If you are Anthony Bourdain, the punk-rock-loving world-renowned chef and star of the hit Travel Channel show No Reservations, sometimes you find yourself in Berlin boozing with Queens of the Stone Age. As the cocktails flow, the conversation morphs from the Ramones to kitsch, and before you know it you're talking about super-cheesy Christmas variety-show specials in the Bing Crosby-hosts-David Bowie tradition. The result? Last week QOTSA played "Silver Bells" (renamed "Turkey Bells") for a holiday-themed episode of No Reservations. "We just got a call saying, "˜Hey, we have a weird idea,'" frontman Josh Homme told us. "So when people come to us with that sort of a statement we are all ears."
Here's the plot: While Bourdain cooks a traditional holiday feast at his Connecticut home, the Queens are rocking tracks including "Sick, Sick, Sick," "3's & 7's" and "Make It Wit Chu" at an ungodly volume in the basement rec room. When the band emerges, they're sporting appalling Christmas sweaters. "QVC graciously sent us the worst sweaters of all time," Homme explains. "I think someone Googled the word 'horrible' and that's how we found them." Bourdain, ever the arbiter of good taste, hasn't recovered: "Those Christmas sweaters were just the most terrifying things I've ever seen in my life. Beyond Sandra Lee on some really awful hallucinogen."
While Homme and Bourdain aren't giving up the whole story, they revealed the episode will involve karaoke, surly adolescents and a Japanese businessman. "It's a traditional Thanksgiving/Christmas meal with turkey, all the trimmings, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie ... some Christmas carols ... and a vicious brother-on-brother knife fight," Bourdain said. "We spent a fair amount of time spraying stage blood onto my niece and nephew's face. What's a holiday special without violent mayhem? I think it's an honest reflection of the holiday season."
Though Homme is slightly worried the band has ruined "ten years of credibility" by participating in this holiday nightmare, it was worth it: "Most of the time, if you tried to suggest that we get into sweaters like that we would probably just drink you under the table and leave you for dead, but this is a special case. That bastard. I'll never forgive him and I'll never forget him."