The Howard Stern Show
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On the show, Rivers Cuomo said that the names listed on the hidden map underneath the CD tray of Pinkerton are those who influenced him during the writing and recording of the album, with Howard Stern being one of those influences. Other names include Yngwie Malmsteen, Brian Wilson, Lou Barlow, Joe Matt, Camille Paglia and Ace Frehley.
October 17, 2005 - Show rundown
Almost skipping school
Howard reported that Weezer would be coming into the studio later and that his daughter, who is a huge fan of the group, was the one who actually told him about it after reading the news on their Website. In fact, Howard mentioned that his daughter loves the band so much that he and his ex-wife were considering letting her skip school in order to come to the studio to sing background for one of the band’s performances. However, Howard commented that they ended up deciding against it. Robin recalled that Howard recently got mad at a parent who pulled her child out of school so she could meet Hulk Hogan and was surprised he even contemplated it for his daughter. Howard pointed out that there was a big difference between the Hulkster and Weezer, but he did understand her point of view.
Another wish granted
Vinnie Favale called in to inform Howard that Weezer is the most important band out there today. Vinnie noted that the group’s lead singer, Rivers Cuomo, is considered to be a genius on par with Brian Wilson and that having Weezer on the show was like having the Beatles as guests in the 1960s. After Artie insisted that Vinnie was embarrassing himself by comparing Weezer to The Beatles, Howard admitted that since he and Artie weren’t into today’s music, there was a chance Vinnie could be right. Howard explained that when he was growing up, he once dismissed someone who recommended he listen to Cream’s “Disraeli Gears,” simply because he had never heard of them. Howard remembered that a few months after the conversation, he found out Cream was made up of some of the best musicians ever. Despite this, Artie commented that they would’ve heard something about the Weezer if they were as important as Vinnie claimed.
When Weezer came into the studio, Howard asked the lead singer, Rivers Cuomo, about some of the information he had just received from Gary. According to notes, producer Rick Rubin got Rivers so heavily into meditation that Rivers gave up all his possessions and took a vow of celibacy. Rivers acknowledged that he has taken a two-and-a-half year break from sex, but that he has done so because he needed to concentrate more on his music. He went on to reveal that as soon as he meets the right woman, his self-imposed ban on sex will quickly be lifted. Rivers also noted that he merely sold the furniture out of his house because he had no need for it. He added that he still has all of his money, so what Gary reported on his situation was a bit exaggerated.
The struggle for air
Howard mentioned that, when he was first starting out in radio, he had to live with a group of monks because it was the only housing he could afford. He recalled that because of the lifestyle he was forced to lead while living with the monks, he was never more creative in his career. Rivers responded that he feels that the quality of the band’s latest album, Make Believe, was due, in part, to his lack of sex. Rivers admitted that he hasn’t pleasured himself since early 2003 either, which he said has been a more difficult streak to keep alive than not having actual sex.
Vinnie takes the floor
Robin asked Rivers if he writes all the songs himself and Vinnie informed her that he does. Vinnie went on to say that Make Believe could be a greatest hits album all on its own because it is so good and that this decade, along with the 1990s, is owned by Weezer. Robin pointed out how annoying Vinnie was being by not letting Rivers answer any of the questions she was asking him. Artie agreed, and joked that Vinnie’s words shouldn’t be taken too seriously, seeing as he said the same exact things about Nickelback last week.
Looking for inspiration
Rivers noted that, after Weezer’s second album, Pinkerton, didn’t live up to the expectations set by the band’s first release, Weezer (The Blue Album), he decided to give up music for a while. Rivers did note, though, that while he was writing Pinkerton, he listened to Howard every morning. To prove just how much Howard influenced the record, Rivers showed Howard that his name was hidden in one of the drawings on the cover art of the CD. After thanking him for the honor, Howard wondered why he didn’t influence any of Weezer’s hit albums.
Ivy league bound
After playing "Beverly Hills," a song from their latest disc (done without Vinnie’s accompaniment), Rivers revealed that following Pinkerton, he lost all confidence in his writing ability. During this time, Rivers said he went to Harvard, where he majored in English. Rivers went on to say that a few years after that, the band’s manager got in touch with him to let him know that Pinkerton had turned into a huge smash among Weezer fans and that he should consider coming out of his semi-retirement.
Rivers recalled that shortly after that in 2000, the group was set to play at the Warped Tour, which was extremely nerve-wracking to him. However, Rivers remembered that as soon as the members of the band got off the bus for their first gig, they heard the crowd chanting their name. It was that adoration that got Rivers back to writing the way he used to. He went on to say that in February he will be returning to Harvard to complete his studies, so he can earn his degree.
Where the action really is
When Weezer got done playing "Hash Pipe," Howard noted that Rivers looked like he was transformed during the performance. Robin pointed out that she really liked the sound Rivers was making with his guitar. Howard then commented that he needs to start a band because of the way music turns girls on. Rivers wished Howard luck with his move to SIRIUS, and promised that once he got there they’d visit again and even let Howard sit in during one of their songs.
Getting the goods
Gary told Howard that before Weezer left, the members signed photos, a set list, a lyric sheet and the part of the CD booklet that had his name for his daughter. Robin brought up that not only did Howard have all that stuff to give to his daughter, but he could also show her, with the CD booklet, that he actually influenced the band when they made Pinkerton. Howard acknowledged that having his name on the cover art was cool, but added that it was so small no one in the world probably knew it existed until this morning.