It’s a full time job listening to the show.
I mean it’s 2 A.M. and I’m sitting in front of Felice’s house unable to turn the radio off. Howard’s interviewing the nerds, Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong, and it’s so damn real, so much the essence of life, that I figure if it doesn’t end soon, I’m gonna wear down my brand new battery.
What did Gary say one day? About people giving him shit for digging so deep into Springsteen? That he was worth it? Yup, Howard’s worth it.
And it’s important you pay attention, because he’s breaking all the rules.
In music, being young and beautiful is a badge of honor and oldsters get no traction and give up or write horribly boring music that even their fans can’t stand. But Howard’s pushing sixty and he’s better than ever.
Let me put it this way…
Either you’re a Stern fan or you’re gonna be one, you just don’t know it yet.
Howard’s an Internet act even though he’s doing his show on the radio. You know why? He keeps on doing it. Day after day. He doesn’t harass you to listen to his great interviews of yore, he just keeps making more. And when you first become a fan you can’t believe all the callers who know all the characters, all the history, and suddenly you do too.
This is how you do it. You’re determined and you don’t give up.
Sure, Howard’s a tireless self-promoter. And I’m not even sure it’s working for him anymore. So, he’s a judge on AGT, even his fans know that show sucks and is not a good vehicle for his talent, no matter how much he talks about it. But this is a guy who worked on his craft, perfected it in Hartford when the other deejays were partying. Who got fired again and again but believed in his act and didn’t kiss the butts of the programmers who were telling him he was doing it all wrong.
The programmers don’t know. The label doesn’t know. Only the artist knows.
Are you an artist?
You’re not honing your chops and testing limits. You’re just eager to get on the gravy train and become rich and famous, you don’t care if it’s for music, a fashion line or just showing up at the club. That’s not an artist.
Then again, everybody’s got art in their life. And it’s this that Howard tries to extract. How did the porn star get here? What was it like to be the son of John Carradine and discover in your teens that your mom is not your real mom?
Or who is the hottest actress Kevin Bacon ever performed with?
Oh, of course that’s base.
But that’s what we all think about.
The late night TV talk shows are fading because instead of testing limits, they’re circling the wagons, being nice promotional vehicles for movies most of us don’t care about. Except for Jimmy Fallon, give him credit for trying something new.
Whereas with Stern, the promotion is less than ten percent.
The rest is story.
That’s what Stern knows best. Story. Arc. The essence of all great art, whether it be a book, record or movie. How did the celebrity get from there to here? And the cast of characters… I know them all, and their peccadilloes, because I’ve been listening so long.
Howard Stern built Sirius.
It will survive without him.
But I might not.
If Howard Stern retires, there’ll be a great big hole in my life. It’ll be like my best friend moving away before the cell phone era, when long distance calls were still expensive and my parents wouldn’t let me make any.
Ignore the haters. Get Sirius. Join the club.
IT’S WORTH IT!