When you get to their website, you have to fill all kinds of basic info and include a photo. I picked this one below. Who wouldn't want this smiling mid 40's overweight horn throwing Dio shirt wearing guy in the audience...it's basically what I see the audience filled with in every episode.
Well, this time the casting team must have felt the same way (or it's a totally random drawing and I just got lucky) and after years of me and my friends trying, I got an email about two weeks later saying I was chosen. Hell yeah! Watching the show on television it appears there's only 75 people in the audience. Three bleachers with five rows and five metalheads per row so I know it ain't easy to get tickets.
The email stated I could bring a max of two guests. Would have loved to have brought the whole crew who usually goes to our shows together, but narrowed it down to my buddies Kev and Marla.
Our reservations were for the third show of the season. The show films on Tuesdays and airs the following Saturday at 9pm and 11pm EST.
About a week before the first show of the season, it was announced Geddy Lee would be the guest on that first episode. At the time, they released a long list of guests that would be appearing this season, but not specific dates for each. I went on VH1 Classics schedule and saw the second episode would feature Anthrax, but the March schedule was not yet up, so it was still a myster who we'd get.
Last week it was posted that Dave Lombardo (best known as the amazing drummer for Slayer...currently promoting his new band Philm) would be the main interview and John 5 (fantastic guitarist of Rob Zombie's current band, Marilyn Manson and many others, including a solo band he is currently touring with) would be the musician on the mini stage between the bleachers. NICE! We were looking forward to it.
The reservation email gave the time and location of the studio on 106th street in Manhattan and basically said to dress in your best rocker wear, don't wear white and bring ID. No problemo...so there was only one thing to prep for...Stumping the Trunk!!!
Now if you're a regular reader of MostPeopleAreBlank (and why wouldn't you be?) you know a couple of weeks ago we went to a That Metal Show live show and I did indeed stump Mr. Trunk (here's the link to that review which included a live performance by Jackyl). Luckily my friends and I are full of mind bogglingly useless trivia, so we pretty much had the question we were each going to ask (if picked) ready.
Mine was going to be "Ozzy has appeared in two motion pictures where he does not play himself, name them." (The answer is all the way at the end of this post if you want to play the home version of "Stump The Trunk") I thought it a good question, not super obscure and I think one of the answers is really easy and the other maybe not so much...figured I'd have a decent shot at stumping and even if Eddie got it, it's a good trivia question.
So like I said, we had reservations for the third episode, so we got a chance to watch the first two which made us rethink our questions after viewing.
Geddy Lee of Rush was the guest on the first episode and when it came time for the stump segment, three audience members got to ask questions and all three questions were Rush questions. Now we figured probably at least double that got to ask in the live show and it was edited to these three, but would it be better to have a question specifically for the guest? We'd have to wait and watch the second episode. Oh yeah and instead of getting just a CD or DVD, the first person who stumped Eddie got a guitar!
Second episode featured Anthrax. Again three questions got aired (and it has to be said, all three were embarassingly easy...stuff even the most casual fan would know). The first two were about Anthrax and the third was the already infamous Eddie mishearing the question thinking it was about Rudy Sarzo's recording career with Quiet Riot as opposed to Randy Rhoads'. The gal who asked that, because Eddie misheard...also won a guitar!
Then right after the second episode, we found out the guests for our taping.
So out of six questions that made it to air, five were about that week's guest. I didn't know if John 5 would actually get to be part of the interview segments (he did) so I went with a Dave Lombardo question. I think at this point Eddie probably would have gotten it (so yeah, spoiler alert, I didn't get chosen to ask on air) but I was going to ask "Slayer has been nominated for the "Best Metal Performance" Grammy five times, but only won twice. What two songs did they win for?" Again answers are at the bottom if you want to guess.
I liked my Ozzy question better, but figured on a better shot of being picked with the Slayer question. Well it turns out I was able to submit both.
The night before the show I get a reminder email and it has a page attached to fill out your Stump The Trump questions which you hand in after check in. It allows you to submit two questions. They also ask you to also put the source of your answer and state that Wikipedia is not considered a valid source.
So I fill out mine. Kev fills out his. Marla is not about the trivia.
So now it's Tuesday March 3. Email says to be there at 4:30pm. Says admission is first come first serve and that it's always good to be early because they do slightly overbook to account for no shows, but said it's rare they ever turn anyone away.
This winter has sucked big time and the weather was supposed to be shit that afternoon into evening, but we weren't missing this, so we drive down and get to the area of the building with the studio in it right about 3:00pm. The streets of NYC are crap...just tons of snow and slush everywhere and right about 3:00, the snow showers started. Also school was just letting out, so it took about a half hour of slowing following buses, avoiding kids and driving around to find a parking spot (we couldn't find a damn parking lot anywhere) on the street about 5 blocks away. Cool.
We get to the building and see a metal looking couple outside and give the knowing nod. At this point snow is coming down pretty steady and it's 3:30pm. We walk in to get the lay of the land and the guy inside the door tells us to take the elevator to the second floor where they tape, but then his boss hears him and comes out and says "These are audience members...don't let them go there yet" and tells us we have to wait until 4:30 at which point they'll let everyone in. He said the audience lines up along the side of the building and we can't wait inside because it's an office building and not just the studio. No big deal.
We go outside and start chatting with the couple who are cool and it was the guy's 47th Birthday. So we're the first five people on line...we talk for about 15 min when this dude and his wife or girlfriend show up. He would become know to us as Big Hair McGillicuddy since we didn't catch his name and his hair helmet was a thing of wonder.
So everything has been cool with the five of us. We're getting some snow on us and it's a bit cold, but just 45 more minutes til we go in. Ole Big comes up and he's one of those guys who you can just tell is going to fuck things up.
We let him in on the scoop that you can't wait inside and he's not one to stand in line behind us...which at this point is fine...it's only seven of us...but where he stands is right in front of the doors to the building...like 6 inches from them...and in five minutes time at least three people leaving the building can't easily get out without telling him to move. Then we see him tell his girl to come with him and they go inside. We see them talk with the guy from the building for a few minutes...then we see them come out with the guy from the building who already told us before it was cool to lineup down the side, but now tells us we all have to leave and come back at 4:30 that we can't wait there. Fuckin' Big Hair asshole! I guess it wouldn't be a metal crowd without a few of them.
Well it was cold anyway so we decide to split and come back at 4:15 figuring on this day they aren't going to get an overflow crowd. The five of us find a bar about two blocks away and go in and there's six other guys already there who are also going to the taping. Nice.
We have a beer, chat, share concert stories and head back at 4:15
Probably 20 people lined up at this point. We get in line and I gotta commend the That Metal Show Staff...they have this thing down smooth as hell and all super nice folks.
So there's the Gotham Casting list which most of us are on. Then there's a guest list. If you're on the Gotham Casting list, they check you off the list and give you won of these black wristbands to wear. If on the other much shorter list you get a silver wristband.
You go in, get wanded by a metal detector and walk down a flight of stairs to a waiting room that feels like a place where you would have a small high school assembly.
There's about 6 rows of seats with maybe 15 chairs per row. They have a coat check too. We grab some seats and it's maybe 4:35. There's a bathroom right across the hall and a vending machine in the room with snacks, but no water fountain and no soda/water machine. If you get tix, you might want to bring a drink if you're the thirsty sort.
The vibe in the room is cool. Everyone knows they're lucky to have gotten tickets and as I said, everyone who works for the show is friendly. If by chance you didn't get the stump the trump printout, they have some and you can fill it out there.
They then asked us to hand in our question sheets by around 5 so they can pick the ones they want for the show (and verify the answers). Well holy shit...there were A LOT of questions.
I wonder if there's usually this many handed in. My gut feeling is with giving away the guitars the past two weeks that EVERYONE was going for it. Cause people kept talking about how they'd love a John 5 guitar.
I'm not going to give away any questions that were asked on the show or any specifics of the interviews in this blog. I might do a followup after I see how the show is edited if something cool didn't make the cut, but I'm gonna say this...some of the questions really sucked. There's a difference between trivia and who gives a shit facts. ie (okay I'm going to say this one question) "What city and state was John 5 born in?" Are you fucking kidding me? And that gets pulled to be asked on air? Oh well...maybe just sour grapes that our questions didn't get asked...By the way, Eddie kicked ass this week with only one question stumping him, although he quickly got it on second try and it was so ridiculous, he should have gotten credit. That person who asked it did get a prize, but not a guitar.
So you're in the waiting room for about an hour and at about a quarter to six or so they first ask for the people with silver wristbands to come forward (maybe ten of them) and then count off starting in the first row until they get 20 people total. They walk them up two flights of stairs to the actual studio 20 at a time and seat them evenly across the three bleacher sections.
As stated about, the studio can fit 75 people in the bleachers and actually here's a photo Eddie posted on Twitter (@EddieTrunk) of the setup. (Follow us @MostPeopleBlank)
Next to the bleacher we're sitting in there's an additional 10 or 15 seats as well. So looks like 90 is the max for any taping.
Once everyone is seated, they film all the audience reactions up front to be used during the show. For example they say "Everyone give a standing ovation like a guest is walking in", "now everyone laugh like you heard a great joke", "now everyone look interested while staring at the seat where Eddie would sit." So yeah...this saturday we'll be glued to the tv freeze framing all the audience shots looking to see if we made it on air. If you see me laughing my ass off at something that's not funny...well now you know why. During the "look interested" shot I did one my pensive thoughtful goatee strokes. I do hope that makes the air and it will really add a nice dimension to what is being said I'm sure.
The filming is about 2 hours and there's substantially more content than can make the show. They also had to cut the interview at one point because someone laid a heavy hand on the smoke machine and they cut and let it clear out before continuing. Both Dave and John are great guests. Very entertaining and John 5's guitar breaks are amazing (and wait til you see his lava lamp guitar towards the end!)
Again I'll post more after watching the show if some of the more interesting stuff they talked about gets cut. Later in the show they did the Metal Modem segment and interviewed Motorhead via Skype from a recording studio. The best part of that was Lemmy's quips while they had some technical difficulties in setup. Damn how cool would it have been to have had Motorhead in studio...but still nice they were on the show and the screen they projected the Skype video on was right above my head...it was as if Lemmy could have spilled his drink on me at any moment and I would have been honored.
The show then "ended." But they do about another five minutes of interviews for "That After Show" which can be viewed online. They then did some promos and that was it. Here's a production sheet one of the staff gave me with a run down of the show once edited. Looks like they're going to put a bit of a Joe Elliott in this week's episode as well from when he made the surprise appearance on the first episode of the season. You can click on this or any photo to supe rsize it.
We were wondering if there would be a meet and greet or not and there was which was great. Don, Jim, Eddie and Dave all hung around and took pics with everyone. John cut out and we thought we missed our opportunity to meet him, but we hung back and just before they got the last of the audience out of the studio, he came back out on set and we got pics with him too.
Speaking of photos with the stars...Here's me and Dave and me and John 5...then there's me and Jim...ugh...
The ugh is nothing against Jim. I think Jim is one of the funniest guys around and you really need to be listening to his Comedy Metal Midgets podcast (free on itunes), but this was taken just as security was really trying to get the last of us out the door and Marla and Kev I think were chatting with Eddie on the other side of the room so I had to take the photo myself which as you can see...I suck at. Look at the happy go lucky fella above with the rock stars...then look at Jim in this photo..total professional cool pose...then look at me...holy shit...
I can't quite put my finger on what's wrong with my face because I think the answer is everything...sorta not looking in the right direction, head turn a bit skew...but worst of all is my mouth...that weird sort of uneven with my teeth slightly exposed on half of my mouth...I can't replicate it if I try...oh well...If I ever break the law and it's newsworthy...this will surely be the shot used in all broadcasts...
Overall it was a blast. Who knows if I'll ever be able to score tickets again, but I hope so and if you score tix, hope some of the above helps you plan. We were outside at 8:30pm on the dot.
It was sleeting and the five block walk to the care had us soaked. Then a nightmare ride home up the Taconic Parkway where some asshole who doesn't know how to drive in bad weather had a mile of cars backed up behind him going 25 miles an hour and riding in the middle of the road not letting anyone pass. I had left my house at noon and got home at 1am. Work today was a bit rough as the day went on, but all worth it.
Answers: Ozzy was in Trick or Treat (starring Skippy from Family Ties) and played the band manager in "The Jerky Boys".
Slayer was nominated 5 times but won for "Eyes of the Insane" and "Final Six"
Eddie...if by chance you read this blog...would either of these have stumped you?
That's it. Hope you dug it. Go to the MostPeopleAreBlank Facebook page by clicking here and like us to keep up to date on all future posts. Also feel free to comment, email etc. Thanks for reading, Rock on and Enjoy - Paul