Dennis : In my many years of marching the proverbial celebrity starwalk, I’ve come to know a bit about rock ‘n roll stardom. Back in the days when Marion Barry was still experimenting with dry Kool-Aid, it seemed like great recordings hit the market faster than Bill Clinton could toke up to the new sounds and sleep with JFK’s interns… Remember the days when the sounds of the British invasion were more powerful than Alexander the Great on PCP? Remember the Beatles? The Stones? Those days are over, baby. Nowadays a good record on the Billboard charts is about as hard to find as the "no-alcohol" closet in Ted Kennedy’s house on the Cape. Seems to me "The Wallflowers" and "No Doubt" are about as exciting as hearing Janet Reno doing a dramatic reading of the Rosetta Stone in the original Latin while under sedation in a dark room with nothing else to excite you, baby.
Now I don’t mean to get off on a rant here, but it seems like the number of days we’ve had to wait since a truly great album hit the shelves is greater than the square of the total number of needles on cacti in the Sahara times the total width in inches of the largest canyon on Deimos, moon of Mars, named for one of the chariot horses of the Roman god of war, for which the planet it encircles was named, times the number of jokes I’ve ever made about Ted Kennedy being a god damned DRUNK convolved with a linearization of the vector representing the frequency of occurrences of Henry David Thoreau being dead relative to the year 19 fuckin’ 63.
Fortunately, that’s all about to become as historical as Rick Springfield’s career. I’m here at Geffen studios in L.A. – where you’re about as likely to find Margaret Thatcher as you are to find Henry David Thoreau because he’s been FUCKING DEAD SINCE THE 19th CENTURY - with Dan "The Cobbler" Morris, who is negotiating with Geffen records to finalize production on One Stint a Time : The Very Best of Stinter 1968-1998. Even if we’ve heard some of this stuff before, the impact of this album on the modern music industry is going to be about as magical as the magic David Copperfield pulled when he started sleeping with Claudia Schiffer. I mean what kind of lessons did Jason Alexander of Seinfeld give that guy? That relationship is about as likely as…
The Cobbler : Dennis, I really think I’ve completely lost touch with what you’re talking about.
Dennis : Sorry... I always get real hopped up on crystal meth before I have to make jokes. Sometimes I lose control. Tell me about what brought you out of retirement after all these years to make this record…
The Cobbler : Well, it felt like the right time. For the first five years of our celebrity lives we were really in it for the love of the music, then from about 1975-80 we were just in it for the money, but even that ran out and we were just in it because that’s sort of what we do. Right when Stinter Coast to Coast came out in '90 we realized that this wasn’t the way to live, and we went on to other things. Felix and I went back to school, James went on to sing for Van Halen for a while, and Jon decided to finish his adolescent development. Being away from the stage for a while makes you realize what really brought us there in the first place. You really miss the fans, you know? And so we’re a little too busy to take the creative process from scratch these days, but we thought it was time to give something back. A free online hits collection seemed like the best way to go.
Dennis : That’s great. So what do you think about Ted Kennedy being a god damned DRUNK?!
The Cobbler : Ummm… I guess it’s unfortunate… but what does that have to do with the new album?
Dennis : Oh… yea… sorry. I always carbo-load before interviews and sometimes I get carried away. So are we going to hearing any new stuff on this disc?
The Cobbler : Yea, sure. Felix put a song together for his girlfriend, and we got that together a few weeks ago. The piano is something new that we never really worked with way back when.
Dennis : But Jon doesn’t play on that one… it’s just the three of you.
The Cobbler : Yea we tried to find Jon… it seems he joined the Merchant Marine and sailed for the Congo. He heard rumors that the Congo isn’t actually land-locked, and that Punky Brewster is still on the air there. Anyway there’s also a track that I did. It’s a little heavier in lyric than the stuff we usually do, but I was pretty broken up after I heard Vince Neil left Motley Crüe, and stuff like that just came out. There’s also a cut of the "alternate ending" to Ogden House. We were going to use that as a B-side when the Tent single came out, but there was some copyright bullshit with McDonald’s. We were pretty easily bought out with fast-food gift certificates back then.
Rick Springfield : I’m sorry to interrupt… I think I left my career around here somewhere… you guys know anything? Carrying around this "Will sing Jesse’s Girl for cocaine" sign is killing my arms.
[security removes Rick Springfield]
Dennis : Good to hear you guys are still making the music… we all thought your creative drought was getting about as long as the Jurassic era and about as painful for us fans as being trapped in a closet with Kathy Lee Gifford while saturated hydrofluoric acid drips from the ceiling through the holes created by the giant drills that are pressing down on our heads.
[silence for a while]
Dennis : So, any chance you guys will be touring to promote this one? I can still remember some crazy times back at your ’71 shows when you used to throw free grits to the crowd. Fuck, I think Ted Kennedy used to go to your shows just to soak up liquor with the grits and snort them.
The Cobbler : Yea… I heard that worked a lot better with the corn-based grits than the wheat-based ones, whereas the wheat-based ones worked better with eggs, but we were never really into that stuff. I mean the drugs or the grits. Stuff got pretty crazy out there at some of those shows… that wasn’t really what we were about, you know? The last couple years we’ve been trying to play smaller places to keep the wild shit down. Teen clubs, public functions, elementary schools, elderly Republican town meetings… that sort of thing. We also like to just show up places with our acoustics sometimes, wherever the younger generation is… they need some real rock roots kinda stuff to latch onto. Yea, we still play together, and we’ll be around. But I think the stadiums are for a Stinter gone by…
Dennis : We’ll always have Toon-Town, baby. [Dennis pauses to chuckle at his own completely undecipherable humor.] Before we wrap this up, I have a guest on the line I thought might be a good "blast from the past" for you… hey man, can you hear us out there?
Voice on the line : mmmrrrrroooopppp… mescaline… mmmmooooooppppphhhhhh… angel dust… me and Mick used to ggggggggrrrrrr… full-body blood transfusions… hooooooohhhhhhhhh. Scattered all over Manhattan… Gotta find my tttttqqqq!!!
The Cobbler : Nice talking to you, Keith. Like old times.
Dennis : Man, that guy’s about as fucked up as Keith Richards calling a talk show, talking about drugs and reminiscing about what he and Mick used to do. Ah, at least he’s still got "the big egg." [laughs]
The Cobbler : Dennis, normally I’m okay with just letting your jokes fly over my head, but I really want to know what "the big egg" refers to. I used to hang with Keith, and I think I’m a fairly intelligent individual, but I just don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
Dennis : Truth is… I make it all up. It’s completely meaningless name-dropping. My jokes have about the same foundation as Janet Reno selling RJR-Nabisco cigarettes to Monica Lewinsky on Ted Danson’s birthday. So anyway we’re about out of time, here. I gotta let you get back to work…
The Cobbler : Yea, the fans are waiting. Thanks for having me on.
Dennis : That’s what the show’s all about. Fans, this is one of those defining moments in modern culture. They worked the magic once, and they’ll do it again. A few weeks from now, the empty eight years since Stinter Coast to Coast will be about as memorable as the female lead in Howard the Duck who sang the "Howard the Duck" theme with her poofy 80’s hair at the end. So welcome Stinter back to the scene. The new album is One Stint at a Time. I feel like it’s gonna be another great ride. But that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.
Bill Maher : Dennis, our shows are very similar but mine is on network television every night and you’re on cable once a week. How did it make you feel when SNL replaced you with Kevin Nealon?
Dennis : You can actually kiss my ass, Bill. You only wish you understood my humor.