MTV used to do lots of crazy contests (more on that momentarily). One of the ones they did was to select one fan who got to go on the road with Van Halen and “party like a rock star”.

These days, you can “party” with your favorite musicians…IF your pockets are deep enough. Almost every rap, rock and pop star has a ticket option that includes meeting them. I’ve been to these before and it’s a far cry from those heady days of early MTV and pre-breakup Van Halen. The guy who won that contests was selected from, as Martha Quinn tells us, “over a million entries” actually partied like a rock star. In the documentary we see how this young, possibly underage, guy is treated to the perks of hanging out with Van Halen. Namely, they gave him booze, cocaine and…a groupie! From the documentary the winner, a grocery store stock boy named Kurt Jefferis describes:

“I did a couple of lines. Then David Lee Roth says, ‘I think Kurt needs Tammy.” She took her clothes off and started dancing naked. The two of us wound up together in the shower”.

As I said, I’ve been to some of these high dollar backstage meet-ups and here’s basically what it is: You go back to a drab room with a deli tray and 2 or 3 other dozen rich a-holes who were willing to shell out anywhere from 500 to 5 grand. A gruff road manager tells you what’s going to happen and you start to question why you spent so much money. Then one or two of the band members come out for five minutes. Their mood usually ranges from “bored and aloof” to “friendly in a weary put-upon kind of way”. Somebody takes a picture (you’re hardly ever allowed to take pictures yourself), you and the talent mumble a few words to each other and it’s over. That’s it. No “partying” or bonding with your idols, no drugs, and NEVER any groupies. “But what about all the crazy backstage shenanigans that rock stars are known for”, you might be asking. Oh, there’s a backstage party with all that stuff. It’s just not the one YOU’RE at. You’re at the “suckers who just paid as much as a used car for a 5 minute meet-and-greet” party before the show. The real “booze and drugs and naked debauchery” party happens in another place, probably AFTER the show.

In the early years MTV did lots of “wacky” type of contests. They picked somebody to be Springsteen’s roadie, somebody got a date with Prince to the premiere of “Purple Rain” in their hometown. Somebody won a “little pink house” in honor of the then-current hit by John Mellencamp. They got a pink house, sure…they didn’t know until afterwards that it was a few feet from a toxic dump site.

The Van Halen winner in this documentary seemed to enjoy his experience, though. After all, it’s not everybody that gets to shower with Tammy.

Here’s the trailer:

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