Howard and Steve Nowicki Talk the Guitar Prowess of Eddie and Wolfgang Van Halen Before Starting Their New Band, Tuchus

“I only write when I have something to say and ‘Smell My Tuchus’ is exactly what I want to say,” Howard notes of improvised tune

November 29, 2022

Guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen might have passed away in 2020, but his legacy remains. On Tuesday morning, Howard recalled recently watching a video of son and past Stern Show guest Wolfgang Van Halen jamming out on some of his father’s tunes with the Foo Fighters. “That kid is massively talented,” he said of watching the musician take on Van Halen classics like “Eruption” during the recent Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts. “I think Wolfgang is an excellent guitar player … He can play his ass off.”

Stern Show staffer and resident Van Halen expert Steve Nowicki was equally complimentary. “He was just fucking incredible on guitar — like so amazing,” Steve said before demonstrating how Wolfgang was able to capture some of the subtle differences of Eddie’s playing live versus in the studio. “That’s what Wolfgang nailed, like the spirit of Eddie, where it’s not note for note of the record, like you’re having fun with it and playing around with it in that way.”

“This interview with Steve Nowicki will be on HBO Minimum, not Max,” Howard teased in light of his recent Bruce Springsteen sit-down.

In between ripping through some of his own riffs, Steve suggested he and Howard start a group of their own. “I really want to start a band with you called Tuchus,” the staffer revealed. “I think we’d be awesome … get Richard [Christy] on drums.”

With Steve playing and Howard singing impromptu lyrics, the two came up with what could become their first hit song, “Smell My Tuchus.” “Fuck, we’re good,” Howard boasted. “This is what I’ve been waiting for. I only write when I have something to say and ‘Smell My Tuchus’ is exactly what I want to say.”