Howard Stern Employee Reveals Bizarre Pearl Jam Groupie Jealousy


Former The Howard Stern Show employee Stuttering John Melendez discussed touring with his band in the 90’s in a new interview with Greg Prato on Songfacts. Melendez recently released a book called Easy For You To Say. Melendez said he was somewhat jealous of the type of groupie action he perceived Pearl Jam as getting with their success, though Pearl Jam are known as a band that has never really been connected with groupies, so he must have referenced them since they were the most successful band in rock at the time.

“Collective Soul couldn’t have been a nicer band. We opened for them in I think Tallahassee or Jacksonville, Florida. I’ll never forget it, because we were midway through our set, and we blew the transformer. It was an outdoor concert. They took an hour-and-a-half break to fix this transformer, and Collective Soul let us go back on stage and finish our set! They were really cool.

But those were the days, man. I miss the life of a rock star. I mean, I was getting girls… two at a time, two in one night. I’m thinking to myself, ‘Man, if I’m getting this and I’ve only sold 50,000 albums, what the hell is Pearl Jam getting?'”

He also discussed writing a song with Howard Stern.

“I wrote a song with Howard that I called ‘Skunk.’ The name was ‘Skunk,’ but the lyrics were, ‘You get me high, get me high.’ It was a really good song – Howard came up with the keyboard part, and I wrote the melody and lyrics. Later on, Howard – in his usual fashion – said that Fred [Norris] had something to do with it. But Fred had nothing to do with it.

But it was fun. It was a fun time. It was kind of cool that I was in the band – it was me, Howard, Fred, and Scott [Salem, aka “Scott the Engineer”] on drums. I was part of a band, so it was definitely a good time.

That’s the thing in the book – some people will say that I come off as ungrateful. And I don’t want it to sound like I’m trying to bury Howard, because I had a lot of great times there. But I cannot lie, and I’m unfiltered – which is what Jay Leno writes about me in the foreword. I’m not going to not tell a story for fear of hurting someone’s feelings.”