There's a great article, entitled Bo Bice: Live on the Sunset Strip, at MTV.com. It's 3 pages long, but here's a sampling:
The big-haired blond singer standing center stage next to Bo Bice tonight isn't Carrie Underwood. He isn't nearly as cute.
It's 1 a.m. at the Roxy, and Bice has just been invited onstage by Metal Skool, the hair-metal tribute band that's been rocking Hollywood's Sunset Strip like a hurricane for the past few years.
On TV, Bo is the "rocker," but next to this motley crew of tattooed, leather-clad Whitesnake worshippers, he's "the guy who came in second on 'American Idol,' " as singer Michael Star introduces him.
"We're gonna give him a chance to prove himself, heavy metal-style," guitarist Satchel tells the capacity crowd as he tears into the opening riff of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine."
Bice smiles, grabs the mic and belts out a squeal that would make Axl Rose proud. He tosses his hat and swings his long hair in the air, saluting the room with double metal horns. He kicks in with the vocals just in time, nailing every line. By mid-song, he's racing around the stage, striking poses with the band. The crowd is going nuts.Heading to another legendary rock hangout, the Rainbow, Bice hops on a moped parked between tour buses. "This is my ride, my hardly Davidson," he jokes. "Brooke Burke, eat your heart out. I told you I'd make it. You could be riding on this!"
Bice has a big crush on Burke, though he's not exactly on the market. A few weeks earlier, he married his hometown sweetheart, Caroline Merrin Fisher. He doesn't reveal this tonight (although the word "wife" slips out once), but she's obviously on his mind. After climbing into a booth at the Rainbow, for instance, he follows up a compliment he pays the waitress by telling her, "I'm not hitting on you; I have a beautiful woman at home."When the show started months later, however, Bice's audition never aired. From then on he felt like an underdog.
"I said [to the producers], 'What's up with this a--hole Constantine getting all the play?' " Bice deadpans. " 'Why is Mr. Googly Eyes getting all the love? What's the deal? Am I chopped liver?' And of course they said, 'No, Bo; that is not the case — you just are not as talented, and you can't pout.'
Bice jokes, knowing the media likes to think the two rockers were rivals. But he insists that Constantine Maroulis, who was his roommate during the show, is a friend. Bice always thought Constantine would finish higher than him (third behind Carrie and Anwar Robinson, to be exact), and was shocked to see him go earlier.When Bo made the top 24, he thought he would have to sell out with his song selections to stay alive. After nailing "Drift Away" (a Dobie Gray hit that Uncle Kracker recently scored with) the first week, though, he felt safe enough to test the waters with the Allman Brothers Band's "Whipping Post." The response was glowing.
"That was the floodgate for me," he says, pushing aside his half-finished plate of spaghetti. "Then I said, 'OK, I'm gonna push the envelope now; I'm gonna try to do everything I love. I'm not gonna worry about whatever they give me.' "
The pinnacle of Bo's run came the week before the finals, when Bice decided to sing Badlands' "In a Dream" a cappella. The producers warned him about taking the stage without the band, but he never flinched.Bice has no idea the band is about to invite him onstage, but that won't matter when he gets there. After the last few weeks, sitting in with other artists has become second nature.
First it was the "Idol" finale with Lynyrd Skynyrd, then Bonnaroo, where he popped up on stages with Willie Nelson, Trey Anastasio, Galactic and Boyd Tinsley from Dave Matthews Band. Bice considers each a landmark moment.
"One of the biggest barriers I'm trying to cross is that barrier of legitimacy, to where people understand I am a guitar player, I am a piano player, I am a songwriter," Bice explains. "I'm something more than some guy you've seen on TV. And to have the opportunity to play with those guys, to me, legitimized why I'm here and what I'm about."You can read the whole thing here. There are also pics."If it ends tomorrow, I want to be the guy that goes, 'Hey, I had a good run. I had fun with it,' " Bice reflects. "Then I'll open some kind of farm or some Swedish vibrator shop and sell bongs out of the back of my trunk for the rest of my life."
The farm is going to have to wait for now, though. Bo's wanted onstage.