Everyone's favorite attractive uncle John Stamos stopped by the first Stern Show of 2016 and brought with him some fascinating new stories from his over three-decade career ahead of the return of his FOX sitcom "Grandfathered" Tuesday nights.
On Almost Being Real-Life "Grandfathered"
Though John plays a guy who ends up with a surprise kid on "Grandfathered," he reveals that he became very close to that real-life scenario. Howard asked John - given his years of prowess with the ladies - if he's ever gotten a girl pregnant. "I'm careful and I have been careful." John revealed that he had once gotten a woman pregnant, in his late twenties, and that the woman got an abortion. "This was just bad timing. It really wasn't my choice…I think it was sort of a mutual decision." John admitted that he'd never discussed this before.
Alcohol Abuse, Rehab, and Recovery
Arriving prepared to answer rehab questions, John provided some insight into his recent difficulties with substance abuse. When asked by Howard if he misses getting high, John said "not at all."
The experience of rehab seemed to have treated John well. "I really don't have anything to hide anymore ... my last ten [years], my father passed away, I had a divorce ... I went sort of down a wrong path." John revealed that the recent passing of his mother (with whom he was extremely close) finally sent him into a tailspin. "I lost myself. I lost my sense of discipline, which my dad taught me so well. More and more, I was just dipping into that dark place."
Fortunately, things seem to be much better now. "I don't want to put that burden of being a poster boy for it, but I really feel great. I feel even. Really happy."
His Involvement With the Beach Boys
One of the most interesting dimensions of John (as proclaimed by Howard) is his longtime involvement with the Beach Boys, and John dove into some background about that aspect of his career.
"Dennis Wilson had died in 1983 ... their drummer, who was bitchin'... and I was hanging out with them and at the time, there was a lot of musicians on stage and a couple different camps - the Wilson Camp, the [Mike] Love camp," Stamos recalled. John had been friends with the Beach Boys touring band guitarist Jeff Foskett, and Jeff invited John on stage to potentially handle drumming. The loose stage atmosphere meant that inviting a celebrity like John to play wasn't a huge deal.
"One of the first times I played with in '85 at the Washington monument," he recounted. "They let me sit in to play 'Barbara Ann.'" John explained that the band always had two drummers on stage, initially due to Dennis Wilson's unpredictability, but in this case, the setup acted as a safety net for John. This was a huge relief in an otherwise heavy-pressure situation, which included a crowd of a million people and Jimmy Page sitting in on guitar…
Having to "Teach" Jimmy Page
With Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page joining the Beach Boys during John's early Washington Monument show, Jeff Foskett was in charge of teaching Jimmy what key each Beach Boys song was in. John was brought along to the rehearsals in a hotel room. "We're in this hotel and we go up to the penthouse suite and there's cases everywhere ... and I thought it was guitars everywhere. He had like whips and devil shit," John remembered. The defining moment came when Jeff was off with a roadie and in his absence, Jimmy turned to John to ask about the keys to a few songs. As a result, John got the brunt of Jimmy's displeasure with the answers. "'I can't f*cking solo in E flat!' [Jimmy] was yelling at me and I was twenty years old or something."
Despite the initial pressure, Stamos has continued to tour with the Beach Boys, sometimes doing upwards of 50 gigs a year with them.
The Origins of "Fuller House"
Howard asked John why, after years of attempting to shed the "Uncle Jesse" image, he would return to "Full House." "I can embrace it now. I've done enough work ... I can get rid of it, people don't," he countered.
John explained that "Fuller House" came together from a deal he had with Warner Brothers during his time on "E.R." "I met with ['Full House' producer] Jeff Franklin and we talked about maybe doing a spinoff. Maybe it would be the three girls move into the house, one of the girls has three boys. I went out and sold it years ago, and Warner Brothers couldn't make the deal." John says he and Franklin tried to get the show made for a year-and-a-half. Finally, Netflix came up and "Fuller House" is a go for February.
However, not the entire "Full House" cast is back on board, with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen holding out. John explained how that came out of some miscommunication in which he was told they were asked and the twins said they never were. Eventually, John spoke to Mary-Kate over the phone with the official invitation. "They were very sweet, they seemed very into it. They just were afraid of acting, they hadn't acted, they don't consider themselves actresses."
Still, John revealed that the Olsen twins are obsessed with Howard and the show.
"Fuller House" premieres on Netflix February 26th.