drove 17-hours up to NYC. It was only a few months after September 11th, I remember driving by the Pentagon they were still repairing a giant hole, and there was scaffolding all over the place.
Shortly before our arrival in New York, I got a call from one of the show's producers and feared that it would be to cancel us because maybe Beetlejuice (RIP) would bring bigger ratings. The producer asked some preliminary questions, and I was surprised how much he knew about the history of the band. We finally got to New York City at 2 PM after driving all night.
I slept two or three hours in our hotel room, and we all went out for “a drink”. At some point, I am going to write “Jason's Big
Book of Lies” and in the top 3 will be:
1. “Let's get a (singular) drink” (like you'd stop after one).
2. “The check is in the mail…”
3. “I won't cum in your mouth…” (self-explanatory).
We hit a couple of bars and then the BIG question came up? The Howard Stern show tapes early. We needed to be at the Studios in Manhattan at 7 AM. Do we go back to the hotel and sleep or keep it going? We talked about it, and we thought the band would be boring if we went on the air sober and convinced ourselves that we were funnier wasted.
Back then, Howard was a lot more hard-core on his guests, and we suspected he was going to roast us, so HELL NO – we decided to stay out and show up as the previous evenings backwash.
The night continued, venturing through various bars in Manhattan, we lingered at Manitoba's until the last call, and made the financially irresponsible decision to go to Howard Stern's favorite strip club “Scores”.
A friend of mine from Atlanta that moved to New York met us there. He is the “token Jew” you here in the interview. He had a box full of Graham crackers doused in LSD. By this time it's 3 AM and the alcohol is starting to make us tired. We thought it would be stupid to go on Howard Stern tripping, but…
After a brief debate, we made the executive decision to take “half-a-hit” to “stay awake”. We bought a bunch of beer and Jägermeister, to our hotel room, accelerated drinking, and we didn't feel like the LSD was kicking in at all. So we just kept eating more Graham crackers.
Shortly after 7 AM, we caught a cab to the studio on 57th, took the elevator up with all of the beer, and Jägermeister still in tow. After a few minutes, an intern came out to the lobby. She presented us with some papers explaining that we would be searched. They weren't interested in illicit substances; I'm sure with beer, Jager and acid we paled to Joe Walsh. They explain, they didn't want some Christian asshole sneaking in a gun and assassinating Howard.
It's a sad world in which we live.
However, at the mention of a “search”, my buddy with the graham crackers got paranoid and ran outside and stashed a tin in the bushes outside the studio. I went back outside and retrieved him and said they weren't worried about drugs; he should go back, and get the tin or we'd be forced to sober up.
6:45 the debauchery continued in the infamous “Green Room”, we kept drinking like maniacs and taking more acid because we didn't think it was “working” and had written the drugs off as “bunk.” We looked at the scenic daybreak of the NYC skyline; it seemed extra brilliant. The pictures on the wall of the leering faces of Beetlejuice and Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf started to look real, and it was about that time that I realized we hadn't tripped yet, but it was definitely in the mail.
Just minutes from doing the show we still didn't know what they would do. Then, one of the interns came in, tossed us all headphones, escorted us into the studio and explained to us Howard was about to give us some award.
This is the audio of the interview with some video about the band:
Upon walking in that room, as I feared, all of that acid started hitting hard. Not just me, everyone in our group. By the time we on air, I was peaking. Howard was sitting in his booth not from far across the room probably looking pretty healthy, but to my drug-frazzled mind, he resembled a combination between the Daleks from Dr. Who and the Crypt Keeper.
I was tripping my fucking face off, but (for the most part) I held it together (a few slurred words aside). Honestly, looking back, I wish we hadn't got that fucked up. The interview could've been funnier if we had more of our wits about us.
Howard gave us the first and only Howard Stern Award for excellence in music. Something I treasure to this day.
As I said, this was in the era when Howard regularly brutalized his guests, and we didn't expect to get treated any differently. To our surprise, he took it pretty easy on us. The whole segment was rather quick. I think Artie Lange would've came with us if he could.
As Soon as the interview was over, it was into the streets frying our brains out as the regular people of Manhattan were walking to their jobs. Our friend with the graham crackers pissed in a phone booth while I tossed my cookies all over the sidewalk of the banking district.
At that time, we were between record deals, and distributing our albums. Even as fried out as I was, I was curious how many people had ordered stuff. When got back to our hotel, I used the Internet kiosk and in that 20-minute walk, we had sold almost $4000 of T-shirts and CDs all over the country.
Where do we go from there? That's a lot of national exposure for a little comedy metal band out of Atlanta.
We now had 20 million targeted listeners eating from our hands!
So what is our band do with our big opportunity?
We broke up three weeks later.