YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Charlie Sheen's 'Winning' single

May 09, 2011|Tina Dirmann | Los Angeles Times

If Charlie Sheen's omnipresent catch word, "Winning," hasn't already reached pop culture overkill (repeated endlessly during TV interviews, radio spots, emblazoned on T-shirts, tweeted, Facebooked and becoming the basis for a multistate tour), he's got one more for you.

"Winning" (the song) hits the airwaves Tuesday. And while you'd be forgiven a reflex eye roll, the tune, penned and performed by Snoop Dogg with music by former Korn guitarist Rob Patterson, is no joke.

"Look, it's a good song," Patterson said, hours after wrapping up his final My Violent Torpedo of Truth tour performance alongside his longtime pal Sheen. "But I honestly don't want people to take it seriously. It's meant to be fun and entertaining.

"┬┐┬┐Sheen put it a little more bluntly on his Twitter page.

"Get ready to rock the Sheenius," he said of the song.

He's no more modest via email.

"People will love the song," Sheen said. "Who doesn't like to be winning?"

Sheen asked Patterson to write and perform original music for the Violent Torpedo tour. Patterson, on break from his current group, a re-formed Filter, wrote about eight tunes, including one that sounds equal parts rap and pop. And Snoop, Patterson decided, would be the perfect artist to write the lyrics. Sheen agreed, saying he had "a short list of people who would be able to carry the 'winning' wildfire the best."

"Snoop was on top of that list," Sheen said.

It turned out that Patterson's guitar tech for Filter knew Snoop's music team and put in a request. Within minutes, Snoop had responded.

"I didn't know how he'd react, because people have been kind of divided about Charlie," Patterson said. "But he's definitely, for lack of a better term, on Charlie's team."

Days later, Snoop sat in Sheen's home studio, flanked by Patterson and Sheen, listening to the music. And 45 minutes later, he had tapped out the words to "Winning" on his BlackBerry. Then they recorded.

"Snoop is a warlock," Sheen said. "He came in and nailed it in a couple of hours."

"He arrived at 9 p.m. and was out by 11 p.m.," added Patterson. "We were all shocked by how quickly and how professionally he was able to just bang it out."

It was the night before Sheen and Patterson were leaving for his tour.

"So Rob had to take over and finish the song in various hotel rooms," Sheen said.

And if Sheen, "Winning" and Snoop weren't enough to earn the song a spot in the pop culture hall of fame, then there's the dash of Carmen Electra. Electra, who is engaged to Patterson, starts off the song with a sultry sounding, "Oh, good evening, Mr. Sheen. Are you winning?"

"No," replies Snoop. "He's smokin' right now!"

"Winning, winning, winning," Sheen cuts in.

There's an R-rated version of the song, as Patterson calls it, a more rap style filled with lots of four-letter words. Meanwhile, the family version, as Rob Christie, president of Waterfront Entertainment/Robo Records, describes it, is in more of a rock style, which they hope will make it a popular selection at sporting stadiums across the country.

"The song started off being about Charlie Sheen," Patterson said. "But when Snoop came in, I said I didn't want it to be just about Charlie and repeating his key phrases. It's unilaterally about winning."

Christie, in fact, sees the song as a kind of modern-day "Rocky" tune and is pushing to have the song it played at sporting events.

But the question remains -- are people sick of Sheen and his "Winning" tirade? Has it become an old joke whose punch line no longer delivers?

No way, said Patterson.

"This morning," he added, "I went on Twitter and learned the phrase 'Winning' was being used every 20 seconds. Still. So I don't know if people are tired or the '15 minutes of fame' or whatever is coming to a close. But the music itself and the song will hold water, no matter what."

Los Angeles Times Articles