On Monday, Aug. 3 at 9 p.m PT/ 12 a.m. ET, Yahoo Live will live stream Steel Panther's final show from the House of Blues in Los Angeles. Click HERE to watch!
by Lina Lecaro
The House of Blues’ Sunset Strip location marks the end of an era on Monday, Aug. 3, presenting its last-ever concert before it is sadly razed for hotel developments. The venue will be missed for sure, but it couldn’t have chosen a bigger, bolder, or more bodacious way to go out, at least: with one last hairspray-drenched, Spandex-sheathed headbanger bash from metal-shtick gods Steel Panther. The show will be streamed on Yahoo Live for anyone unable to make it out to Hollywood that evening.
Panther — who began their reign on the Strip as Metal Shop (at the Viper Room), then as Metal Skool (first at the Roxy, then at the Key Club), and as Danger Kitty in Discover credit card commercials — eventually moved their rock 'n' roll residency to HoB Hollywood, spewing spot-on covers of hair-metal classics and raunchy repartee for packed houses, and attracting some huge celebrity sit-ins in the process.
Lead singer Michael Starr fondly recalls his favorite stage cameos. One is Jeremy Renner: “We’ve known him since before he was totally famous. He is still the same guy, but now he pays for everything!” Another is Steven Tyler: “He sang 'Walk This Way' while Joe Perry watched from the audience. I asked Joe what he thought of jam, and he said, “Steven was great, he sang out of key like always."
And of course, there are the countless girls who’ve writhed onstage with the band in various states of undress. “I like the girls who go down on each other… Can I say that on Yahoo?” Um… he just did.
But for fans of the wacky metal maulers, there are plenty more superstar moments to recall and relive. Nightlife impresario Josh Richman hosted the VIP section back during the band’s Key Club residency, and every Monday was a who’s who of the entertainment biz, from movie stars to sports figures to bona fide rock legends. After a few drinks, it seemed few could resist the glam jokesters' persuasive calls to join them onstage, no matter where they were playing. We expect another stellar celebration this Monday.
But who rocked it like a hurricane and who was just barely livin’ on a prayer throughout the band’s Sunset strip history? Check out this raucous roll call of their most unforgettable guests. (Warning: Just like a live Steel Panther show, the expletive-heavy banter here is not for the easily offended.)
11. Jessica Simpson & Tony Romo
The Dallas Cowboys quarterback was a frequent guest during the band’s Key Club residency, as was his then-girlfriend, Jessica Simpson (see them in this non-embeddable clip). Romo made a few memorable appearances with the band, in fact, and his chemistry with Saved By the Bell’s Mr. Belding (Dennis Haskins), tellingly, was more entertaining than the drunken duet with his famous babe.
10. Vince Vaughn & The Dodgers
The motley crew of characters that often took the stage with Steel Panther became part of the show’s hot-mess appeal at one point. But this Vince Vaughn pop-in was a strikeout even with some famous ballers joining in.
9. Avril Lavigne
We don't doubt that Avril really loves rock 'n' roll, but there wasn't much to love about her off-key vocal on this Arrows/Joan Jett cover. Still, what she lacked in perfect pitch, she made up for with Sk8er Girl enthusiasm. Chad Kroeger would be proud.
8. Billy Ray Cyrus
Miley’s dad, who has revealed that he will be on hand for Monday's club-closing festivities, knows all about rebellion — and he's proved that a few times onstage with Steel Panther. Billy Ray's take on “Rebel Yell” was almost as vital as Billy Idol’s.
7. Dane Cook
They’re talented musicians, but Steel Panther are also a satiric character study, mocking the excess and misogyny of '80s rock. Dane Cook kind of does the same thing in his standup, so their pairing on Van Halen was a natural fit. All it took was a studded vest and some shades to get this devil running.
6. Sebastian Bach & CeeLo
Skid Row singer Bach had joined the band onstage before, but this time, sharing the spotlight with CeeLo, was special. CeeLo’s distinctive croon proved perfect for the band’s celeb cover du jour by Journey, and Bach’s dramatic wail was a nice addition. You can tell each of them really wanted to hold on to “that feeling.”
5. Cuba Gooding Jr.
After his breakthrough performance in Jerry Maguire and the memorable Oscar acceptance speech that followed, everyone knew Cuba was a ham onstage. His take on “Don’t Stop Believin’” was just another feelgood, giddy performance.
4. Fred Durst
The Limp Bizkit frontman’s duet with Starr on Van Halen’s version of “You Really Got Me” was a multi-era meta-metal moment. Originally released by the Kinks in the '60s, the song was covered by Van Halen in the '70s. Here, the pair rock it '80s-style, with some '90 nu-metal mojo thrown in.
3. Kelly Clarkson
Though the guys accused her of coming to see them to make her image more “edgy,” the American Idol winner was clearly taken by surprise when asked to hop onstage. A few shots and some grinding with the singer from Yellowcard later, her attempt at “Sweet Child O' Mine” remains one of Steel Panther’s most talked-about surprises ever.
2. Tie: Paul Stanley, Vince Neil
Steel Panther essentially make fun of the egos, melodrama, and makeup associated with heavy metal and glam rock, but that hasn’t stopped the very stars they’ve mocked over the years from laughing at themselves and having a little fun with it. Here are two of the best, both of whom knew how to pucker up in their heydays.
If there were an award for Best Steel Panther Guest of All Time, it’d have to go to Pink. The pop singer’s powerful pipes always pumped up the band’s shows whenever she joined… so much so, we never wanted her to leave the stage. Luckily, she dug it as much as the fans did, and returned often (see videos below). Even amid half-naked groupies, Pink put Panther in their place every time she joined them, and they loved every minute of it.