B-52s' Fred Schneider: Gay, Proud, and on the Comeback Trail
By Sam Brand Posted Feb 22nd 2010 06:37PM
The second most-famous cowbell player in the world (behind Will Ferrell's Gene Frenkle, of course) took to 'The Howard Stern Show' Monday morning to promote his new rock and roll venture The Superions. But you better believe Howard pulled more than the standard PR schlock from the 58-year-old frontman of the B-52s. Among other fun revelations, Schneider reminisced on breaking the news to his mother that he's gay...
"Back then no one even knew what they were," the mastermind behind 'Love Shack' told Howard of his sexual orientation. "You became gay in the '70s."
Schneider's mother always knew more about her son than he knew about himself. He came out of the closet while she was vacuum-cleaning. "Oh I know, Freddie," she said, and continued vacuuming without missing a beat.
"It's like, well, OK. I guess I'll go back outside and smoke some pot."
Fred still tours with the B-52s, performing upwards of fifty shows a year with old bandmates Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson and Keith Strickland.
"I'm not wealthy," he told Howard. "We only started making money after 'Cosmic Thing'" – the band's fifth album, released in 1989 that featured singles 'Love Shack,' 'Roam,' and '(Shake That) Cosmic Thing.'
"I live pretty modestly. I'm not broke, but I can't retire," Schneider said.
Which maybe explains the existence of his new spunky musical venture, The Superions. According to their MySpace profile, The Superions are the "most exciting group to hit the music scene since Elvis or Lady Gaga." While that's a little farfetched, they are exciting, or at least off-the-wall, much like their famous New Wave forebearers.
As you can tell from lead single 'Who Threw That Ham At Me,' it's the kind of music that aims to make you cringe, laugh, dance and if sufficiently coordinated, do all at once.
Simply cringing might suffice.
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