Eddie Trunk Plays MVP in Cincinnati

Eddie Trunk Plays MVP in Cincinnati

Friday January 16th MVP Sports Bar and Grille hosted an evening with VH1 Classic’s Eddie Truck, host of That Metal Show along with Don Jamison and Jim Florentine. After Trunk, the evening showcased two of Southern Ohio’s finest musical breeding. Lift the Medium and Rootbound entertained the crowd through late evening to early morning.

Trunk shared several entertaining stories of his vast career as a radio DJ/TV host working with Zakk Wylde, Ace Frehley and Axl Rose. Jamison and Florentine’s unique unexpected potty training audition video for network executives and a history of his pre-That Metal Show career. He also explained the origins of the show and the beginning of the Stump the Trunk segment. His presentation included a Q&A session ending with the box of junk, with several fans walking away with cool prizes.

The crowd was a mixed bunch at times, some coming exclusively for Trunk, some coming for the bands. Those unfamiliar with Trunk encouraged the bands to come on after the stories ended but everyone got their stage time.

Image by Brian Vogel

Trunk’s radio career started in 1983 with an internship at New Jersey’s WDHA-FM. A year later he convinced the station to do a hard rock/metal show he eventually hosted, programmed and produced. In 1986, at 25, he joined Megaforce Records becoming vice president. He devoted himself to radio full-time in 1994 and was hired by New York’s Pure Rock Q104.3. His desire to do a metal show was cut short due to rumors of the station being sold, which happened a year later. Though, during his final shift, he abandoned the playlist taking requests and calls came instantly. Pure Rock Q104.3 became Classic Q104.3 and the new management impressed by the stunt, kept him on to furthering his popularity. In 1997, WNEW FM wanted a heavier sound, Trunk was hired and Saturday Night Rocks was born. Trunk’s show was retained even after a station change to talk radio. WNEW then changed to soft-rock in 2003 but his show continues to air as Eddie Trunk Rocks.

Trunk also hosts Eddie Trunk Live, a weekly live music, talk & interview show every Monday on SiriusXM called Trunk Nation. In 2002 Eddie went into television as a host on VH1 Classic. He regularly hosted the interview series Hanging With (where one of his stories came from). He currently hosts and co-produces That Metal Show, the longest running program in VH1 history.

In 2010, Eddie authored Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock & Heavy Metal and in late 2013 released the sequel Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Vol.2.

Trunk gave a brief overview of his career before getting into some stories starting with how That Metal Show started. It began when the network needed two other people who were controversial and enjoyed stirring the pot to co-host. Did he know anyone? Jamison and Florentine are both standup comedians, Trunk assured them they could be themselves but needed a demo to give the producer to show off their talents. In a few minutes he got the file, assumed it was a comic bit from their act and forwarded it without looking. Ten minutes later, a reply arrived simply saying “these are your friends????” What the hell was on the video? Trunk hit play to see Jamison on top of an open toilet half-dressed acting out a bit in their act with Florentine when after finishing, hotel maintenance was called and the poor target got a surprise flush. It was the human Beavis & Butthead and somehow got them the job. 130 shows later they’re still on the air, God knows how.

Year’s before the show he interviewed many famous musicians such as Neil Peart, Rush, Robert Plant and Black Sabbath. Over 100 interviews were recorded and aired….. except one. An interview with Zakk Wylde, from the Mafia era, that never aired. He had an interview at 4PM and Trunk was doing video intros at 1PM in the booth. The station played all genres and it was his job to introduce all of them. Just after introducing “Dream Lover” by Mariah Carey the intercom button came on. Trunk thought he flubbed it. Then a loud booming voice like God himself roared out as ‘Father Trunk,’ in BLS fashion was asked what he was doing introducing that pop stuff. The staff freaked and nicely asked him to come back later. He returned in rare form to the unexpected, unprepared staff completely taking over the studio. The interview began, Wylde answered the first two questions with very strong creative license prompting the shocked producer to yell Cut! Cut! Cut! This far pre-dated That Metal Show and Wylde was asked politely for a proper response. From the third take on it spiraled downward rapidly prompting his exit and the studio banning him from VH1 Classic. Luckily since, he’s won back their graces and been on That Metal Show four times, returning this season.

Image by Brian Vogel

A story with real balls involved the real, one and only Space Ace, Ace Frehley. A trip to the bowling alley almost ended in a trip downtown when Trunk went to get bowling shoes and the counter guy asked if the guy on lane 22 was with him. Trunk turned to see Frehley throwing balls high overhand down the alley, bouncing them into different lanes. Luckily, a police call for property damage was avoided when Trunk explained who the bowler was and some alley merchandise was signed.

He talked briefly about his well-known POV on the R&R Hall of Fame and some of the deserving bands not inducted yet. He told an interesting story about going to the Hall of Fame for an outside ceremony, where one of the employees told him to keep doing what he’s doing. The employees have nothing to do with who gets nominated or inducted, they just work there. An unknown committee in New York votes on it. Trunks rants had gotten to the point where the Hall of Fame president offered him a spot on the committee (to shut him up) but it was just a ceremonial gesture. Trunk said if he wasn’t able to make productive, solid change he would continue speaking his mind.

He talked about all the different musician’s, fans want to see and how hard it is to get some of them. Also, surprisingly, some huge names that play in front of packed arenas and stadiums aren’t comfortable being on TV. Also some major names that fans multi-request that have turned down major talk shows probably would not say yes to the Wayne’s World of metal shows.

Image by Brian Vogel

The history of Stump the Trunk started on Jim Brewers personal radio station, when people called in to ask Trunk questions. It’s become a common, almost daily occurrence that someone challenges him to play whether at a grocery store or gas station and contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t know everything. The weirdest situation occurred right before a surgical procedure. The doctor recognized him, pulled out an envelope with Stump the Trunk on it and asked a question with Trunk on the gurney in hospital gown. Understandably, he was in shock. “Really… now?” You’re kidding! You’ve got that thing in your hand and you wanna ask me a music question? Was it really that important to know who the third guitarist in Iron Maiden was right now?

Another story during the Q&A segment was about the notorious Axl Rose interview. Trunk and crew got there in the early afternoon and didn’t get the interview until around 5:30 in the morning. Eddie wanted to give up and leave after 12 hours but the producer insisted and around 4am they got up, walked down the hall to the band room to find a party in full swing. They were invited in but Trunk just wanted his interview and the sandman to come. At 5:30am Axl walked in like it was the middle of the day. He apologized and said he didn’t know it was happening. Apparently there were communication issues and he probably didn’t know it was planned. DJ Ashba was a welcomed companion by Rose but was silent the whole time. People have asked why Eddie didn’t talk to him. Trunk explained it was no disrespect to him but it was the first time in over a decade that Rose had talked to VH1 on camera.

The segment continued with a few more questions and Stump the Trunk with ten prizes pulled out of the box.

The evening continued with two of Cincinnati’s finest, Lift the Medium and Root Bound playing impassioned well-received sets into the early morning hours.

Started in 2013 with the mission of creating real rock music for the masses Lift the Medium, by their own admission or proclamation are the real deal. Shunning popular industry recording practices and tricks, their ‘gimmick’ is simply pure Rock ‘n Roll played pure in the studio as it is live. Music played from instruments with a sharp edged attitude about not pressing keys to make noise. They’ve honed their sound into their own personal modern retrospective of classic bands from the 60’s to the 90’s.

Opening with CD title track “Mastermind” singer Joey Vasselet soar’s into action with a Dave Grohl presence and a young Chris Cornell ambience. With catchy vocal harmonies that Shinedown and crunchy guitars that throw down on occasion with a touch of the blues mid-way. “Spinning Wheel” took the role of the crowd pumper and jumper. “Flow On” got a lil down and dirty with some steel guitar sliding, dirty mojo. It was a bit of country twang on the latter side of grunge but with enough dark intent to give Alice in Chains a nod. Hard rock played with a touch of journeyman blues, shaking the dirt off those grungy shoes. “Today” was the day to show all their tools of the trade. Cornell’s probably jammed with Maynard Keenan a few times in their collective minds and it works.

The next tune “Spells” out a nice slinky, blues riff with blood stained eyes. It was time to Pledge Allegiance with “The People” singing a tribute to our forefathers, ending when Vasselet pulled out some Badmotorfinger era vocal notes. They introduced three new ones “Wayside,” “Fact of the Matter” which was finished earlier that day then debuted, and “#1” ending with one hell of a cover for a “Closer.” Playing NIN as if we were in Seattle and Alice in Chains were jamming on stage putting a little extra bounce and groove into Reznor’s masterpiece. On a fan demanded encore they got “Radioactive” with Imagine Dragons.

Them boys from Rootbound have been around for a while with three full lengths, eight videos and five EP’s. Straight from the bleeding heart of southern O-hi-O, with solid, razor-sharp hooks and versatile catchy melodies. It’s a hard rock southern nut grab you might enjoy, giving a much needed voice to blue collar rock ‘n roll for the drive down that long twisting road.

They have toured extensively on 2010’s “Whole Lotta Trouble,” sharing the stage with the legendary, Peter Frampton, 7 Mary 3, Gary Burbank, Jackyl, Days of the New, Afroman, Bret Michaels, Future Leaders of the World, Dope, Bobaflex and Powerman 5000. In 2003 they joined Indy label Lick Records, gaining radio and internet radio exposure. Also had music on independent movies and featured on the annual Rootbound Music Festival for Play It Forward & Rock For Tots.

They started the show already “Smokin and Drinkin” on the weekend. As they cranked out some hard riding southern blues with a twist of Hollywood sleaze and the hard rock shaking of AC/DC. Singer Joel Hanson flies high pulling out the spirit of Van Zant with pride and flair. “Wherever I Roll” went down them back porch country roads, open window and played those harmonica notes by Zach Stout, with country air cleansing the soul. Passing Kid Rock speeding down the lake, it was their homegrown anthem. With an almost Fleetwood Mac quality in the vocals and beat “Rebel Wind” began a little quiet, voices joining together for a group chant with high whispers asking the spirits of the swamp to rise up and join in. Josh Knechtly pulled some voodoo magic out of his guitar, notes slithered like a serpent through the woods. Someday that woman’s gonna take that red eye home. It was a whiskey spitting, guitar slugging good ole time.

From the last rebel standing they played the “Outlaw Anthem.” Don’t matter what lifestyle they live, they’re square with the lord above. Outlaws are immortal, snitches are a dying breed. Cause the man in blacks coming with a message of warning, sooner or later “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” Enjoy those buxom women while you can son. They pulled out the grungy chains on “Sheep.” Don’t follow the trends, make your own statement.


They neared the end as “Voodoo Rises” kicked up the drums and bass like a rattle shaking conjuring of Godsmack and Tool. C’mon, you know everybody wants some. They finished, making a “Whole Lotta Trouble.” Put the guns down Johnny, there’s a new sheriff in town, and the devil doesn’t lose a shootout or play fair.



Crowd shot, third Eddie Trunk shot and Trunk with crowd shot by

Brian Vogel

All other images by Mike Ritchie @ www.facebook.com/mike.ritchie.338



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