Cisco Adler is famous for a lot of things — he’s the son of Lou Adler (the legendary ’60s producer who’s worked with everyone from the Mamas and the Papas to Cheech and Chong), the ex-boyfriend of The O.C. star Mischa Barton, the guy with the exceptionally large pair of testicles (a portrait of them was posted on perezhilton.com) — but being a musician is not one of them…yet. But with the VH1 show The Rock Life (airing Mondays, following Rock of Love) set to feature the daily struggles of Whitestarr, the slop-rock band Adler formed some seven years ago, he’s hoping to change that.
Think of it as The Hills (of Malibu) starring a bunch of long-haired, ass-bearing dudes who make no apologies for their I wanna rock n roll all night and party every day lifestyle. One thing’s for sure: it makes for good on-screen drama, and Adler would know since he’s a reality TV nut (watch out, Padma Lakshmi!). Always good for a laugh-out-loud conversation, we caught up with Adler just as Whitestarr’s rented (and subsequently, trashed) Winnebago was pulling into his Malibu home. The band had just returned from a series of one-off shows, which, to their surprise — and delight — were all near or total sell-outs. Maybe their moment has finally arrived.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Whose idea was it to do the show?
CISCO ADLER: It was my idea. Over the years, I had been pitched those weird reality shows — me and a girl and all that bulls—. Eventually, I was like, let’s just do our own show and have control and get it out there. I was involved in pitch meetings and it was a fun process that took two years, but that’s why it was so cool to finally see it. You know, everyone in Los Angeles has a TV show, so to actually have [mine] make it to air was nice.
The entire band watched the first two episodes together at a bar in Chicago, right? How was that?
It was hilarious. Tony Potato was belligerent, screaming ”Tony, Tony, Tony!” every time he was on the screen. He blacked out. He says he remembers the first episode, but by the second, he was gone. He woke up naked in a room and doesn’t remember how he got there. See, even the dancer’s living the rock life!
Tony Potato is, of course, your not-exactly-in-shape full-time dancer. How did he become a part of the band?
This is how he tells it to me, because it’s foggy. When we first started, we didn’t know that seven years later, this would be my entire life, blood, and the air I breathe. We just started a band. But for the first couple of shows, there were so many random weirdos on stage, and he says that he got up and was the one who just never got off. So now we’ve taken him on. I can’t explain it, it’s just Whitestarr. There’d be no Whitestarr without Tony.
Was he inspired by other famous rock band dancers?
Over the years, people have brought it up — Happy Mondays and that ska band, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones — but I like to think of it more like Public Enemy with Flavor Flav.
And then there’s Rainbow, your guitarist. In the first episode, when manager Carl Stubner comes to see you play with Tommy Lee and Slash in tow, were you really annoyed at all of Rainbow’s grandstanding, like the 10-minute long guitar solo?
Isn’t that hilarious? The funniest thing about that is I remember it exactly as it was cut. It was, like, it couldn’t have been done better from my own memory. I wasn’t that pissed off. Literally, it came down to the fact that we finally got a manager to come see us, and it was just time to play tight and look like some professionals. Not look like a bunch of d—s who are hyped because there’s a bunch of chicks in the front row.
At that Roxy gig, as any Whitestarr show, there’s an awful lot of ass crack. Do you ever wear underwear?
How long have you been going commando full-time?
I don’t know. Three, four, five, six years? I don’t remember when I started wearing pants too tight for underwear.
What’s the advantage?
Only one layer to pull off, of course.
NEXT PAGE: ”I’m like a naked dude. So I was thinking, ‘Damn, it took them that long to get a naked picture of me?”’