VH1's Don Jameison Talks Hookers & Blow
by Tommy Rage
Don Jamieson Talks Hookers & Blow
Television never embraced metal music, let alone for such an extensive period of time. From 2008 to 2015, VH1’s ‘That Metal Show’ brought the metal horns to rock fans all over the world. Former co-host Don Jamieson headlines as comedian and MC at the Back Bar on January 26 when Hookers & Blow rocks Janesville (). “Hookers & Blow” is compiled of Quiet Riot guitarists Alex Grossi (2004-2017), Guns N’Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed (1990-2016), Johnny Kelly (drums) from Danzig, and Chip Z’Nuff (bass) from Enuff Z’Nuff. Don Jamieson shares what it’s like to deal with a drunk Marilyn Manson, being on tour with “Hookers & Blow” and his favorite ‘fan-boy’ souvenir.
Maximum Ink (MI): “Hookers & Blow”, can you think of a better name for a band?
Don Jamieson (DJ): What’s even better about the name is that we are traveling on a bus with the name blaz’n across the side with the logo cut out like lines of cocaine. We’ve been pulled over about 49 times already on this tour. We should have put “Just pull us over” on the side and saved time. The show is a big party. There’s gunna be music & comedy from a great group of dudes.
(MI): How did you hook up?
(DJ): I’ve known Dizzy Reed (Guns N’Roses) for about 15 years, so when Guns N’ Roses took a break; we thought we should join forces. A big part of my act is comedy about music and bands.
(MI): You also tour as a headlining comedian (). Which is easier to poke fun of: rock stars or metal fans?
(DJ): I talk about all of it. I come from New Jersey, so I bust the chops of bands I love: Kiss, Motley Crue, Ozzy and Metallica. The metal fan is THE most loyal fan in the world, I got nothing but love for the metal fans because I’m one of them. I had a mullet and a $300 car with a $800 stereo once too.
(MI): You co-hosted VH1’s ‘That Metal Show’ for over 10 years. Which artist was the biggest surprise or you remember the most?
(DJ): For me, it was Yngwie Malmsteen. He has such a reputation of being difficult. But he was an early supporter of our show and he did our show 3 or 4 times and it was great each time. I hate to ruin the guys street-cred, but he was always super nice to us. A part of me wanted him to snap and ruin the set to get good ratings, but he was always great and even played on the show. Marylin Mason, however, was just intense intoxication. He walked in at 11:00 a.m. drinking absinthe right out of the bottle. We knew it was going to be a challenge, I was grateful to have 2 other co-hosts. It was like trying to babysit a 5-year-old kid who didn’t take their Ritalin [laughter].
(MI): Ever get “fan-boy” about the guests?
(DJ): When I was at the DownLoad Festival in Europe I got to meet Steve Harris’s (Iron Maiden) daughter, Lauren, who has her own band. I proposed to her, but the best I got out of it was she used my lip balm and signed it for me [laughter].
(MI): A lot of bands are winding down, Slayer even announced its their final tour in 2018. Is it sad to some of the bands we grew up with call it quits?
(DJ): It’s funny, the ‘farewell-tour’ just go on-and-on until the money stops. The farewell tour could go on for a decade. The Scorpions have been on their farewell tour for 8 years now. [laughter]. I’ll be more nervous when its really coming to a close.
(MI): “Hookers & Blow” however, are veteran musicians who aren’t about to stop any time soon.
(DJ): The guys in the band all love each other, and the vibe on the bus & tour are great. I bunk under Chip from Enuff Z’Nuff who is a major character and one of the nicest humans I know, and one of the most “stony” guys on the planet. I get a contact high every night when I go to bed.
(MI): You won an Emmy for your work on HBO’s “Inside The NFL”, and a Billboard Top 20 comedy album “Live & Hilarious” () which is on a metal label, which is uncommon.
(DJ): I love putting my album out on Metal Blade Records. It’s the same label that puts out Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under, so I’m pretty sure they aren’t gunna ask me to tone down my act.
(MI): On ‘That Metal Show’ you guys would do a top 5 list. Tell me your top 5 bands we should be listening to now?
(DJ): The Black Star Riders put out a fantastic album in 2017, Cheap Trick put out an unbelievable album, and even Alice Cooper is 69 years old and he can still kick anyone’s ass who is half his age. Some newer bands like King, Crobot and Halestorm are putting out a new album which I’m looking forward to. I always try to discover new stuff and keep my ear to the street. It’s going to be a great year for metal.
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