Howard Stern recently discussed Kurt Cobain and Nirvana covering David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World” and how a myth among more Nirvana fans is that they actually wrote it. Below is a recap from MarksFriggin.com:
Howard said getting back to cover songs he has a couple more. He said the song ”The Man Who Sold the World” was a David Bowie song and Nirvana remade it. Howard played Bowie’s version and said it was never a single. He said it was a B-side. He said that Nirvana took it and covered the song. He said it became a big hit and Bowie said that he was blown away by their version. Howard played some of Nirvana’s version. Howard said most people think that Nirvana wrote that song. He said he’s just letting everyone know that they didn’t.
Howard said that he got invited to that David Bowie museum thing. Robin said she went to that and they taught you that David invented a machine that was a word generator. Robin told Howard how it inspired him to write songs. Howard said how about just reading a fortune cookie instead. Robin said he wanted songs that people would have their own meaning to. Robin said he formulated songs from that machine. Robin told Howard some of the other things they had at this museum. Robin said he was really a renaissance man.
Howard said this song ”Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by the Eurythmics wasn’t going to be released but a DJ kept playing it until they had to release it. Howard said Marilyn Manson covered the song and added some lyrics. He said this was a big break through for him. Howard played some of his version.
Howard said the video for that song was called the scariest video ever made by Billboard magazine. Howard said Marilyn was wearing a wedding gown and riding a pig. He said that was his nightmare.
Howard said he has one more. He played some of the song ”Respect.” He said most people think Aretha Franklin did the original. He said that wasn’t the case though. Robin was trying to figure out who it was. Robin said it was Otis Redding. Howard said that’s right. He said good for you. He played some of the original song.
Howard said that he was great. He said he wrote and performed it but he didn’t have the spelling out of the word. He said the song was written by a man. Robin said that it came to her that it was Otis. Howard said that she also added in the ”sock it to me” thing. He said it was number 1 for 12 weeks. He said it won 2 Grammys too.
Howard asked if Robin has heard enough. Robin said she loves this kind of stuff. Howard said that Elton John covered ”Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and John Lennon did the back up vocals on that version. He said John used the name Dr. Winston Oboogie. Howard said the story is that Elton and John got close because Elton sang on ”Whatever Gets You Through the Night.”
Howard said that people forget that this is a cover version. He said the song ”I Will Always Love You” was written by Dolly Parton. He said that she wrote it and Whitney Houston covered it. Howard said Dolly wrote the song because this guy Porter Wagoner used to work with her and he left so she wrote the song for him. Howard played Dolly’s version of the song. He played some of Whitney’s version too. He said she went in and made her own though. Howard asked if she knows why she did the song. Robin said she did it for the movie ”The Bodyguard.” Howard said that Kevin Costner is the one who told her she should do it. Howard and Robin went back and forth with facts about the song.
Howard said Dolly heard the song playing while she was driving her car and she claims she almost crashed her car when she heard how powerful it was. Howard said so many people claim they almost crashed their car while listening to radio.
Robin said that Whitney didn’t like performing the song. Howard said Robin sang the song for the radio show. Robin sad that was inspired by the death of Whitney. Howard said the first time he heard this he almost shit his pants. He played Robin’s version of the song. Fred played Howard shitting and crashing his car.
Robin said Howard took that after Whitney died and said this was a live track of her singing and took it on the street. Howard said people thought she was really struggling toward the end.
Howard said the song ”All Along the Watchtower” is kind of ponderous to him. He said Bob Dylan did that one. He played some of the original and said that Hendrix covered that. Robin said he fixed that song. Howard said he changed a lot about it. He said even Dylan changed it after hearing Hendrix’s version.
Howard played some of the song ”With a Little Help From My Friends” that the Beatles did. Howard said Ringo even made them change a line in the song because he was afraid that fans would throw tomatoes at him. Howard said that the song was originally called Bad Finger Boogie because John had injured his finger and had to redo the song with the bad finger. He said the band Badfinger took their name from that story. Howard played Joe Cocker’s version of ”With a Little Help From My Friends.” He said he thinks Jimmy Page played guitar on that version. Fred said he’s right. Robin said that this has deep and powerful meaning compared to the Ringo version. Howard said he thinks she’s dizzy from the David Bowie museum.
Howard said that song is really powerful. He said Dave Matthews regularly performs ”All Along the Watchtower.” He said he’s going to cover ”A Whiter Shade of Pale” today. He said he loves that song by Procal Harum. He said Billy Joel covered that for them too. He said he’s really excited about Dave doing that today.
Robin said she learned about a man who became a quadriplegic recently and the only thing that makes him happy is Dave Matthews. Howard said he’ll bring that young man in. He said that’s what he should have done. He said he just learned of that 2 seconds ago though.
Fred had the Billy Joel cover of ”A Whiter Shade of Pale” playing for Howard. Howard said he has no idea what that song means. Robin said it just sounds like it should have meaning. Howard played the original version of the song too. He said what a great song. He said he thinks Little Steven came out and inducted that song at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He said it’s sort of insulting when they do that for just one song and not the whole band. Robin said that can make people feel real bad. Howard said he doesn’t think the Dave Matthews band is in either. He said they’re one of the biggest money making bands out there and they’re not in. Robin said he has fans that hate that other people discovered him. Robin said when he got big everyone else was a Johnny come lately. Robin said she used to know one of those guys. Howard said they’re way behind so he has to take a break. He did a live commercial read and went to break.