Stern Show Unauthorized Howard Stern Biography

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by Benjamen, Jan 25, 2015.

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  1. Benjamen

    Benjamen Well-Known Member

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    I just read Howard Stern: King of All Media, a 1996 biography written by Paul D. Colford, a former radio columnist for Newsday. Although Howard was consistently accessible during the author's eight years at Newsday, he would not cooperate with the making of this book, and instructed Ben Stern, Mel Karmazin, and a handful of others to remain silent as well. But plenty of Howard's old colleagues did participate, and their interviews along with the author's thorough and extensive research are the foundation of this respectful and sometimes revealing biography. Here are some highlights (PART 1 of 2).

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    ON REVISING ROOSEVELT

    "Howard exercises comedic license about Roosevelt, describing a more menacing level of decline in his immediate neighborhood than was supported by the facts."

    In a 1983 interview with Newsday, Howard said, "It was a very tough time. Blacks were really finding their own identity, their own music -- I was into the Beatles, I had fights -- but it wasn't so much with the black kids as with lower-class white kids. ... Yet it was definitely a good experience."

    "In the 1990s, he embellished his descriptions of Roosevelt, no doubt for theatrical effect, so that his nastier recollections were studded with details of black-on-white menace and a weakling's fears. At times he claimed to have been the only white kid in a black neighborhood -- an exaggeration that his own mother scoffed at -- and he belabored memories of his early teen years, declaring that he had been repeatedly intimidated and assaulted in junior high school by tough black students. These far more dramatic tales replaced his 1983 claim that most of his fights had been with 'lower-class white kids.'"

    "Black families who moved into the Conlon Road [Howard's street] area were further confused [by the white flight of some of Howard's neighbors] because they themselves -- an accountant, a policeman, a doctor, a teacher -- were as middle class as, or perhaps even more prosperous than, the white who were selling and fleeing. Although the immediate neighborhood's racial makeup changed dramatically, it remained a well-kept and relatively tranquil enclave amid deterioration. It did not become a slum, as the sellers of the 1960s feared."


    ON HOWARD STERN, THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARS

    In 1969, Howard's family moved to Rockville Center. His new neighborhood was rated a high-income area by Cole's Directory, a published sales reference that based its annual assessments on U.S. Census data.

    "It's the belief of some students who went to South Side with Howard that he has exaggerated for radio purposes the slights and follies that he claimed to have experienced in high school. A fellow graduate says, 'Those of us who remember Howard, we scratch our heads at some of his stories.' Only the few close friends that Howard made during his three years at South Side seemed to remember him at all."

    About his new high school, Howard later told an interviewer, "I went to a school with all the blond hair and blue eyes, and I was very freaked out."

    "Howard and his friends recognized that Jewish girls would date non-Jewish boys, but Jewish boys did not draw much attention from non-Jewish girls."

    Only fourteen blacks were pictures in the yearbook among more than three hundred students in Howard's class.

    On at least one occasion, Howard was observed showering in his underwear after gym class.

    Howard's nickname was Gunkard or the Big Gunk
    "We called him 'Gunkard,' or 'the Big Gunk,' because he was so big and gunky. He didn't like the name."


    ON THE COLLEGE YEARS

    "You have to understand how ugly Howard was," says classmate Kevin Goldman. "Take away that long, flowing hair that he now has and give him real scraggly hair and a geeky mustache. He was really unattractive."

    Ellen Fuchman, a crush of Howard's, says about his hair at the time, "It wasn't just long, it was the thinnest, most unruly long hair you ever saw. He sometimes stuffed his locks into a hairnet before going to bed at night."

    The 20-year-old camp counselor Howard "had a ritual of 'phallicizing,'" according to camper Kary D. Preston. "He'd pick out things that looked like a penis, such as a cucumber or even a jet airplane. He'd never really grown up, if you asked me."


    HOWARD'S EARLY DAYS IN RADIO

    Howard was not a rocker.

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    As program director at WRNW, he steered the station toward softer rock. The hard sounds of the Who and the Rolling Stones were all but eliminated by Howard, who pushed Seals and Croft, Carole King and other singer-songwriters. Howard himself has said that he did not care about the music.

    "Long accustomed to bending his six-foot-five height through doorways, a giant among smaller people, he took advantage of WRNW's cramped quarters by reaching out and pinching other men's nipples when they had to squeeze past him in tight spaces."


    HARTFORD

    Once he moved to WCCC, He was always on the phone to the local TV stations and the newspaper reporters to apprise the media of his antics. "He was the world's best self-promoter."



    DETROIT

    Howard was a fake rocker.

    Speaking to WXYZ-TV six months into his stay, he sounded exuberant about the rock scene. "On any given weekend you don't have one or two major acts, sometimes you have three major acts in an area, plus you have the local clubs that are supporting bands that are terrific. There's so much music, so much excitement, I can't handle it. After milk and cookies, I should be in bed at night, but I'm out, you know, cruising the clubs and finding out what's going on."

    But Howard tended to limit his cruising to those events he was obligated to attend on behalf of WWWW. "He looked like he fit in with the rock-and-roll crowd, but he didn't."

    When Howard left for DC-101, he had a party in the suburbs. "It was a sedate gathering mainly of the conservatively dressed people who were Howard's real friends in the area. Those rock-and-roll station mates who customarily arrived for a bash no earlier than 10:30 or 11 P.M. walked into a party that was breaking up. Entertainment was provided by a magician -- geez, how square, the rockers snickered."

    DC
    "Howard had the cover photo of his comedy album retouched so that the leather-suited 'Howeird,' his whip brandished over the head of a cowering old woman, did not look so thick in the butt and thighs."

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    In negotiating his move to New York radio, the executive hiring Howard made it clear that NBC was interested in Howard alone. "No insult intended, but I don't know who Fred Norris is," he told the Post. "We have had no discussion at NBC about the potential value of Robin Quivers."

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  2. Benjamen

    Benjamen Well-Known Member

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    (Part 2 of 2)

    EARLY INFLUENCES


    BOB GRANT
    Howard always admired the well-read, talk-radio wild man. Grant recalled being approached at a public appearance by Ben Stern, who introduced Howard and said that his son wanted to go into radio. In a 1985 interview with Larry King, Howard was asked what broadcast personality he likes. "I've always admired Bob Grant," Howard answered.

    Bob Grant was shouting, "Get off my phone!" at callers back in 1970. In 1973, an elderly woman scolded Grant on the air for something he said. Grant responded, "You come down here and I'll knock your nose right down your throat, do you understand that?"

    Howard later said Bob Grant learned how to do radio "at my feet."


    ALEX BENNET
    Besides's Bennet's candor, his just-say-it approach to a show, and his periodic displays of emotional vulnerability, there were other elements from his broadcasts that fans continued to recognize as Howard established himself at WNBC. Bennett griped on the air that he had to "get out of this business," saying, "I'm going to quit next year."

    "Howard said to me, 'I want to interview you because I used to listen to you when I was growing up and you were my inspiration.' Later, Howard runs around and starts saying to everybody, 'Hey, everybody's ripping me off. Alex Bennett rips me off.'"


    STEVE DAHL
    Howard used to listen to tapes of Steve Dahl -- a wild and crazy Chicago DJ one year younger than Howard -- with overnight DJ Hal "Lich" Lichenbaum. "He didn't say much about them, but looking back, you can tell that Dahl was the catalyst for what Howard later ended up doing ... I know Howard would never admit that, but he took what Steve Dahl was doing and took it to the next dimension."

    When his station went country, the other Detroit stations showed no serious interest in hiring him. "I thought Stern was trying to copy Dahl," said Al Wilson, then the general manager of WABX, the local outlet for Dahl's program. After Howard said at a party that he and Wilson should work together, Wilson said to his wife, "This guy is not hot."

    SOUPY SALES
    Howard turned on his boyhood hero because of Howard's increasing jealousy over the treatment Soupy received at NBC -- especially when Soupy's show was nationally syndicated. But he never actually cut Soupy's piano wires.

    "At this point, as Howard claimed that afternoon and since, he started to cut wires -- four in all. Indeed, to anyone hearing the episode on the radio, it sounded as if Howard really was slicing the wires, especially when he said he was tapping an affected key and producing nothing more than a thunk.

    "Despite Howard's boasts that he had damaged the piano, it never happened. He declined to admit it publicly, but he had stuffed paper under the hammers to produce the muffled notes that sounded so convincing to listeners. Once the paper was removed, the piano worked perfectly."

    Years later, after both men had left NBC, the two crossed paths. Howard was very friendly and said he didn't even know why he was so upset when the two worked together. However, on the radio Howard described the encounter in an insulting manner, adding that Soupy looked old and frail. "He was the same old prick he always was. He insulted me on the radio show. It was a lack of class, but everyone knew that Howard lacked class."



    ON HOWARD'S UNAIRED FOX PILOT

    Described as painfully slow and often witless. One top Fox executive was quoted as saying, "The truth is, they were boring."

    Although Howard complained daily on his show that "the wimps at Fox really wimped out," shelving the pilots before they suffered a ratings death may have been the best thing that ever happened to Howard's career.


    ON HOWARD'S CHANNEL 9 SHOW


    Even though the show attracted high ratings, the cost to produce it exceeded the revenue. For that reason, it was cancelled in 1992. On the same day of the announcement that WWOR had pulled the plug, Don Buchwald put his own spin on the cancellation: Howard had quit -- in order to make movies.

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    ON PRIVATE PARTS

    After the Fartman movie deal fell through, Buchwald said to a reporter in an unguarded moment, "There was a perception that he had taken a hit. So we thought of the book as something that would both produce income and suggest to people that Howard had economic clout.

    Rush Limbaugh's book had been the stunning best-seller of the fall of 1992. Howard was loath to admit it, but Rush's success opened the door to the publishing market for Howard.


    QUICK FACTS

    Fred Norris's real name is Fred Nukis

    Jackie's real name is John C. Martling

    FIRST YEAR AT K-ROCK SALARIES (in 1985 dollars)
    Howard: Most likely $500,000
    Robin (incorporated as R.O.Q. Inc. and represented by Buchwald) $100,000 for the first year and $150,000 for the next
    Fred: $85,000 for the first year, and $105,000 for the second
    Gary: $27,000
    Jackie (in 1987): $78,000 ($27,000 less than Fred; $72,000 less than Robin)
    • Howard personally pocketed as much as $4 million for his 1993 pay-per-view special
    • He earned about $3.5 million from Private Parts hardcover sales alone
    • He earned about $1.5 million a year for his daily E! show
    • He was given a $3 million advance for Miss America. Combined with his K-Rock paycheck and all the money he made from syndication, he earned approximately $12.5 million in 1995


    Unfortunately, this book ends four years before Howard's divorce, and therefore paints him throughout as a devoted family man. I'd love to read a sequel that picks up where this one left off.


    * * *

    This is an installment in my 2015 Fact-Finding Mission series.


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    Howard Stern's Sirius Promises: 10 Years Later
    Private Parts the Book: 20+ Years Later
    Miss America the Book: 20 Years Later
    Book: Howard Stern A to Z
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
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  3. Beth Eats Hay

    Beth Eats Hay Well-Known Member

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    Here is the cliff notes version:

    Greedy Howie Stern is a fucking liar.........
     
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  4. Vinegarette

    Vinegarette Don't Believe What You Hear

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    Ellen Fuchman, a crush of Howard's, says about his hair at the time, "It wasn't just long, it was the thinnest, most unruly long hair you ever saw. He sometimes stuffed his locks into a hairnet before going to bed at night."
     
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  5. SalsMasterShake

    SalsMasterShake Mouthpiece VIP

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    Great post @Benjamen! We speak your name!

    Any idea where the author, Paul D. Colford, is now?

    I used to listen to Howard fairly religiously back in the late 90s, but I don't remember him ranting about this book at all.

    I hope Colford didn't get clandestinely fucked with, although I have a bad feeling that he did! :chair:
     
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  6. Nemo

    Nemo Beer Can Thick Gold

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  7. Benjamen

    Benjamen Well-Known Member

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    I don't recall Howard ever acknowledging this book. I don't think he wanted to bring any attention to the salary stuff, which he guards so secretly.

    By the way, the book also points out that Howard did not need to disclose his salary to run for governor -- which he has long cited as his reason for dropping out. He merely had to check a box that said "Over $250,000." Nobody would have been surprised to learn that he earned over $250,000 a year.
     
  8. Nemo

    Nemo Beer Can Thick Gold

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    Years ago over at SFN some dude posted audio clips of Steve Dahl doing Sterns signature bits years before Howard invented them.....:jj:

    Howard Allan Stern is the greatest con man EVER!
     
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  9. HorseFanNetwork

    HorseFanNetwork Well-Known Member

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    At this point the Shed should write its own unauthorized wig biography seeing that the truth itself does not exist.
     
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  10. SalsMasterShake

    SalsMasterShake Mouthpiece VIP

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    Whew! I'm just glad to know the guy is above-ground!

    I did a quick Google search and saw that he's only done 2 books, one on Limbaugh in '93 and Howard in '96.

    Maybe some of our more adventurous Shedders will hit him up on Twitter for a new edition on the wigged fraud!
     
  11. Samurai

    Samurai Well-Known Member VIP

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    Meh, I wouldn't worry too much. Howard always greatly exaggerated his ability to "fuck with" people outside the company.
     
  12. Honkey Donkey

    Honkey Donkey Well-Known Member

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    I have this book. When it came out he never mentioned it at all . I think he wished it would go away. The book is good though .
     
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  13. Honkey Donkey

    Honkey Donkey Well-Known Member

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    now that would be a big seller
     
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  14. Ta Ta Toothy

    Ta Ta Toothy Well-Known Member

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    As always Benjamen, fascinating read and a A+ post.
     
  15. ilovebacon

    ilovebacon Well-Known Member VIP

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    Fred Nukis. :eek:
     
  16. RonHeinzkaboot

    RonHeinzkaboot Adultophile VIP

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    Love this


    ON HOWARD'S UNAIRED FOX PILOT

    Described as painfully slow and often witless. One top Fox executive was quoted as saying, "The truth is, they were boring."

    Although Howard complained daily on his show that "the wimps at Fox really wimped out," shelving the pilots before they suffered a ratings death may have been the best thing that ever happened to Howard's career.
     
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  17. RonHeinzkaboot

    RonHeinzkaboot Adultophile VIP

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    Hey Artie did you ever get rating bonuses?
     
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  18. PelicanWig

    PelicanWig Beautiful Soup

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    @Benjamen must have gotten straight A's on book reports in high school and college. Well done!
     
  19. Willowglen

    Willowglen Lookin thru the glass ceiling & up Stephs skirt VIP

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    This book was the original reason Buchwald came up with the non discloure agreement that everyone from the Arrogant Monkey pruducer to Consuela the litter box scooper are made to sign before entering Wiggys orbit. Otherwise there would have been loads of these books over the years by everyone from Grillo to Jackie Martling. Do you really think guys like KC and Cabbie kept quiet all these years out of loyaty and HowardTV guys wouldnt take payday now if they could?
     
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  20. Nemo

    Nemo Beer Can Thick Gold

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    John said he did not sign a NDA.
    My guess is just a few people have to sign NDA.
    Sterns empire is like the mob.
    Howard only barks orders to a few people. I bet Booey has signed a NDA.
     
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