Green Jelly – Comedy Rock At Its’ Finest!
The lineup for this year’s Gathering Of The Juggalos has been quite controversial since its’ reveal back in May, but I think it’s safe to say that a lot of ninjas are very much excited for the greatest family reunion in the world, regardless of who will be playing. However, there will be one artist in particular set to play on the Pendulum Stage that is sure to blow juggalo minds. The artist in question? The one and only Green Jelly! They actually pronounce it as Green Jello, but either way, they are undoubtedly the greatest comedy rock band there is.
Having formed back in 1981, Green Jelly are also one of the most controversial bands to ever exist. They originally spelled their name to include Jello, but after legal pressure put on by the Jell-O trademark to change their name, the group settled for Jelly with a different pronunciation. Sometimes, you just have to work with the system, right? So once the band name dispute was settled, Green Jelly entered the scene in a not-so platonic way. In fact, some of their first shows left them with having to pay damages to venues for getting various food items thrown at them by attendees of the shows. Talk about a tough crowd.
Once the food-throwing was done, the result was a ban set by several of the venues where these antics occurred. Even though they pulled a Sex Pistols type move by changing their name to get back into some venues, they were eventually banned again. As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, the group eventually went on to open up for the Ramones, but got pelted with green jello and ended up getting their setup and the Ramones’ setup destroyed. They even commented once to New York Rocker magazine that Green Jelly were the worst band to ever open up for them.
Despite all the hate, however, the band kept going and eventually released their first EP titled Let It Be. The artwork, designed by the only consistent member Bill Manspeaker, was made to be a parody of The Beatles Let It Be album cover.
With the release of this record came the beginning of a whole new era in musical theatrics, never to be mimicked with the same level of awesome. In fact, during the official release party, the band had fans climb a “Green Jello Tree” in order to claim a free record. These antics soon became the norm, with the group doing other outrageous acts such as making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on their chests onstage, ironing their clothes while singing, and even making an appearance on The Gong Show. While on the show, the band purposely played as badly as possible in order to get “gonged quickly”. They certainly were, but had gained the national exposure they were seeking.
The group would go on to eventually find success in the underground Hollywood world, even meeting GWAR for the first time and striking up an unusual but all the more epic friendship. GWAR even gave Green Jelly the idea for changing up their paper mache costumes, for more user friendly versions, utilizing foam rubber instead.
From 1987 to 1991, the band’s onstage presence became increasingly absurd, with most of their shows consisting of at least twenty members on the stage at a time. While their fanbase increased, so did their desire to make the band a little more serious. They recruited the likes of drummer Danny Carey, who would go on to play for Tool, as well as bassist Bill Tutton (King Dot), guitarists Marc Levinthal (Pippi Rockstocking), Steven Shenar (Sven Seven), C.J. Buscaglia (Jesus Quisp) and Bernie Peaks (Bernie Vicious), and bassist Rootin’ Bloomquist. Additionally, the band soon had seven vocalists and two female backup singers/floor tom drummers.
Altogether, the group has put out five albums, three EP’s, eight singles, and two music videos. The singles, no doubt adding to the hilarity of their already awesomely ridiculous act, have the titles “Three Little Pigs”, “Anarchy In The UK”, “Electric Harley House (Of Love)”, “I’m The Leader Of The Gang (I Am)”, “House Me Teenage Rave”, “Three Little Pigs” (1993 re-release), “The Bear Song”, and “Slave Boy”. Despite having been sued three separate times by Kraft Foods, Kellogg Company, and even the management of Metallica for copyright infringements, Green Jelly have definitely made a name for themselves within the music industry. As a result of having worked with Danny Carey for five years, Green Jelly and Tool have a connection that will last for as long as the music does. You can even find Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan in the music video for “Green Jello Theme Song”.
To wrap things up, I’ll end by saying that if you’ll be at Gathering 17 and you miss these guys, you are seriously sleeping! See ya’ll in a couple weeks!