By Roy Kasten
By Kris Wernowsky
By Chaz Kangas
By Joseph Hess
By Julie Seabaugh
By Mike Appelstein
By Rachel Brodsky
By Kelsey McClure
"Most vile and profane." Those are some strong words -- words that Fair St. Louis executive director Rich Meyers attributed, in a Post-Dispatch article last Wednesday, to Enterprise Rent-A-Car executive Pete Wyatt, who described the performance of the pop-rock band Smash Mouth at an Enterprise employee celebration in Orlando. The performance was so "vile," in fact, that Fair St. Louis cancelled the band's performance scheduled for this Fourth of July.
So what did Smash Mouth do? "Suffice to say," says Enterprise PR manager Lee Broughton, "what was spoken at the celebration of the tremendous efforts of Enterprise Rent-A-Car's rental managers by Smash Mouth was indeed extremely offensive and quite inappropriate."
Spoken like a true PR man. But -- what did they do? Did they bite a head off a bat, à la the Ozzie Osbourne legend? Did they take a dump onstage, then consume it, like the (false) Frank Zappa tale? Broughton wouldn't go into details, but another PR rep for the corporation hinted that the truth could be found in some of the accounts on the forums of smashmouth.com. After reading several very similar accounts, here's the lowdown from someone with the moniker "The Truth in Orlando" (redactions in the original).
[At least an hour into the show, Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell said] "I was at the bar last night with your ****ing boss, and he was ****ing drunk, and I asked him for a ****ing free rental car and he said no. So I said **** Enterprise, I am renting from Budget." He then went on to sing a Van Halen cover that was so bad I felt bad for them. Well, then someone got on stage with blonde long hair (a guy) and spoke to him in his ear, he then made a very half hearted apology. At that point, he said, "(Sigh), If I offended anyone I am really sorry."
Then he told the crowd that his glass had Jägermeister in it and that his guitar player had been drunk since 11 a.m. Listen, I have never even seen this band before, and this looked a bad impression of Fred Durst. He then said this exactly: "Are there any cock smokers in the house? Are there any marijuana smokers in the house?" This from in front of a company that drug tests employees.
Then he called the girls on stage. About 20 girls headed on stage and he was handing the mic to some of them while they said hello to their friends. They then got off the stage, and at that point he said, "You have got some fat bitches who work for this company." Then things started getting ugly fast. He then played something else, then said, "**ck Enterprise, I am still renting from Budget." At that time people from the crowd started throwing beer bottles and empty water bottles at the band and it looked like a riot was going to break out. Then security got them off stage, and a corporate officer came out and apologized for their actions.
The horror. The horror.