The awesome Ann Hirsch describes her experience at The Howard Stern Birthday Bash :
I got into the city at 2:00 early enough to check out the Super Bowl stuff just a few blocks away but I couldn’t. Like a magnet I was being pulled toward the Hammerstein Ballroom. There were no fans yet, even our fearless leader, Mooski, who is often there first. I walked to the back of the theater where I ran into Mutt who was hurrying back to his hotel. The excitement built as I continued around the corner once again to the theater. There was a crowd now – Joseph Mooski, Fred Schreiber the Elephant Boy and his girlfriend Mary, Jesse from San Diego and his brother, Chris, and more.
Medicated Pete walked by with Asian Pete. Riffing off an old joke I called them Pete and Repeat. That was enough to amuse me, I didn’t have to realize that scores of excited fans both with and without tickets, whackpackers and celebrities would all be there in a few hours including the King of All Media!
High Pitch Erik wore a handsome suit and we chatted for a little before he left with Jesse to grab a bite. Sal and Richard showed up together, what more could a fan ask for? I rudely – sorry! – put my hand on Richard. He doesn’t even know me but a couple of years ago I’d gone to hear Charred Walls of the Damned and didn’t say hello because I was too shy. I guess I overcompensated. Joanna Leaf graciously took a picture of us. Richard didn’t even notice my rudeness and was cheerful as you’d imagine. Mariann from Brooklyn arrived looking beautiful in her white mini-dress and 7 inch heels.
Joanne Zip, who won her ticket with a Tracy lookalike picture, and her husband, Jim, arrived. My husband, who turned me onto Stern in the first place, stood on line for 3 or 4 hours (but who’s counting?) meeting wonderful fans like Noah and Blake and so many more including one who did wicked impressions of show staffers.
We didn’t get to see any Hollywood type of celebrities up close but I loved the parade of Sterniacs in front of me. Hamhands Bill wheeled by with a beautiful turquoise suit on. Snickers was chatting with Wolfie. Ashley and Lucas Parks looked like the top of a wedding cake. King of All Blacks, Phil Otto, Joseph Mooski’s lovely lady Jheneal all said hello. Joey Boots nicely offered me a club soda but I declined because being in the women’s room during this show was not going to happen. Benjy, in his tux and high shoes, and Elisa, in a sparkling gown, strolled by looking quite the glamorous couple.
A man walked by with a sign that said he was a big fan and would like to get an extra ticket. I had no hope for him – until I saw him sitting in my chair a few hours later! (He moved after I congratulated him for getting in.)
We finally were allowed to enter. I was so excited I forgot to ask to sit near our friends. Although we were one of the first to wait, we got third balcony all the way on the side. But who cares? We were in the building! We were here! On our way to find the seats we saw, sitting together, Little Mikey, Eli Bradon, Psych and Daniel Mendelson. Mikey, Eli and Daniel were as nice as when we’d previously met and I told them how much I looked forward to their segment. I introduced myself to Psch and was so thrilled when he said, “Aaaahhn,” the name Howard once called me on the phone.
Have I mentioned how nervous I was? I still didn’t believe it would go off without a hitch. I was the very last lucky listener to win tickets on the show and had to verify and re-verify we were subscribers. Yet we were already in! Nothing could go wrong… until we realized our seat was broken. We only had one seat. Ok, ok, no problem. Didn’t I say I would stand? Didn’t I say I would take Standing Room Only? Hell YES!!
Still we needed to tell security so we went downstairs. As we exited the elevator there stood Sal who responded to my “Hi Sal!” with… (catching my breath, it’s so exciting)… “Hi. Ann, right?” Yes! Not that I care if anyone knows my name (hear my awful call from last Mon where I told Howard the same and he was less than amused) but to be recognized by Sal… well it felt good!
We returned to our seats to hear Ron Zombie, or as George Takeii called him, Ron Zodiac, with the most exciting song there is, the one that gets my heart pumping every morning. “Motherfucker!” I chimed in, singing along with hundreds of other lucky fans. This was actually how Joseph Mooski guessed the show would start!
From our seats I could not see Train. I do like to look at Pat Monahan so I thought about trying to move. Then I realized I had a great view of Howard and he was the reason for the evening so stayed put.
You may have heard the show by now so you know how great it was, how Dave Grohl brought us to tears and Steven Tyler and Slash rocked the house, how Maria Menounes really does have an annoying laugh, how Jeff Ross and Joan Rivers as well as Lena Dunham gave a funny roast, so I’ll let others write about the actual acts. Others had celebrity encounters so I’ll let them write that. Just to mention a few of my own fleeting memories:
– At one point, I realize Adam Levine, the “Sexiest Man Alive” is singing next to Pat Monahan, just as sexy, and both performing for “The Most Fuckable Man in America,” Howard Stern.
– At the bar I say hello to Tan Mom who takes me by the arms and hugs me around her back! It probably looks like I’m attacking her from behind. I begin to imagine the captions if a picture were taken. I try to pull away but she is amazingly strong. I’d say she spends more time in the gym than in the tanning booth.
– Ryan Phillipe giving Robin a lapdance and me wishing for a Robin-cam at that moment.
– Looking across at the Whackpack balcony it seems like Mariann from Brooklyn is a bride with a dozen assorted grooms.
– After the most spectacular show, after I have many moments to appreciate the experience, to understand thousands might want to be in my place and deserve it just as much, after I hear Dave Grohl mention Howard’s father and then play My Hero, after I see my King properly lauded by the entertainment community that had previously trivialized him, the show is over all too soon over.
– On our way to Stout to have drinks with some other fans are invited into Lucas and Ashley Parks’s party bus which is filled with the nicest fans. We are so grateful to meet everyone and even get to say hello to Jeff the Drunk.
It seems weird to say after going on for two pages but words cannot express how lucky I felt to be there, how humbled I am by the good wishes and people who were generously happy for me, how grateful I am to know the best fans ever, and how appreciative I am for the one and only person who could have made this happen – Howard Stern!