Rock, Rot & Rule

by Scharpling & Wurster

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    100% of sales through March 31, 2020 will be donated to Shalom Community Center in Bloomington, Indiana! Shalom is an all-inclusive resource center for people who are living in poverty and experiencing hunger, homelessness, and a lack of access to basic life necessities. They are currently working on establishing a quarantine shelter and any donations here will help with that!

    Includes unlimited streaming of Rock, Rot & Rule via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    edition of 1021 

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  • RSD Exclusive 150g red vinyl LP
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    exclusive red vinyl edition available for Record Store Day 2014, pictured for posterity

    Includes unlimited streaming of Rock, Rot & Rule via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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vinyl limited to 1,021 copies

“The idea for ‘Rock, Rot & Rule’ came during a phone conversation Tom and I had regarding people’s subjective use of superlatives. We wondered, “Why do some things ‘rule’ and some things ’suck’? What does it mean when something or someone ‘rocks’? Our discussion eventually led to the concept of Tom doing a short interview on his WFMU radio show with me assuming the guise of Ronald Thomas Clontle, the know-it-all author of a completely misguided rock reference book called ’Rock, Rot & Rule’ (we weren’t sure we could say ‘suck’ on the air).

What we didn’t anticipate was that many of the people listening in that night in November of 1997 would assume Tom was speaking to a real author about a real book purported to be ‘the ultimate argument settler’ on the true worth of hundreds of musicians and bands. When we began taking calls from irate listeners things took a very unexpected and entertaining turn and our loosely-scripted little prank turned into the near hour-long epic you hold in your hands.

Looking back, I really don’t think Tom nor I had any idea that what we were doing that night was the beginning of a twenty-year (and counting) partnership, but I’m sure glad it turned out to be the case. Here’s to twenty more.” – Jon Wurster

While they are now known, revered and loved for having entertained thousands upon thousands of loyal listeners to The Best Show from 2000 to today, at the time of this first Jon Wurster on-air call to Tom Scharpling’s (pre-Best Show) WFMU radio show in 1997 the recognizable Wurster timbre was unknown to listeners. This allowed for the routine, hilarious in itself, to be made even more enjoyable when upset listeners call in, taking Wurster’s character at face value as he is interviewed by Scharpling, the greatest straight man in the business.


released October 19, 2016

mastered by Chris Stamey


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