Milwaukee tribute band The Summertime Dudes doesn’t take the stage for just anything. Though the all-star cock-rockers are usually busy enjoying the fruits of their robust catalog of solid gold ’70s and ’80s classics (that all sound eerily familiar to hit songs by other bands), sometimes a worthy enough cause can pry the hit-makers away from Shoney’s buffet, 40-something co-ed mixers, and the many other trappings of the good life so they can use their on-stage abilities for the power of good. When former Summertime Dude and ex-Mistreater Christian Houtman fell ill and was left with staggering medical bills, singer Jeff Leppard and the rest of the Dudes knew they had to put their wigs back on, break their nine-month hiatus, and save Christian’s life (from medical debt). Before the band’s headlining set at Wednesday night’s benefit show at Club Garibaldi, Leppard talked about the importance of this show, why the Dudes favor moms over young women, and how getting their “original songs” stolen only makes them stronger.
Milwaukee Record: What have the Summertime Dudes been up to since the unforgettable “The Official Mama Tried Afterparty” of February 22?
Jeff Leppard: Meet and greets, man. Meet and greets. It’s our bread and butter! That, and sponsorships. We are now sponsored by Enzyte, Extenze, Vagisil, and Stridex. So expect an awesome show this year at the Vagisil/Stridex tent at Summerfest in 2015.
MR: So why should people consider spending $5 to help Christian? For those scoring at home, that’s almost halfway to a Shoney’s Chicken Pot Pie Skillet and enough for an entire Cinnabon. In short, why did you take on this show and why is Christian worth it…if he even is?
JL: Christian is a fallen Summertime Dude. He was our first drummer. He wanted the band to go in the direction of that old time-y, banjo, “I’ve Been Workin’ On The Railroad” bullshit trend that’s popular. We had to let him go. But then we got word that Christian contracted BDS. That shit’s no joke. We had to step up. He’s our brother. Hopefully we can raise enough money to cover a portion of his penis reduction surgery.
MR: Have you added any new songs to your repertoire during the hiatus? Where does your RATT to Winger ratio currently stand? Oops…I meant, how many of your original songs that are by those bands have you written?
JL: We have added a few new jams to the repertoire. We found out that a nice balance of the ’70s soft rock sound and the ’80s cock rock really gets the drawers drippin’ and the panties peelin’ with the 40-somethings. That’s what we’re after, the mom demographic. Sure, it’s nice to see young ladies at our shows, but we don’t really care. We know moms put out.
MR: What else is even happening the night before Thanksgiving, and why is this show better than all of it combined?
JL: Well, this Wednesday kicks off our 2014 “Bend Over and Say AHHH!! Tour.” Prior to the show, we will be doing a t-shirt signing-slash-parrot giveaway at Gary’s Pet Jungle, then we are the judges for a charity elderly wet t-shirt contest in the parking lot of Hardee’s on Layton. The day after Thanksgiving, we are the hosts of the Black Friday Celebrity Baptism promotion going on at USA Baby. Bring in your kid, and we’ll dunk ’em. After that, I don’t know…Cleveland?
MR: People are still talking about your epic one-month, three-show, Milwaukee-only tour back in August of ’13. How do you plan to top it? Dan Halen mentioned the possibility of a concert cruise. Do that.
JL: We love Milwaukee. I mean, some of our best friends are from Milwaukee. We’ve had a lot of memorable shows—that August tour being a real highlight. I guess we’re just going to have to fucking bring it with our original music. A Concert cruise sounds great, but the downfall is that there’s nowhere to go once you bang the moms. They can always find you on a cruise.
MR: How many encores are planned for Wednesday?
JL: We usually don’t do any encores unless the crowd asks politely, or claps at the end of the show. So if that happens…I don’t know, four? It’s hard to say.
MR: Since it’s the season for gratitude, what are some things the Dudes are thankful for?
JL: During this season of giving thanks, we would like to personally thank all of the bands that have ripped us off and stolen our original music over the years to “make a living in the music biz.” Keep it coming, assholes. It just makes us stronger. We don’t do it for the admiration, we do it for us. We are also thankful for huge milkers and poontang.
The Summertime Dudes and Hand Of Doom will play a benefit show for Christian Houtman Wednesday, November 26 at Club Garibaldi. The concert begins at 9 p.m. and costs $5 at the door.