This Week In 1997: No Doubt's Rise, Marilyn Manson's Controversy, Beck's Talk With Howard Stern

While some critics at the time were labeling them "compulsively horrendous" and "skanky," five years ago this week No Doubt were looking at a fifth straight week atop the Billboard albums chart with their breakthrough LP, Tragic Kingdom. The band spoke out about its success, detractors and place in the music world after headlining an L.A. benefit to raise money for the infant son of Bradley Nowell, frontman for the band Sublime who died of a drug overdose in 1996.

"Carlos Santana once said that music is like a menu," No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont said, "and when you listen to music, most people don't like to order a hamburger every single day for every meal. I don't. We're just another thing on the menu. Maybe the Smashing Pumpkins are the hamburger and maybe Rage [Against the Machine] are a really good vegetarian dish. I don't know. We're just one of the many options out there."

"What are we, Tom?" Gwen Stefani asked.

"We're dessert."

Shockingly, Marilyn Manson was involved in some controversy this week back in 1997. In a turn of events that was run-of-the-mill at the time (band announces gig in town, town's collective neck vein bulges at news of gig, town promises to keep Satan-worshipping freak and his band of Beelzebub-huggers from entering/soiling/desecrating local concert venue), Oklahoma City tried to shut the band down. Oklahoma governor Frank Keating even got involved, claiming Manson "peddles garbage, promotes satanic worship" blah blah blah. Manson apparently saw all this as an exercise in religious zealotry, the very thing, according to the singer, that made him the man he ultimately became.

"Being a 13-year-old kid and having someone tell you, on a daily basis, that this is the final hour and the anti-Christ was coming and it was going to be the end of the world, I would stay up every night and I would have nightmares. And then finally, when 1984 passed and all these years they said was gonna be the end, I developed a real hard shell that really became what Marilyn Manson is. It was a resentment." (The Oklahoma City show, by the way, went off without incident.)

Self-proclaimed king of all media Howard Stern celebrated his 43rd birthday five years ago this week, on the eve of the release of his film "Private Parts." Lots of celebrities stopped by for the celebration, including Beck. Their discussion went something like this ...

Howard Stern: I'm kind of curious to talk to Beck, 'cause every time I read an article about him, because I'm a fan and I read the articles, it always says he's tough to talk to.

Beck: I'm a very approachable individual.

Stern: You're really a good dancer, aren't you?

Beck: I don't know, sometimes.

Stern: You're not like a rock-star type, 'cause like, you don't even have groupies. You don't even have women backstage or anything like that, is that true?

Beck: We have a four-hundred-person boys choir, they just kind of hang out and sing.

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