“You might be a metalhead…if 99 percent of your wardrobe is black!” That’s one of the quotes from my bud and stand-up comedian, Don Jamieson’s new book, You Might Be A Metalhead. It seems Don needed another outlet for his comedy outside of his live stand-up shows and CDs while he, Eddie Trunk, and Jim Florentine find a new home for the former VH-1 Classic hit interview TV show, That Metal Show. Don, along with fellow comedian, Joe Bartnick, combined their quirky comedy stylings to write You Might Be A Metalhead, a parody of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s book, You Might Be A Redneck, but as the intro said, “Instead of blue collar comedy, it’s more like black t-shirt comedy.”
Don’s partner in crime for this book, Joe Bartnick, is no comedy newcomer either. He’s been a comedy writer for shows like the ESPYs and The NFL on FOX. He can also be seen on AXS-TV’s Live At Gotham. One of his biggest thrills was roasting Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee on Tommy’s show Battleground Earth.
After reading You Might Be A Metalhead (the entire book in a half hour), I almost feel like Don and Joe wrote my biography. One of the lines in the book read, “You might be a metalhead…if ‘Highway To Hell’ was your wedding song.” Well, “This Love” from Pantera, right here! Anyway, I got to talk to Don about his new book and what’s going on with That Metal Show. Here’s what he had to say:
So, tell me about your new book, You Might Be A Metalhead…
Well, I was inspired by one of my favorite authors. A guy by the name of Tim Louie (laughs) because I figured I can write the perfect crapper companion to his book. See, I’m getting plugs for both of our books here in this interview (laughs). You know what, man, first of all, it helps to have your TV show canceled because you have a lot more free time, when you’re not taping episodes, talking to rock stars, and cashing check and things like that. So, I said, I have all these jokes about hard rock and metal and I always thought that one day, I’d like to be the Stephen King of heavy metal joke books, so here I am.
The funny thing is, like I told you on text message the other day, I felt like you wrote my biography. My wife and I went through this book and found that we fit many of these quotes…
Yup, well that was it. I didn’t just become a metalhead when That Metal Show came on the air. This has been going on since I picked up Kiss’ Destroyer when I was nine years old. So, with the help of my buddy and great comedian, Joe Bartnick, we came up with great new lines of jokes about being a metalhead, and then there’s some other stuff like “Heavy Metal 6-Pack” is in there. Instead of doing the Top 5 list, we do the Top 6 list because what goes better with metal than a six-pack? So, we have the “Top 6 Ways To Know The Opener Sucks,” “Top 6 Songs To Get A Lap Dance To,” “Top 6 Songs To Eat Your Neighbor To.” There’s a whole bunch of other stuff mixed in there too. It’s 88 pages and the other day J.K. Rowling said it’s a “two-dump” classic.
When I asked you for some advice about my book, you told me that I should probably use more illustrations and I see that you added them to this book and they really add to the content. Who did these illustrations in this book?
Um, another unemployed comedian (laughs). My friend, Mike Morris, who’s a great comic and a great writer, but I had the writing done, but I just needed someone to do the pictures. So, yeah, he did a killer job with those, man. I’m really pumped. And for people who don’t like words so much, yes, there are pictures that you can look at.
I think I told you this also, but one of first lines in this book read, “You might be a metalhead…if ‘Highway To Hell’ was your wedding song,” and that mine and my wife’s was “This Love” from Pantera…I swear this book is the story of my life!
(Laughs) Yeah, well, there are so many things in there that are common. Like one of the jokes is, “You might be a metalhead…if you don’t see the irony in the movie, Heavy Metal Parking Lot.” (Laughs) So, that’s kind of the thing with this book. You’ll go, “Man, is that funny? Because nine of these have happened to me.” A lot of them hit home for sure, but it’s all in good fun and everybody knows that heavy metal and hard rock and humor are very closely linked. It’s a very thin line.
So, where did you find Joe? Where does he come from?
Joe’s a comic out of L.A. He was sitting in the audience of That Metal Show one time and you know how Florentine at a certain point in the show will always say, “Oh and we’d like to thank so-and-so for being in the audience,” and we’ll always pick someone that looks like a celebrity? So, Joe ended up being Danzig on vacation. (Laughs) Because he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and he kind of looks like Danzig if he didn’t work out for a couple of weeks. So, Joe and I knew each other. I knew he was a great metalhead and a really great joke writer. So, we ended up teaming up on that and yeah, it was a cool process.
How can I say this without offending anyone? I read this entire book while I was on the toilet. It’s a great toilet humor book…
Oh, please! No offense taken. I mean, I’m not trying to pass this off as 50 Shades Of Grey. It is what it is. And you know what, man? I already have enough material for a second book. God-willing, if this one is successful, maybe Oprah puts it as part of her book club. If we sell enough copies we’ll do another one. Finding a publisher was the hardest part. So, once we got that lined up, I was totally on board. So, yeah, I think it should be in bathrooms everywhere across the world (laughs).
So, how did you find Volossal Publishing?
That was through Joe, actually. So, that was cool. You know, I was kind of trying to wing it until That Metal Show came back on the air, so I can give it the proper plugging on TV, but for whatever reason, Colbert and Jimmy Fallon aren’t knocking down my doors to come on to promote it, so…
Hey, The Aquarian is though!
Yeah, well, I can always count on my Jersey peeps for support, but yeah, I wanted to be able to plug it on the show, but unfortunately, right now, we’re still in heavy metal limbo. So, we just said, “Hey, let’s just get it out there and see what happens.”
Speaking of That Metal Show, where do we stand with that?
I’m still waiting. I’m still looking for a hand-out and still hoping to find a new home. Believe it or not, Tim, there’s not a lot of channels looking for three middle-aged guys who wear concert shirts (laughs).
Why not? I mean, when we ran that petition after the show was canceled, people were throwing out ideas like FUSE, a YouTube show, Netflix, or AXS-TV. How come none of these channels have come forward?
Well, look, if any more time slips by, we’re gonna have to end up doing it on your blogspot, buzzkilltim (laughs). Hey, we got two “likes” today! Awesome!
But can’t you just do a YouTube show and live off the advertising since the show is pretty popular?
Well, you have to have money to produce the show, so it’s not as simple as everybody thinks, and it’s a tough sell. People aren’t into putting rock on TV. I mean, even the channel VH-1 Classic is going away and it’s gonna become MTV Classic and it’s just gonna be re-runs of reality shows. So, unless you have Botox and lip injections and pull each other’s hair, no one is looking for you on TV.
You know what would be the ultimate kick in the teeth? If they put all of the shows on the new MTV Classics channel in HD…
(Laughs) Yeah, right, exactly! To add insult to injury all those shows are in HD. Yeah, well, we’ll keep everybody posted as we always do, but in the meantime check out the book and hopefully people dig it and get a good laugh out of it. It’s certainly a book you can read a bunch of times, the jokes are always funny, and it’s so short, you can photocopy it for free (laughs).
One last question, what was your favorite quote in the book?
Well, I mean it is the election season, so I do like the joke, “You might be a metalhead…if Ted Nugent is the only Republican you think is cool.” But you know, Tim, writing heavy metal jokes is like having children. You can’t pick a favorite (laughs). But that’s my favorite today.
Don Jamieson and Joe Bartnick’s book, You Might Be A Metalhead, is available now at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and iTunes.com. The book will also be available at Don’s live stand-up gigs as well. To find out more about the book and to find out where Don’s next appearance will be, visit DonJamieson.com.