By Peter Lindblad
|The hosts of 'That Metal Show' Jim|
Florentine, Eddie Trunk and
During a segment of "Stump The Trunk" on VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show," this lovably goofy metal fan in a flag of Switzerland t-shirt enthusiastically declared, "I am the Swiss!" when asked by host Jim Florentine where he was from.
Everybody chuckled. I still do every time I think of of my favorite Swiss.
And when news today broke of "That Metal Show" returning to the air in February for its 14th season, having started in 2008, memories of episodes past came flooding back.
To be part of the audience, tickets are available through Gotham Casting at http://gothamcasting.com/gothamrsvp/. So far, nothing has been announced regarding guests. That'll come in due time. Meanwhile, how about a look back at some of my favorite moments in TMS history?
Marilyn Manson makes everyone blush: Ostensibly there to share his love of absinthe and talk about his sexual exploits, shock-rocker Marilyn Manson seemed bombed out of his gourd when stating that he'd been "clean and sober ... for the last five minutes." While sipping from his own stash, a product he called Mansinthe, Manson discussed among other things – in a conversation that can only be described as "rambling" – reverse erectile dysfunction, embracing deviance, and a threesome he once had, and everybody had a good nervous laugh about it. It smelled like this wasn't exactly a show for children, and it was uncomfortable. Then Manson went on "Talking Dead" and did it all over again.
Brian Johnson tastes "Lemmy's plums": Was there ever a funnier guest on TMS than the AC/DC singer? The three hosts almost did a collective spit take when, in critiquing new wines from the Motorhead vineyard, Johnson was questioned about whether he could detect notes of plum or other such flavors and responded by saying, in a deadpan voice with perfect timing, "I can taste Lemmy's plums." Then there was that lurid tale of some masked intruder with a rubber glove going around tour buses sticking his finger where the sun never, ever shines and then, in dramatic fashion, saying, "You know you love it!" And we all shook with jolly laughter all night long.
"Ego ramp": Full confession ... I never knew they called that long, slim stage extension that runs straight into the middle of a concert crowd – perfect for rock-star posing – an "ego ramp" until Heart appeared on TMS. Ann Wilson came off a little catty towards Def Leppard, didn't she, talking about the pop-metal band's extravagant stage show? The implication being that Def Leppard was, perhaps, a little shallow and desperate for audience validation. And then there was the little jibe about Leppard's backstage "health room with cigarettes and full bar." Evidently, Wilson made similar disparaging comments in the book "Kicking and Screaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock and Roll." Vivian Campbell was not amused, expressing his disappointment on the Def Leppard website in the aftermath. And there was poor Lita Ford, coming on later with Heart and trying ever so hard to smooth the waters just a bit. It was textbook rock 'n' roll diplomacy.
"I am the Swiss": Eddie Trunk may hate it, but the "Stump The Trunk" segment is absolute comic gold – unpredictable, sometimes embarrassing and one of these days, I swear Trunk's head is literally going to explode on air. The " ... Swiss" guy is my favorite. And what about Gregg Guiffria's twin brother? Oh, those flowing locks of long, white hair. Somewhere there's a unicorn missing its mane. Remember when Clutch's Neil Fallon was on, and that woman got Trunk on some obscure question – who cares what the answer was – and she stuck her hand into the "Box of Junk" and pulled out Clutch's Earth Rocker album? The forlorn look on her face was priceless, and a bemused Fallon, being Fallon, remarked, "She looks over the moon." Zing! That Fallon is one droll bastard.
In Living Colour: There was hardly anybody in the audience for Living Colour's appearance, and yet, up into the stands went Corey Glover, handing out high fives to everybody within reach as Vernon Reid grabbed him down so they could get on with the rest of the show. The day of the taping a huge snowstorm brought New York City and basically the entire East Coast to a standstill. Some girl drove all the way from Pennsylvania or some such place, and if memory serves, her car broke down or something and her boyfriend called TMS to make sure she was all right. God, if that isn't metal, I don't know what is. Anyway, Reid and Glover proceeded to bicker like an "old married couple" – their words, not mine – and hilarity ensued, but when Glover talked about seeing James Brown perform at the Apollo, everyone was riveted. I'm thinking of joining their cult of personality, or at least reading the literature.