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Bad | Main | Dirty Dancing Forever


August 29, 2005

Tommy Flashes His Peacock


"Tommy Lee Goes to College" was supposed to be "Steve Perry Goes to College." And that's not even the strangest thing about how NBC's new reality hit came to be.

First of all, the show was actually the brainchild of electronic music artist BT, best known for producing 'NSYNC's "Pop" and the idea came to him while working on a project quite different than the fish-out-of-water series. "When I was scoring 'Monster,' [Journey frontman] Steve Perry licensed us a Journey track and he came down to see the movie and fell in love with the scoring process. And more important than that, he started hanging out with us all the time at my studio," BT recalled.

Perry was so fascinated because he had never been formally educated in music, which spawned a thought it BT's head one afternoon. "I stood up on the soundstage and said, 'I have the funniest idea for a reality show,' " BT said. " 'We take a rock star and we put him in college. Picture him like failing the final in music theory class on his own song and doing beer bongs with college chicks.' And everyone was dying laughing and I went on for like a half hour. And, mind you, the film we are working on is blood and guts and people crying every day."

The next day, one of the movie's producers, Brad Wyman, shared BT's idea with the Creative Artists Agency. "They called me and said, 'We can get this made and you can be a producer and do the music,' " BT recalled. "And I said, 'Well, I don't even own a television. I haven't watched TV in like five years. They're like, 'That doesn't matter. Call Steve.' " BT called the Journey singer, who was flattered but not interested. "He was like, 'Dude, there's no way you're going to humiliate me on TV. I want to learn some of that stuff,' " BT remembered. "So I called CAA and they were like, 'Can you think of anyone else?' I said, 'Let me make a phone call.' I called Tommy and told him the idea. There was an awkward silence and then he goes, 'Dude, can I live in the chicks' dorm?' So I called CAA and said, 'I got the f---ing guy for sure.' "

BT describes their first meeting, with NBC, as legendary. "Tommy, in the middle of the meeting, gets up on the table, drops his pants and goes, 'Look, I got a peacock like the NBC peacock,' " BT said. "He's like, 'We could do ads that instead of NBC say NBLee.' And cut to us leaving and they're like, 'Don't take this to anyone else. We'll write you a check right now.'

"We were literally walking off the NBC lot and some friends called me and they were like, 'Did you hear about this meeting where Tommy pulled his pants down?' " he continued. "I was like, 'How did you hear about that? That was 10 minutes ago.' "

Immediately, Lee began applying to schools and was eventually accepted into six. "I thought Nebraska was the funniest, just because it's so fish-out-of-water," BT said.


Posted by Lawren at August 29, 2005 08:35 AM | Trackbacks (0)

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