FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here, Richard Cheese himself personally answers some
questions about his music, his method, and his martinis.
1.1) Are you really retiring?
Yes. While I
truly love my audiences and
enjoy meeting and/or groping my fans, I have been doing shows and gigs
and concert tours for ten long
years, so I've decided to take some time off from live performing.
I've also had some vocal chord problems lately, so I've been advised to
curtail my singing exploits before I do any irreversible damage.
And, I also need an eye operation (seriously!)...but I'll be fine.
So, after performing one last round of shows with my Lounge Against The
Machine band in 2009, I
have turned off my microphone, put away my tiger-striped tuxedo, and HEY
DON'T TOUCH MY VODKA!!!!!!
We will still be releasing new CDs,
and I might play some occasional gigs in Vegas and a few cities where we
have never played before (London, Palm Springs, etc.), but we won't be doing
more live touring until further notice. I might be playing some
shows in 2010/2011 with my new Hawaiian band, in support of our
forthcoming album LAVAPALOOZA, but I'm not sure about that yet.
I want to work on some other projects, such
as concert movie, a book, a videogame, and a
renewable space plane. I'll also be producing albums for some other
swingin' bands that you might enjoy. And, I'd like to get some
To receive news about our future projects, please enter your email
address in the form at left to sign-up for fan club updates.
I have loved performing for my wonderful fans, and I've enjoyed playing that swingin' live
lounge music over the years, and I and my band appreciate your continued
support. I do hope to return to the stage in 2036 as a DNA
Swank you very much!
1.2) Will you and your band still do high-paying corporate events
and television gigs?
Hell yes, I'm not stupid! For more info, visit the
booking page at our
1.3.1) When are you coming to play a show
in my town?
Well, we would love to perform everywhere in
the world, but since we're an independent band without a
major label to cover tour costs, we have to wait until we
get hired to play a show. You can help make this happen
by finding us a nightclub or corporate event where we can
play a high-paying gig. If you can get us a bunch of
shows in the same area of the country, then we can afford
to fly there, pay for hotel suites and minivan rentals,
and buy hookers. Just kidding, it doesn't have to be a
minivan. For more info,
visit the booking info page at our
"SHOWS+BOOKING" link. Warning:
1.3.2) When are you coming to play a show
As soon as you fly us out there and
get us work visas.
1.4) Why won't you play a show in MY town for ME?
Because I'm not your monkey!
1.5) Will you play my wedding?
Just go to our booking info page and all the information is there.
1.6) Will you play my party?
Just go to our booking info page and all the information is there.
1.7) Will you play my nightclub?
Um, I think
we covered this. Just go to our booking info page and all the
information is there.
1.8) What if I want to book you for a show?
Look, this is the last time I'm going to tell you. Go to the
booking info page.
Is it okay if i just send you an email asking you
to book a show without reading the booking page?
TO THE BOOKING PAGE!
So, I can just call you on that 818 phone number, to ask about a booking?
2.1) Where the hell is my CD? I ordered it a long
Don't worry, it's on the way. We send out our orders by
hand, the old-fashioned way, and since we're an independent band without
a big staff, it takes us a little extra time. Thank you for your
patience, and email us again in a week if it's not there. For
complete customer service, please visit
And while you're online, how about buying another CD, huh?
2.2) Will you send me an autographed picture?
Maybe. Go read the info at our
3.1) Why is the sky blue?
4.1) When is the next new Richard Cheese CD coming out?
Our new albums "VIVA LA VODKA:
RICHARD CHEESE LIVE," "OK BARTENDER," and "LAVAPALOOZA" are already on sale
at shop.richardcheese.com! Fan club members receive these CDs
months before they're released in stores!
We'll might also be putting out some
other albums in 2010/2011: "A LOUNGE SUPREME," "BACK IN BLACK TIE,"
"NUMBERS OF THE BEAST," and maybe more.
To get a look at all of our
CDs/albums, click the "CDs+CHEESE SHOP" link above, or please visit
4.2) Where can I get the albums KID A FLAT, A RUSH OF DICK TO THE HEAD, GOOD EVENING NASTY, TO THE FIVE
CASINOS, THE PASTEURIZING, LET IT BRIE, and the other CDs I have
Well, I am sorry to say that those albums
are not available. In fact, we have no idea what they are, and we can't answer any more questions about them.
The only CD's that really
LOUNGE AGAINST THE MACHINE (2000)
I'D LIKE A VIRGIN (2004)
APERITIF FOR DESTRUCTION (2005)
THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE MOON: THE BEST OF RICHARD CHEESE (2006)
SILENT NIGHTCLUB (2006)
DICK AT NITE (2007)
VIVA LA VODKA (2009)
OK BARTENDER (2009)
LAVAPALOOZA (Summer/Fall 2010)
My CDs are available in retail stores, including Best Buy, FYE, and
Hot Topic. You can also get them online at iTunes, and from web retailers like amazon.com
and bn.com. And, of course, you can always buy my CDs and
4.3) Do you have sheet music available for your versions
of the songs on your CDs?
No, sorry. We may put out a sheet music book
someday, but publishing such a book is cost prohibitive. If you
want us to transcribe a song and print sheet music for you, we can do it
for $500 per song. Seriously. That's the price. Yeah,
I know, it's outrageous. So don't do it. Fine.
4.4) Do you have karaoke versions of your songs
Yes! You can download instrumental versions of some
songs on iTunes! Just search for "Richard
We may put out some karaoke versions of our other CDs in the
future, but not right now. It's not only expensive to make those
fricking CD+G karaoke CDs, but there are also some legal hurdles
involved with the use of displaying song lyrics. IF YOU ARE A
KARAOKE CD+G PRODUCER and you can solve these problems for us, and it
doesn't require me to do any work, send us an
email and also some advance money.
4.5) In the title of your album "Aperitif For
Destruction," what does the word "Aperitif" mean?
Even though you're evidently
too lazy to look it up for yourself in an on-line dictionary, here's a
definition for you:
[ FR apéritif aperient, from ML aperitivus,
L aperire ] n.: an alcoholic
drink taken before a meal as an appetizer
4.6) Would you ever put out vinyl versions of your CDs, for DJs?
Let me talk to my
accountants about this. Okay, I talked to my accountants, and they
said no freaking way. We'd have to sell about 5,000 records at $10 each to
break even on that deal, and I don't think there are 5,000 DJs who even
have $10, because they spent it on WEED.
4.7) Can I use one of your songs in my school film,
podcast, YouTube video, website, home video, flash project, or porno movie?
Sure, what the hell.
But if it's for anything
other than private, non-commercial use, then the real answer is probably no.
If it were up to me,
I'd say yes. But since we do not control the publishing of the
original songs covered on our albums, separate permissions from the
original songs' publishers are probably required. However, if it's
just a little thing for your film class or tupperware party, I don't
think anyone's going to sue you, if you're just kicking it casual, you
In fact, don't even bother asking an attorney about this.
Just wing it! Who cares! But if you decide to take this
risk, DEFINITELY DON'T ASK US ABOUT IT. Once you ask, then we officially know
about it, and we are therefore obligated to forbid it. So, don't
ask, don't tell, and proceed at your own peril.
Podcasters and YouTubers -- Wanna use our songs?
Same deal as above: I wouldn't worry about it, but it's your ass,
not mine. No, we can't send you free promotional copies of our
CDs. Just go on iTunes, you cheapskate. And no, sorry, I will NOT appear on
or be interviewed for your podcast.
I did that once in Honolulu and I got into a lot of trouble!
Film students, you may feel
free to use our songs in your non-commercial class projects, but
you no makee
no money! Please send us a copy of the finished product on DVD, and you must
NEVER attempt to sell it or charge admission. If you do, our
attorneys will sue you harder and faster than a Sativa Rose scene.
Seriously: don't ask us for permission, because we have to
say no. Just chance it. Use our material at your own risk; prosecution of illegal uses and
unauthorized exploitation may be pursued by the original artists,
publishers, and labels;
void where prohibited; the crow flies at midnight.
5.1.1) How long have you been doing this?
You mean typing the FAQs? About fifteen
5.2.1) No, how long have you been doing this whole Richard Cheese
Oh. Well, our first CD came out in October
we've been lounging against the machine ever since. But I've been lounge singing
since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Or was it a boilermaker?
5.2.2) Where did you get the idea to do this act?
Well, to be honest, it's a combination of
(a) I wanted to carry on the lounge singer tradition established
by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and Tony Bennett, in which contemporary
standards are performed in a swingin' traditional pop vocal style.
There are so many wonderful songs being written these days, and while
they may be released as rap or rock recordings, some of the lyrics and
melodies are so good that they deserve to be re-interpreted as big band
arrangements and torch songs.
(b) I was inspired by Brian Setzer's 17-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra, which
performed big band versions of Setzer's own early-career Stray Cats songs,
like "Rock This Town" and "Stray Cat Strut." To hear those rock
songs performed with a big band was fun and cool and clever.
(c) I blatantly stole from the creative genius of 3 legendary
television comedians: Bill
Murray's "Nick Winters" character on Saturday
Night Live in the 1970's, Joe Piscopo's "Frank Sinatra" impersonation from
SNL in the 1980's,
and the "Tom Monroe" pop vocalist character that Rick
Moranis created on SCTV in the 1980's.
In fact, back in 1982, when I worked in a
warehouse, me and the other workers used to do our best impressions of
Moranis "Tom Monroe" sketch, in which the cheesey lounge singer was
smarmily crooning the Police song "De Do Do Do De Da Da Da" in
a white suit. I think that bit was
really the primary influence for our act. Of course, lounge singers have been
doing their own vintage versions of contemporary rock songs for years; Sinatra once did a
cover of "Downtown" by Petula Clark! Eeew!
Interestingly, the first commercially-released audio recording of a
lounge-singer character appeared on The Beatles song "You Know My Name
(Look Up the Number)," in which Paul McCartney is introduced as a lounge
singer named Dennis O'Bell, performing in a nightclub called "Slaggers."
Just listen to McCartney as O'Bell when he says "Good evening."
Some other artists who are known for their
re-arranged versions of popular songs include:
Steve Allen (dramatic readings of rock lyrics)
Jack Jones ("New Jack Swing" album)
Pat Boone ("In A Metal Mood" album)
Marty & Elayne & The Dresden Room (lounge covers
of pop hits, as seen in the movie "Swingers")
The Mike Flowers Pops (60's version of Oasis "Wonderwall")
The Joshua Trio (lounge versions of U2 songs)
Frank Bennett (Australian big band singer)
Lounge-A-Palooza (compilation of lounge-style rock covers, including
Steve & Eydie)
Black Velvet Flag (lounge style punk covers)
The Recliners (lounge style rock covers)
Prozac For Loves (lounge style rock covers)
Paul Anka ("Rock Swings" album, he totally ripped me off!)
Paul Anka ("Classic Songs: My Way" album, he totally ripped me off
Michael Buble (also ripped me off)
The Osbournes (sitcom-theme-style version of "Crazy
Train," NOT sung by me)
El Vez (retro remakes of Elvis songs)
Dread Zeppelin (Elvis covers of Led Zeppelin songs)
The Nylons (doo-wop covers of rock hits)
Neil Sedaka (1976 ballad version of his own 1962 hit "Breakin' Up Is
Hard To Do")
Eric Idle (as a lounge singer in the film "Monty Python's The Meaning Of
Weird Al Yankovic (polka medleys of contemporary songs)
Jaymz Bee & The Royal Jelly Orchestra (retro covers
of rock hits)
Sonny Manischewitz (lounge singer character on 1970's sitcom "It's A Living")
Richard Belzer (Rolling Stones "Satisfaction"
done lounge style)
Devo (easy listening versions of their own songs)
Brian Setzer Orchestra (big band versions of Stray Cats
Will Ferrell (as "Goulet" on SNL)
Steve Martin ("Vegas" routine on "Let's Get Small" album)
Joe Piscopo (as Frank Sinatra on SNL / 1982 single "I Love Rock N Roll")
Eugene Levy (as Perry Como in "Perry Como: Still Alive" sketch on SCTV)
Rick Moranis (as crooner Tom Monroe on SCTV)
Bill Murray (as lounge singer Nick Winters on SNL)
Paul the 55-year-old-intern (at KROQ/Los Angeles)
5.2.3) What about that Paul Anka "Rock Swings" record?
Paul Anka ripped me off!
5.2.4) And then he put out another album, "Classic Songs
My Way," in 2007, huh?
Yeah, he did. What a pain in my ass. Oh, thanks
Paul, Mr. Millionaire, for horning in on my niche with your bland,
overly produced slickathon of pukey mediocre tracks. And, gee, thanks
for having that innovative cutting edge trendsetter Michael Buble
perform a duet on the record, too. That was a stroke of genius.
Say, as long as you're busy copying other people's concepts, why don't
you go do a sing-a-long with the dead Nat King Cole? GET OFF MY
5.3.1) What do the original artists think of you
doing covers of their songs?
They're fine with it, especially since each
artist receives a royalty payment of 9cents for each Richard Cheese song
We've had some great feedback from artists who truly call
themselves Richard Cheese fans, including Beck, Bono, Papa Roach,
Disturbed, Slipknot, Sir Mix-A-Lot, The Killers, Chris
Martin from Coldplay, Rush, Noodles from Offspring, Mystikal, Fred
Schneider of the B-52's, Wes and Puddle Of
Mudd, Korn, Serj from System Of A Down, the bass player from No Doubt, Fred Durst from Limp
Bizkit, The Toyes, and many others. Travis Barker from
Blink182 liked us so much that he hired us to entertain at his first
wedding! Brian Setzer hired us to play in his living room for a
Christmas Party! And, bands like Foo Fighters and Jet and the Red Hot
Chili Peppers have been playing
our CDs at their concerts before the show starts! Thanks fellas!
5.3.2) Do you have to get their permission to include
their songs on your CDs?
Nope. Doing a remake of a song is legally
allowed, as long as you give proper credit to the
songwriters/publishers, as long as you don't change the lyrics, and as long as you pay the
statutory royalty rate of 9.1cents per song per CD sold.
For a CD such as I'D LIKE A VIRGIN, everytime we sell a CD, we send a
total of $1.76 out to the various publishers.
For digital releases of our songs
(i.e. iTunes), we do have to obtain a digital distribution license, but
that is just a formal permission and doesn't cost any money. Oh
great, now some lawyer is going to read that sentence and realize they
can start charging us for digital distribution licenses. Thanks a
lot, FAQ reader!!!
about this process can be obtained from The Harry Fox Agency at
5.3.3) So this isn't like Weird Al having to get permission from the
No, you idiot. Weird Al Yankovic, who is a very
talented and hilarious entertainer and close personal friend of mine, does SONG PARODIES, in which he
changes the lyrics of the songs. My Richard Cheese & Lounge
Against The Machine band does COVERS, which
are simply new performances of the original songs. Our
arrangements remain faithful
to the original song's lyrics and musical composition. Please don't
call what we do "parody." We might satirize, bastardize, and
swankify, but we are not parodying.
And stop comparing me to Weird Al! He's rich! I'm not!
5.4.1) Was that you singing the opening theme
song for "The Osbournes" on MTV?
Nope. That is some other guy.
When they started developing the TV series,
the folks at MTV wanted to use Pat Boone's loungey
version of "Crazy Train" for the opening theme.
But, it would have cost them a ton of money to license
Pat Boone's recording. So, the MTV producers thought it would be a
good idea to have RICHARD CHEESE re-sing the song, and they would use it
as the series theme. Well, MTV tried to reach me through my old
record label, and I was never given the message, and my old record label
refused their offer without asking me about it, so MTV hired someone else to sing it, a guy named Lewis LaMedica.
Oh well, that's showbiz.
5.5.1) How do you decide which songs to cover?
Here, read the Liner Notes from my
"Sunny Side Of The Moon" album:
Whether I'm strolling down a
street, walking through a casino, or waking up in a whorehouse, I
always feel so blessed when fans tell me how much they enjoy our
music. I'm grateful and glad to hear their kind words, pose for a
picture (even though the flash never ever ever ever EVER works), and
answer their questions.
People always ask me, "Richard Cheese—is that your real name?" And I
say, "Of course—why would I make up a name like that? What, are you
Many of my fans also ask me, "Hey Dick, if I'm going to have sex
with one of your groupies, should I use a condom? Or two?"
But the question I hear most is, "How do you pick the songs for your
CD's? What is it about a particular number that makes it right for
your unique and trademarked brand of masterful swankification?"
Well, that's actually two questions. Nevertheless, I will answer
them both, simultaneously, with this simple response: I don't know.
I just don't know.
When we're looking for songs to interpret, I guess I'm searching for
that something special: that unforgettable line, or phrase, or
feel...that certain je nais parle pas which turns a simple song into
an enduring standard. You won't find it in the sheet music, on the
piano keys, or under the stage lights. It appears out of nowhere,
like a long lost love; it whispers in your ear, kicks you in the
guts, and sends you home with a note pinned to your heart which
reads, "Remember," written with a Sharpee.
In other words, stop asking me this question, jerkface. Don't ask
how the magic happens; don't try to figure out how they saw the lady
in half; and don't call the cops just because I grabbed your
girlfriend's chi-chi during the second set. Don't analyze it, man.
Just trust it, live it, believe in The Cheese, and let the music and
me do what we do best: lounge, baby.
Of course, when I say we, I am also referring to that talented team
of seasoned musicians, recording engineers, and cocktail waitresses
who have worked so hard to make it all sound so easy. To those
dedicated professionals who have helped make all of those albums,
concerts, broadcasts, and table dances possible, I say a heartfelt
thank you, and I apologize again that I spent your paychecks on
You know, in these crazy times, what with the hurricanes and
earthquakes and tsunamis and Republicans, we must remember that, at
least, the music is always there for us, and always will be.
Wherever you go, whoever you do, there is, waiting faithfully for
you at the end of the day, a great lyric, a memorable melody, and a
happenin' tune. A beloved song is your loyal companion, your old
standby, your home away from home, an ally in your corner. Yes,
friends, you can always count on the music, the one language that
everyone, everywhere understands. Are you listening, Gargamel?
And, so, with your permission, we've assembled a few of our favorite
favorites for your listening pleasure. Some are old, some are new,
and all of them are chock full of that swing thing that we bring.
These are the songs that mean something to me, and I hope they
become an important part of your life, too. So play them on your
stereo, or your peapod, or whatever the hell you huffers are
listening to these days...and let the music heal you.
Broke up with your gal? Listen to "Creep." Work got you down? Put on
"People Equals Shit." Crushed by the repressive imperialistic
crapitalism of a ruthless elitist theocracy? Try a little "Fight For
Your Right (To Party)."
On some days, these songs may be the only lights you can find to
help illuminate that big dark nightclub we call life. But that's
okay...because even if the bar is closed, and the showgirls have
gone home, I'll still be there to sing for you... and for me.
Remember....candy is dandy, liquor is quicker, but cheddar is
Your lounge singin' pal,
P.S. Just because this is a Greatest Hits album doesn't mean you
don't have to buy the rest of my CDs. Buy them, fuckers! Seriously!
I am so broke it's pathetic! Do you know how much it costs to
dry-clean a tiger-striped tuxedo thirty fucking times a year? Have
you ever seen the bar tab after a gig with a full horn section? And
let's not forget the private detectives, the antibiotics, and the
bail bonds! Just go to my website, buy one of everything, and help
me get the white devil off my back!
SO QUIT BUGGIN' ME WITH THIS
5.5.2) Is there a song that you have tried to cover, but
couldn't make it work lounge-style?
Not really. My musicians are so talented that they
can re-arrange anything. Those guys are the kings!
I get asked this question during
interviews by small-minded reporters and unprepared radio DJs all the
time, and really, it's a stupid premise for a question. I mean,
it's like asking, "Have you ever done your job poorly and failed at it?"
Why would anyone admit to something like that? Or, why should
anyone be surprised that sometimes, things don't work? More specifically,
if I chose songs that weren't working, then I wouldn't be a very good
lounge singer, would I? It's just a really short-sighted and
insulting question. Does every line of questioning have to
degenerate into a scandal-mongering hit job? What, are you Chris
Wallace on Fox? Fuck off, jackass.
Next time someone asks me that
question in an interview, I'm going to say, "Is there a woman you were
in love with but she ended up having sex with someone better looking than you?"
5.5.3) Do you dislike the press?
Honestly, I just think some reporters
don't even listen to my CDs or read the FAQs before the interviews.
It's just lazy, empty journalism, and I think I'm not going to allow any
more interviews. I usually get misquoted, insulted, and no one
reads newspapers anymore anyway. Print is dead. Sayonara!
5.6) Why does your voice on your albums sound different
Because in 2003, I had a sinus
coblation operation, and I also had my tonsils removed. This
procedure opened up my nasal passages, which resulted in a slight change
in my vocal sound. I also that year started using a cellphone,
which resulted in a slight change in my sperm count.
5.7) Is that you singing "The Star Wars Cantina" Comedy Parody
Actually, no. That was done by Mark Jonathan Davis,
the guy who portrays me. Here's a link for more info:
mich.ideatown.com But please don't call the phone number in the
video. Just laugh and move along. Move along.
5.8) Did you really write the song "Christmas In Las
Vegas" on the "Silent Nightclub" album?
Yes, I sure did! I
made up the melody and the chorus lyrics in 2004 while I was driving to
the supermarket. Then, I had my musical director Bobby Ricotta transcribe it on to sheet music, and a song was born.
I wrote the lyrics in early 2006 at a Baja Fresh restaurant in Rancho
Mirage, California, and we finished recording the song in the summer of
2006. You can read the lyrics in the LIBRARY section of our "EXTRA
6.1.1) Do you really read the emails
Yes, every single one. It takes a LONG time,
but damnit, you're worth it. Thanks for your patience,
and please keep spreading the cheese.
6.1.2) I signed up on the "PEOPLE WHO WANT
TO HAVE SEX WITH RICHARD CHEESE" list at one of your shows. How do I get
Well, email me a picture of yourself, and
if you're female, hot, 18, single, and local, you're next.
6.2.1) Is that really Richard Cheese on
Yes, as long as you're
6.2.2) Why are your myspace pages not working?
We fixed it. Believe
me, when it's not working, it sucks for us, too. We think it won't
crash anymore, keep your fingers crossed, as long as you're really 18.
6.2.3) Why isn't my favorite song on your myspace page?
I'm not your monkey!
6.3) Why isn't your YouTube page working?
Because they're fucking with me.
6.4) Are you on FaceBook?
www.facebook.com/richardcheese . FaceBook is the best way to
communicate with me and my fans and my attorneys.
7.1) Where did you get your tiger-striped tuxedo?
I bought my first tiger-striped
jacket on Melrose in Hollywood in 2001, and had a tailor make some
alterations to it. Then, I got another one, and then I couldn't
find them anymore. I do, however, have about 100 yards of
tiger-striped material, and you can buy a custom-made tux from me for
7.2) Can I borrow your tiger-striped tuxe---
7.3) What about leopard-print jackets?
Those are lame. Did a leopard
maul Seigfried & Roy? No. It was a TIGER. Let's be
8.1) Is it okay
if I burn your CDs and steal money directly out of your pocket?
No, it's not okay at all. Go
read the note about music piracy at our CHEESE SHOP page. And
expect a call from my attorney.
your favorite thing to do in Vegas?
9.1.1) Is a joke.
9.1.2) Will you pose for a photo with me at your show?
Yeah, sure, as long as you promise to
make me stand uncomfortably close to your liquor-breathed freakshow
manfriend, and as long as you promise that you have no fucking clue how
to operate your own goddamned camera, and as long as you promise to take
the worst possible picture of my face, and spill a drink on my tuxedo in
the process, and then try to get me to pose for another picture because
the first one was blurry or you weren't smiling or you're just a needy
timehog. Say Cheese!
9.2) How come you don't allow professional photographers
at your concerts?
Because cameras steal the soul.
And because professional
photographers like to take 500 pictures when they only need about three.
And because some people who ask for
press passes are, in fact, lousy photographers who just want to see a
free concert, and the pictures never
turn out well.
And because there are already plenty
of pictures of me on the internet, and you're not going to capture
anything earth-shattering with your little camera at my silly lounge show, Ansel
9.3) Can I have free tickets to your show because I'm
poor, young, and/or greedy?
Yes. I mean, no.
9.4) Can I have free tickets to your show because I'm hot,
young, and/or easy?
Yes. As long as you look like
10.1) Are you just making up extra questions so your
FAQ will seem more comprehensive?
11.1) It's not working.
That's not a question, is it?