Mark McGrath Sets the Record Straight on Scooby-Doo and Woodstock '99

Mark McGrath Sets the Record Straight on Scooby-Doo and Woodstock '99
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
Mark McGrath is getting ready to have some fun with his Band of Merrymakers in December.

Mark McGrath is getting ready to have some fun with his Band of Merrymakers in December.

Kevin Jackson Jr. (

Before Mark McGrath decks the hall with boughs of holly tonight in New York City, I got the chance to speak with the Sugar Ray frontman about a variety of fun topics including a Wikipedia page that needs some serious updating. McGrath was in jolly spirits, bringing smiles to everyone around him.

As McGrath gets ready to celebrate the holidays, he looked back at his experience observing a specific decade. When asked about what it was like to participate in this year’s zany 90sFest, the Extra co-host told me, “I was honored. I remember they had it last year. I felt left out. For real. They had Smash Mouth and all these great bands. I went, ‘How do you not call Sugar Ray and have a 90’s party?’ So, thankfully we got the call this year. I was really honored. All these years later, it seems like nostalgia is being welcomed back. The irony is fun. The stink of the 90’s is going away. The highlights in the hair are cool again. Kids are going to start highlighting again, I’m telling you. I never lost mine. It’s a pleasure to see all the kids having a great time out there,” McGrath laughed. There was a special quality about McGrath. He was one of the most fun people you could possibly come across. After minutes of meeting him, you felt like you knew him your entire life.

Sugar Ray was known for their amazing music videos. When asked about the concept behind the hit video “Someday,” McGrath became very excited to talk about how it all came about. “It was kind of new for us. All of our previous videos were done by a high school friend named McG Nichol. That was the first time we branched out. We got to go to Miami. That was a change for us. We did all the other ones out in LA. We had such a great time in Miami. We were looking for a different tone in this video. McG did ‘Walkin’ On The Sun’ by Smash Mouth and ‘Pretty Fly for a White Guy’ by Offspring. If you saw any video in the 1990s, it was probably directed by McG. ‘Someday’ has a little more depth to it. Quick edits, all of that kind of stuff. Joseph Kahn was the guy who got that deep texture and he really did a great job. It’s one of my favorite videos,” McGrath said with fondness. The singer then reflected on getting major attention with the songs “Speed Home California” and “Mean Machine.” He told me, “One of the greatest things ever is that our record label and our manager lived in New York. Our whole band was in New York City riding in a taxi cab. ‘Mean Machine’ suddenly came on the radio. I think it was on K-Rock. We made the cabbie pull over and we just started dancing on the streets. It was one of the greatest moments in my entire life. They said, ‘That was Van Halen. This is Sugar Ray. Coming up shortly, Pearl Jam!’ We all went, ‘Ahhhhh!’ We died and went to heaven. We still weren’t selling records. If that was all we ever had that would have been enough, you know?” Luckily, McGrath got way more than he ever asked for. Howard Stern became very interested in the band and gave them an opportunity of a lifetime.

“When we got on Howard Stern we felt like we made it. That was our first national press. We went from selling literally 20 records a week to 1,500 and then to 3,000. The label said, ‘You know what? Let’s give these guys another chance and try to capitalize on that.’ Thank God they gave us another chance. There’s a lot of different levels,” McGrath nodded. Sugar Ray gained a massive and dedicated fanbase along the way. They got so popular that they landed a cameo in the 2002 Scooby-Doo movie.

“I don’t want to brag,” McGrath grinned. He continued, “It was amazing. We shot it in Queensland, Australia. It was off the coast of Australia on some island. There was a whole Scooby-Doo set. We were there for about a week and there were all these beautiful extras. They partied every night. It was so much fun! It was great. We were in the Scooby-Doo movie, man. It was legendary.” McGrath then stopped laughing to clear up something important. He wanted to let the world know that Sugar Ray never took part in the infamous Woodstock ‘99.

“You know what’s funny about Woodstock ‘99? It says on Wikipedia that we were there—we weren’t there. My throat gave away. My doctor goes, ‘You either finish your tour or you go to Woodstock.’ I went, ‘Let’s finish the tour.’ We took three days off because I wasn’t used to touring with long sets. I had nodules on my throat and I had to take care of that. We never appeared at Woodstock! Even though it was this giant fiasco and all these things went down we were never there,” McGrath stated.

Mark McGrath will be appearing in New York City tonight. You can find out more by following Mark McGrath on Twitter. You can also follow Sugar Ray on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you are interested in purchasing tickets to see Mark McGrath perform at B.B King Blues Club & Grill in NYC at 8 PM, click here.

Popular in the Community


What's Hot