Well, I didn't win the Hit Me Baby One More
Time competition, but that's just as well. It
was a unique experience to say the least. I'm
glad I did it. Now that it's over I'd like to
share my thoughts.
First of all, I don't feel bad. I did the first
day, but I don't now. You have to understand
my personality; I play to win. I never play
just to play. In my life, and all the many endeavors
I've pursued, I never once expected to lose.
I play every game to win. It's just the way
That's the attitude I had in the 80's when I
was having hit records, and it's the same attitude
that drives me to write novels and drag my ass
out of bed at 4:00am to do my radio show every
day. I write every novel as if it were a number
one bestseller. It doesn't matter to me that
nobody else believes it; the important thing
is I believe it. Same thing with the radio show.
I do every show as if it were the last show
I'd ever do. Looked at through the prism of
my ego, it's either all great or it's all crap.
I can't tell. I just do it.
I live for the passion. Creative passion. You
need to understand that about me, whether I
play Monopoly or toss horseshoes, I always play
to win. Every professional athlete I have ever
known has the same attitude.
So, when the Hit Me Baby One More Time producer
came into my dressing room shortly after the
voting had been tabulated, and he told me Thelma
Houston won, it pissed me off. I felt like I
let down my charity and my fans, all of whom
were pulling for me. My charity, by the way,
was Operation Care and Comfort, the American
Red Cross. They send packages to the troops,
and let me tell you, those guys really appreciate
it. Operation Care and Comfort adopts military
units in Iraq and Afghanistan and sends them
a care package every month until they come home.
I get letters and emails all the time from the
recipients of those packages and it's a huge
boost to the men and women on the front lines
of the war on terror. I know from my father's
letters from WWII how much packages from home
can mean when you're thousands of miles away
and under hostile fire. The other great thing
about Operation Care and Comfort is, every penny
goes to the troops because they are all volunteers.
Every penny. So far, they've sent 107,000 pounds
over. That's a lot of beef jerky, handy wipes,
and dental floss!
Getting back to the show itself, I thought we
rocked. My plan was to feature the band, and
my son Ry. I knew if I gave him a guitar solo
at the end of Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, the
camera would find him. And it did. We had to
track Green Day's manager down to his hotel
room in London to get permission to do the song.
I figured that since we were one of the original
Berkeley bands, and since they're a Berkeley
band, we could foster a little civic pride.
I want to thank Green Day right here and now.
Those guys have a lot of soul and I really appreciate
the opportunity to do their song on network
All the guys preformed exceptionally well. Dave
Danza, Tim Gorman, Dennis Murphy, and Ry all
rose to the occasion. It was fun being a part
of something so big.
The show is taped on Wednesday night and broadcast
Thursday night. I woke up in L.A. on Thursday
morning knowing the outcome, but not being able
to tell anyone. I did my morning radio show
from L.A. that day, and I successfully kept
it under my hat. When I watched the broadcast
on Thursday night, and I got a chance to see
Thelma Houston, I can see why she won. That
woman can sing rings around me! It's hard to
tell from backstage, but once I saw the actual
broadcast, I realized that she won fair and
square. In fact, all the acts were great that
The next night we played a gig on the Boardwalk
in Santa Cruz. The place was packed as far as
the eye could see. We preformed the Green Day
song and really nailed it.
During the concert I mentioned that Julie DeMaria
from Operation Care and Comfort would be accepting
donations by the side of the stage and they
collected almost $6000 that night. Over the
next few days, many loyal listeners to the radio
show sent in money. One guy even donated $5000!
I figure we must be close to $20,000 at this
point, so it looks like we'll make our goal
anyway. Thanks to everyone who pitched in. It
just goes to show you, when people are in a
position to support the troops, they do. God
bless 'em all.
We'll be accepting donations at all the upcoming
gigs. If you're in the neighborhood, stop on
by. It looks like the Green Day song will stay
in the set for now.