Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen is a colorful character, and shares many of his misadventures in upcoming autobiography Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen. Rolling Stone had a first look at the book, and shared one of the stranger incidents as recounted by Jourgensen: The time he got Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst to record songs wearing nothing but a cowboy hat and a birthday suit. According to Jourgensen, this totally normal and hilarious prank embarrassed Durst. In an ironic twist of fate, Jourgensen is the one who is being put to shame as this story makes its way around the interwebs.
In the words of the prank mastermind himself:
“The Limp-dickster motherfucker, whatever his name is. I got him naked and in a cowboy hat [in a recording studio]! I’m showing him, ‘Look, you want my sound? This is my sound. This is what I use.’ And he wouldn’t believe it because just by hitting the magic button on the harmonizer that it wouldn’t make him sound exactly like me. He was that naïve. I’m like, ‘Well, try the cowboy hat.’ So I gave him my cowboy hat. . . and it still sounded like shit. So I go, ‘Why don’t you try and get naked? That’s how I sing.’ I was just bullshitting him. So he goes out and does that, and is thoroughly embarrassed, again. And then he just left. I got paid to just humiliate him for three songs. It was awesome.”
Yup. Totally awesome. Now, Fred Durst is no stranger to debauchery, as evidenced by a recent interview with Metal Hammer. But it’s kind of hard to believe that even Fred Durst would believe that he would sound better singing naked in a cowboy hat. To be honest, both parties look pretty bad here. At least Durst’s crazy rockstar moment involved girls inserting strawberries into their nether regions…Jourgensen’s just involved naked Fred Durst.
Another revelation in the book clears up and confirms a rumor that was spreading around the internet a few years ago. A 1983 commercial for Shasta soda featured a penguin, a light-up keyboard, and a very new-wave jingle with lyrics like “don’t give me that so-so soda, the same old cola.” Many had guessed that it might have been Jourgensen, whose first Ministry album, With Sympathy sounded more like Depeche Mode than the industrial/metal hybrid that the band would come to be known for. The Gauntlet has an excerpt from the book that says the following:
“Before Sire picked up Ministry I was writing TV and radio jingles to help support our drug habits, pay the rent, and feed the baby. I did a commercial for Shasta and some stuff for Huffy, and every time I left the studio I wanted to kill myself. It really put into perspective what my dad had to go through, cutting off his lifelong dream to support a family. That’s what I was doing, and it was horrific, but it toughened me up. If you cut me up right now and put me on a plate, I’d be some tough meat. You couldn’t eat it; it would be toxic, tough, and chewy. No, there’s no cannibalism with me. The deal with Huffy came to an end when I gave them this song for a bike called the Panther, and at the end of this cheesy tune they wanted me to purr loudly into the mike. I said, “Fuck you. Get someone else to purr. I quit.”
Ministry is set to release their last album this September. Whether or not Al Jourgensen was naked and wearing a cowboy hat during the recording process is unclear. Check out the Shasta commercial below: