What kind of crazy f____d up world do we live in where Howard Stern gets a better tribute than the Beatles? One in which Adam Levine does a spot-on rendition of "Purple Rain" and establishes his rock and roll bona fides overnight. I was planning on hearing this on the replay, but my flight was canceled by snow and I find myself...unable to stop listening. What a crazy world we live in. Wherein Howard hypes this low-rent celebration of his sixtieth birthday and the straight media completely ignores it and more celebrities turn out and reveal themselves than at the Golden Globes, the "gold standard" for celebrity looseness. But it's not surprising, when Howard specializes in extracting nuggets from others we're dying to know but are way too creeped out or afraid to ask. Like were your parents virgins when they married? That was one of the questions Mr. Stern put to his parents twenty years ago, it was featured in the replay of bashes past on his second channel, Howard 101. By putting it all out there himself, Howard has license to ask you... How much money you make. How frequently you have sex. Whether you're going to invite him to your wedding. That's what Howard asked Katie Couric. Who showed up with not only Whoopi Goldberg, but Barbara Walters. Along with Mariann from Brooklyn and so much of the rest of the Wack Pack. But not Eric the Midget/Actor. Don't know who he is? That's just the point. In the Stern world, Eric is a star, with more airtime than a movie star. We know Eric and his peculiarities intimately, whereas the celebrities the mainstream media promotes are airbrushed to the point where when TMZ reveals the tiniest blemish, everybody goes OOH! But we're all imperfect, we all have blemishes, we all fart. Otherwise, why would we click the linkbait of stars without their makeup? Jewel sang her rendition of Howard's adolescent composition, "Silver Nickels and Golden Dimes." And Train may have covered "I Feel The Earth Move" at the Carole King/Musicares tribute, but here the band performed what we really wanted to hear, its spot-on take of Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On." And unlike the Grammys, Bon Jovi sang his big hit, the soundtrack to "Deadliest Catch," "Wanted Dead Or Alive." John Mayer didn't utilize the occasion to promote a single, but covered Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone." Although hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman made an appearance, and revealed why he made up with Jay Leno. And at this late date, hours into the bash, a Google news search of "Howard Stern" reveals nothing other than the appearance of Chris Christie. But not tomorrow. Tomorrow this will be a big story. When the herd media decides to go on it, since they're interested in whatever stars do. But not Howard Stern. Because they don't want to consider him a star. Because he's not beautiful. He's not a great singer or actor. He's just like them. And that's why it's Howard Stern's time. You stay in the game long enough and your moment arrives. In the cacophonous world we inhabit you only rise to the top and sustain if you're constantly in the public eye, doing new things. And Howard's creating twelve hours of new material every week, at an insanely high level, since he's honed his craft for forty years. Yes, while music focuses on the barely pubescent, when it lauds Miley Cyrus, with songs written by old men, the truth is it's a long way to the top if you truly want to rock and roll. And listening to the free stream on my computer it's reminiscent of nothing so much as a 1970's FM simulcast. Real, but at a distance. I didn't think I needed to be there. But I was wrong. Packed with celebrities, John Fogerty is singing "Bad Moon Rising" right now, the show is fast-paced, but loose. There's none of the airiness or phoniness of network TV. But that's not hard to believe, because Howard Stern is the biggest star in America. And you either know it or you don't. He's America's Number One Interviewer. A bigger star than Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon and Conan O' Brien and David Letterman. Because he's got the audience. But you don't see the Sirius mindshare/listeners in the Nielsen reports. But that does not mean it's not real. What do they say, you judge a star's wattage by the fanaticism of its audience? Just read the tweets. This is bigger than the anniversary of the Beatles' appearance on Ed Sullivan. Because this ain't history, this ain't calcified, Howard Stern's Birthday Bash is life itself.