Tim Russ Loses Stern's Battle Of The BandsBy Christian
August 19, 2000 - 12:54 AM
Today finally was the big day we've been reporting on for a few weeks already, as today Tim Russ (Tuvok) appeared on the Howard Stern show for the 'Battle of the Bands' contest.
On the show, Stern had been practicing for a few days already with his band the Losers. They'd picked Donovan's 'Hurdy Gurdy Man', and on Wednesday Stern played a tape from their rehearsals the day before. According to him, they weren't good, but they were better than Tim Russ's band.
Yesterday the band again rehearsed, this time live on air. The band was made up of sound-effects supervisor Fred Eric Norris on lead guitar, stand-up comic Jackie Martling on rhytm guitar, Stuttering John Melendez on bass and engineer Scott Salem on drums, while Stern himself of course did the vocals. Many people who called in to comment on the rehearsal apparently said it sounded very good.
This morning, things didn't start nearly as well. The settings for all the instruments were changed, and the pre-show rehearsal didn't sound nearly as good as the day before. Much of the early morning was spent by the band members venting their frustrations.
At 8:20, all of the judges and Tim Russ himself were brought in. The judge panel consisted of Steve Stauff, Executive Vice President of Interscope records, Tom Calderon, Senior Vice President of talent and music at MTV, and Jason Flom, president of Atlantic Records' Lava label. After introducing the judges, Stern talked a bit with Russ, who was confident his band would beat the Losers, who were going to "sink like a Russian sub".
After this, the Losers started to play, and immediately ran into trouble. There was a nasty buzz coming from somewhere, and the band had to start over. When they had the same problem, Stern decided to first have a commercial break.
After the break, the Losers finally made their performance, and it apparently sounded as good as the band could possibly sound. Several phone callers also though the performance was surprisingly good.
Fortunately for Russ, his own performance of 'Money Talks', from his new CD, also sound quite well, but Stern decided to let the three judges decide on that. Flom started out, saying he had to pick the Losers as the winner, also saying that Russ and his band looked like they could have been "a wedding band in the Truman era." Stauff was up next, and he also picked the Losers, complimenting them on their costume. Finally, Calderon came on, and he said that while Russ's band sounded 'tight' their costumes were tough, and also picked the Losers.
Upon hearing the judgement, Russ challenged Stern for a rematch on the west coast with his own judges, and Stern told him "any time!". Russ also said Stern should take part in an episode of 'Voyager', a series which Stern has said in the past and again today he really enjoys. Finally, Russ talked a bit about Trek conventions, 'Galaxy Quest' and autograph signing before leaving the show.