Today Show and The Voice host Carson Daly returned to KROQ Wednesday morning to chat with Klein.Ally.Show about his 30-year relationship with Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 56.
Looking back on Harwell’s past with the station, KROQ’s morning hosts Klein and Ally felt a strong connection to the late singer and, like many of us, took the news of his passing as a complete shock.
One tribute that Klein took to heart was from former KROQ host Carson Daly — who has since shared a number of posts on social media after his passing detailing their friendship.
Coincidentally, Daly’s first encounter with the late Smash Mouth singer involved hitching a ride to L.A. to start his dream job working for KROQ.
In return, Carson played “Walkin’ On The Sun” at his first music meeting which ultimately, although he had no real “juice” at the time, eventually led to airplay and shot the band to the top of the Billboard charts.
“I remember being in their white tour van going from San Fransisco to L.A.,” Daly says. After getting the call that he had the new job, “Smash Mouth drove me in their van… they were simultaneously trying to set up concerts to try and get record labels to go out.”
While he’s not going to accept being the one who actually broke the band, “I led the horse to the water, I guess you could say,” he admits. “I just did everything I could… which, by the way, that’s what always tried to do even in later years… Always trying to just help other bands get exposure.”
Carson also detailed a shaky last encounter with Steve which prompted a call to Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath about staging a possible intervention. “He was not in good shape,” Carson says. “Mark and Steve were extremely close; their bands had a very similar trajectory in the nineties — and they toured together.
Mark’s just a great guy who, this many years later has survived the whole rock stardom and has his head on his shoulders…” Mark checked in he says, adding that some of Harwell’s friends on the peripheral were actively trying to help, but there was apparently a lot going on that he was unaware of.
In the end, Daly received the same hospice alert that everyone else did, and before long Steve had passed. “It really seemed to happen fast,” Carson says.