Green Jelly
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Green Jelly

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1981 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1981
Band Metal Punk

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"Green Jelly"

Green Jellÿ formed in 1981 as Green Jellö, a four piece comedy-punk band, in Kenmore, New York. It was founded by Bill Manspeaker. He began the band with the idea of starting "The World's Worst Band".[1] The name, which was suggested by a friend of the band, was chosen because lime-flavored Jell-O was allegedly the worst Jell-O flavor, and Manspeaker believed this also reflected the band's talents. The band began playing punk shows around Buffalo, New York, and were notorious for their onstage antics and live theatrics. The band was so technically inept at playing that the bass player had to color-code the frets so that he could memorize bass lines by color.[2]

Early career (1981–1984)[edit]
The group was soon banned from local Buffalo, New York music club McVans for an act that included smashing televisions on stage with a sledgehammer. They temporarily changed their name to AJP (American Jell-O Party), copying the Sex Pistols' trick of changing their name to "SPOTS" (Sex Pistols On Tour Secretly) in order to play shows in places where they were banned. This proved successful, and they got back into McVans only to repeat their violent conduct and be banned once again. Following this, the name was changed back to Green Jellö.

One of the band's early shows was held in a Masonic Temple in Kenmore. Local teenage jock thugs in the rowdy audience broke into the venue's kitchen mid-concert and found a full case of ice cream sandwiches, which they proceeded to throw at the band and all over the stage. By the end of the night the stage was ruined and Green Jellö had to reimburse the venue for damages.

Another early gig at a local YMCA also ended in the band having to pay for clean-up—this time for spilling a large amount of fake blood on the carpets. The band then got the reputation as a "food-throwing rock band", and the audience members started bringing their own actual green Jell-O specifically to throw at the band. Later in their career, it would not be unusual to see fans showing up with garbage bags filled with green Jell-O, pudding, whipped cream, or anything messy to throw at the stage and at the band.

They then managed to find a supporter in local punk club (The Continental) owner Bud Burke. Burke let the band play his club on a regular basis as the live shows become wilder. Implements of sadomasochism, such as inversion boots and wheels of torture were employed and on some occasions the band incompetently played an entire show of Led Zeppelin covers. As word spread, the shows began to regularly sell out.

In 1984 Green Jellö opened for the Ramones at a Buffalo State College summertime outdoor free concert, and the band (who as the opening act had their equipment set up in front of the Ramones' gear) were pelted by the audience with the usual Jell-O, whipped cream and pudding. In the end, not only were Green Jellö in a mess, but so too was the Ramones' equipment. Years later in an interview with New York Rocker magazine, Joey Ramone singled out Green Jellö as the worst (and messiest) band to ever open for the Ramones with Green Jellö taking this as the highest praise.

They also opened up for New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders under the name "Kenmore Dolls". Johnny did not have much to say about the show except "What the hell is a Kenmore Doll?"[citation needed]

Let It Be (1984–1987)[edit]
In 1984 Green Jellö released Let It Be, an 8 song 7-inch 45 EP, on their own label, American Jello Parti Productions, Inc. The cover artwork (designed by Manspeaker) was a parody of The Beatles' Let It Be album cover. Recorded in Bill's bedroom and at a local band rehearsal hall, the album featured the theme song "Green Jellö Theme Song" (the band's initial manifesto/call to arms), as well as early songs "I've Got Poo-Poo On My Shoe" (later "Shitman"), "Whip Me Teenage Babe" (later "House Me Teenage Rave"), "Hill, Hill", "Do the Howie" (a song about the bumbling rent-a-cop at the band's high school alma mater, Kenmore West High School, sung to the tune of Van McCoy's "The Hustle"), the one-second long "Icrog", "The Ice Cream Song", and "I'll Buy You Any Major Appliance You Want Baby, Ooo Ooo".[3]

Let It Be was limited to a release of 500 and only released picture sleeves were simply a green tinted photocopy of the original cardboard sleeve. The original hard-cardboard sleeves are now highly sought after by collectors.

The record also included a multi-panel lyric sheet (designed by Manspeaker). The back cover of the picture sleeve features an actual endorsement from Kiss member Paul Stanley, whom Green Jellö had met during that time. The Let It Be EP was also given away at a record release party in which fans had to climb a "Green Jellö Tree" in front of the club to claim a free record. The band actually taped a large amount of 45s up in the tree in the front of the club. The band's high propensity for absurd, illogical stunts such as this soon became the norm.

Around this time, Green Jellö started turning up for gigs in multiple stretch limos. The band just thought it was an absurd, funny thing for an admittedly horrible band to do. Other weird things Green Jellö used to do on stage during early Buffalo shows included making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on their chests, and ironing clothes on stage while singing.

The band began to get more and more (faux) outrageous onstage, eventually involving fake torture, whipping and women. Often the band would play new songs, so that the audience would not know how badly they were messing up. Crazy stage names were adopted, multiple members joined, and in 1987 Green Jellö appeared on the TV show The Gong Show. Trying hard to sound bad, the band was "gonged" quickly, but had achieved its goal of national TV exposure.[4]

Road to success (1987–1991)[edit]
After the local success in Buffalo, many of the members relocated to Hollywood, California. In 1987, while working at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard, they reformed the band, and quickly became a fixture in the Hollywood underground scene. In 1988, Bill and the band met GWAR, and an instant friendship was formed over their mutual love of costumes and props. After the initial meeting, Green Jellö decided to ditch their uncomfortable and dangerous papier maché/chicken wire costume heads in favor of the more user friendly foam rubber heads that GWAR had been making. They garbage picked cushions from abandoned Hollywood couches and carved their new characters such as "Shitman" (a giant, walking corn-filled poop monster), "Cowgod", "Rock n Roll Pumpkin", and "Satan's Ham". The band's live show became an over-the-top adventure in absurdity, now consisting of usually 20 members onstage.

In 1989, Green Jellö released its second album, Triple Live Möther Gööse at Budokan, on February 29 Records, which was recorded in a garage in about the same amount of time it takes to play it. A rare video was also released for this album with music videos for each song. It featured a much more defined sound, as well as far better production and songwriting. The band began to tighten up musically, enlisting drummer Danny Carey (later in 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), along with bassist Rootin' Bloomquist. The band also had 7 vocalists, including Bill Manspeaker (Moronic Dictator, Shitman, Marshall "Duh" Staxxx), Joe Cannizzaro (Dunderhead), Keith Matherne (Keni Logginz), Gary Helsinger (Hotsy Menshot, Piñata Head), Greg Reynard (Reason Clean, Toucan Son of Sam) and Maynard James Keenan (Billy Bob). The band also had two female backup singers/floor tom drummers, Kim O'Donnell (Sadistica), and Caroline Jester (Jella Tin). Kim O'Donnell also designed and created all the artwork, covers, comics, and logos for the band.

Cereal Killer (1991–1993)[edit]
In 1991, the band approached BMG subsidiary label Zoo Entertainment, and claiming they were the "world's first video-only band", offered to make the entire project (all music, videos, artwork, etc.) entirely on their own for the unheard-of sum of $50,000. Zoo signed them on the spot. The only problem was, it had been a bluff, and the band had never made a "video album" before. After buying a video camera, some wood and some lights, the band set out to learn on the job, and in Fall 1992 delivered their third album, the long-form video-only Cereal Killer. Consisting of music videos for each song, as well as a behind-the-scenes feature, the video album slowly gained a reputation in the underground, and would eventually go on to sell over 100,000 copies. Their break came when a radio station in Seattle, Washington, The X KXRX, played "Three Little Pigs" as a joke, but instead the station's phones lit up and it became a local hit. This caused Zoo to issue the EP Green Jellö SUXX, consisting of four songs from Cereal Killer, which in turn led to the "The Three Little Pigs" becoming a hit on The Box (A pay-per-play cable-TV jukebox network). By early 1993, the song was gaining airplay around the country, and after appearing on MTV Headbanger's Ball, everything exploded. MTV added the video and the full-length audio album Cereal Killer Soundtrack was finally released in April 1993.

The video for "The Three Little Pigs" was directed by Fred Stuhr (who also directed Tool's "Sober" video), and it featured a claymation rendition of the classic fairy tale with modern twists, such as pot-smoking pigs, an appearance by Rambo, and a Harley Davidson-riding wolf. The video was an instant hit on MTV and was No. 17 for most of the summer of 1993 in the US,[5] receiving both an MTV music award and Billboard music award nomination. Meanwhile, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at a peak position of No. 5.[6] As a result of the "The Three Little Pigs" video, the Cereal Killer Soundtrack album went gold in the US, New Zealand, and Canada, as well as platinum in Australia, eventually selling over 14 million songs worldwide. Green Jellö spent almost a year touring the US and Europe in support of the Cereal Killer Soundtrack. In 1993 they released the single "Electric Harley House (Of Love)", the video featured Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from KISS and also featured some of the band in KISS-inspired costumes. Later in 1993, Green Jellÿ released a single that was not to be included on any of their full-length albums: a duet with Hulk Hogan performing Gary Glitter's "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)", which scored them a third Top 40 hit in the UK.[6]

333 and late career (1994–1995)[edit]
In 1994, Green Jellÿ began a joint venture with $4 million from their parent company, BMG music, to open Green Jellÿ Studios, an audio and visual production house on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The production house made music videos for other artists, as well as production pieces for TV and film. It was here that Green Jellÿ recorded and filmed their 4th album, 333. Focusing more on the musical side, and even featuring non-comedy songs, the album was a more eclectic gathering, ranging from thrash metal to grunge rock to dance music. Due to problems with the record company and virtually no promotion, the album failed to make waves. The long form video for the album was never properly released, and is extremely hard to find. The album spawned "The Bear Song" which appears in the Farrelly Brothers film Dumb and Dumber, but failed to chart. Though the new video album was never properly released, it did receive a 1995 Grammy nomination for best long-form video.[7]

Also in 1994, the band provided the first-ever video game soundtrack for the Acclaim Entertainment video game Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage, based on the popular Marvel Comics characters. Due to the state of video game music technology at that time, the soundtrack was not recorded music, but a computerized rendition of the songs. Portions of the soundtrack also made an appearance in Maximum Carnage's sequel, Spider-Man & Venom: Separation Anxiety. In the same year, Green Jellÿ appeared as themselves in an episode of the Fantastic Four animated series called "Super Skrull", in which The Thing records a music video for a song about his catch phrase—"It’s Clobberin’ Time!"

In 1995, the band recorded an album's worth of brand-new material for Zoo Entertainment, but due to ongoing problems with the struggling label which would eventually lead to it being merged with Volcano Entertainment in 1996, the album was not released. However, this material would be released 14 years later in the form of Musick to Insult Your Intelligence By.

Although Green Jellÿ never officially broke up, the members of the band's core Cereal Killer/333 lineup (with the exception of Manspeaker) gradually started going separate ways afterwards.

Green Jellÿ also released a cover of "Born to Be Wild" in 1995, for a movie soundtrack of the same name.

Reunion and new album (2008–2009)[edit]
On February 19, 2008, music news website Blabbermouth.net announced that Green Jellÿ was reuniting and that a possible U.S. tour was in the works. Tourdates are listed at their MySpace page. The band also re-released the Cereal Killer and 333 video/albums on a self-produced DVD with Originology Records, which were only sold at their concerts.[8]

In late August, the band announced via their Myspace page that they would again be going on tour in the Fall. Several "new" songs became available via their Myspace page, as well as information on a new Green Jellö DVD and CD.

Green Jellÿ finally released Musick to Insult Your Intelligence By on October 13, 2009. The album was actually a collection of the "lost demos" from 1995 for the band's 3rd album before being dropped by Zoo Entertainment, and was pulled from a DAT safety that Gary Helsinger had kept. It features the same lineup as Cereal Killer and 333 except for C.J. Buscaglia and Roy Staley (replaced by Rob Brown), who had already left the band at the time of recording.

As of April 2010, the latest incarnation of the band includes Bill Manspeaker, his son Damien Hellion, Mike Odd of Rosemary's Billygoat, Aaron Cohen and Rosanna Dittrich of Radioactive Chicken Heads, Tony Ferro (aka TonyTV) and LA musician/artist Ego Plum.

Parental Advisory Tour (2010–present)[edit]
On March 25, 2010, Green Jellÿ embarked on the Parental Advisory Tour with headliners Nashville Pussy and the cult comedy metal band Psychostick. The tour ended in Phoenix, Arizona on May 30, 2010. In May 2010, Shell Gasoline released a commercial featuring "The Bear Song" from the album "333". On June 26, 2010 Green Jellÿ played the "American Skate Fest" in Rutland, Ohio with headliners GWAR. Then the band played four shows on The Vans Warped Tour on the "Punk Rock Legends" stage. The band toured extensively the rest of the year on the "Shell Gas Commercial Tour" playing in over 130 cities throughout the United States.

The band took most of 2011 off to relax and enjoy life on the beach with family, while only playing select shows at The Vans Warped Tour and The Skatopia Bowl Bash.

Jet Set Tour 2012[edit]
As of 2012, Bill Manspeaker has once again brought Green Jellÿ back to life to embark on the "Green Jelly Jet Set Tour 2012" touring throughout the United States beginning at The Evil Wine Carnival in Boise, Idaho on September 28. at their concert date in New York City, the opening band for their show was New York rock band The Fearless, currently signed to FoNE Entertainment.

Bill Manspeaker currently tours and performs with "Green Jello Franchise Bands", featuring fans playing the songs and acting as "punk rock puppets". - Wikipedia


"Cereal Killer Soundtrack"

Green Jelly (Green Jello as they were known originally before a surge in popularity caused Jello to threaten the band with legal action) is a comedy metal/alternative metal band that burst onto MTV in 1993 with their claymation music video for their song “Three Little Pigs”. Prior to this they were known mainly for their live stage shows where the band dressed up in costume ala Gwar and simulated acts of torture and sex.

Green Jello was founded in 1981 in Kenmore, New York. After some years their local popularity grew enough to be given a record deal by BMG music in 1991 after the band claimed to be a VHS music video only act. In 1991 they released their first VHS video album called Cereal Killer. The video album had eleven music videos for songs that band had created. Two years later the band released the songs on CD calling the album Cereal Killer Soundtrack.

Shortly after the soundtrack release, MTV caught wind of their hilarious video for “Three Little Pigs” and began airing it. The video became one of the most popular viewer requests of 1993 and the song eventually went gold. Kids began snatching up the album and what most of us found out was that not only did the band have an amazing sense of humor, but they were fairly talented as well. Just as an example of the band’s talent, Danny Carey who would later join Tool was the band’s drummer for five years. The album is heavy, funny and very well written. It pokes fun at other musical artists, popular culture, religion and television with song titles like “Obey the Cowgod”, “Rock N’ Roll Pumpkin” and “Electric Harley House (Of Love)” This is an album that many of us who grew up in the 1990′s cannot forget. Let’s take a look at some of the songs that defined this early 1990′s comedy classic.

“Obey The Cowgod” is the first track on the album. It has some fun with the Hindu religion’s belief that cows are held sacred instead of using them to feed the poor and hungry in India. The songs has some excellent one liners and focuses on harsh vocals and fast riffs.

“Three Little Pigs” takes the classic children’s story and turns it on its head with references to weed, Ted Nugent and Rambo. The hilarious high-pitched falsetto pig vocals are done by none other than Tool’s Maynard James Keenan. Make sure to track down the music video for this one. It only adds to the hilariousness of the song.

The title track, “Cereal Killer” is a fun ode to breakfast cereals like Trix and Froot Loops and the great commercials and tag lines that went along with them. This song has more of a military style drum beat to it with groove style guitars and fast thrash bridges.

“Rock N’ Roll Pumpkin” is a song where Green Jelly literally sings that exact line again and again with different vocal styles. One would think it would get annoying, but it’s actually quite amusing and is one of the better songs on the album.

“Anarchy in the U.K.” is a parody version of the classic Sex Pistols song. It takes out all references to English politics and adds in lyrics about The Flintstones. The Flintstones references fit amazingly well in the song and musically this is one of the best covers of “Anarchy in the U.K.” that has ever been done.

“Electric Harley House (Of Love)” is a very fitting comedic tribute to bikers and the places where they hang out. The original version of the song (if you can find it) has an excellent rendition of the guitar solo from Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” that might even be better than the original. Unfortunately the band had to remove it when Metallica threatened to sue. The newer version has an original solo followed by the lyrics of “I bet you think we’re Metallica” which now makes no sense.

Green-Jelly-Cereal-Killer-Soundtrack-classic-review-band-pic

Sometimes when people have to take a dump, they must wonder what the soundtrack to that activity would sound like. Well “The Misadventures of Shitman” would probably be the answer. The vocals are harsh and strained like something is being forced out and the riffs are short, heavy and increase in intensity giving the listener the feeling of the movement that is to come. Not sure if that’s what they had in mind, but it works.

Finally “House Me Teenage Rave” is a song that pokes fun at industrial and techno music and has a big time teenage sex theme to it. The vocals are mostly spoken word, but they are absolutely fantastic and gut busting. This one will remind you of growing up in the early 1990′s and the unfortunate music that girls listened to all the time, even during sex.

“Trippin on XTC”, “Flight of the Skajaquada” and “Green Jellö Theme Song” are not among the funniest or best tracks on the album, but they are still very well done and certainly warrant a listen.

Green Jelly was never quite able to repeat the popularity of the Cereal Killer Soundtrack. They tried again in 1994 with their album 333. The album had the song “Carnage Rules” which was the backing music for the video game Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage. They also poked fun at bands like Alice In Chains and the B-52′s. “The Bear Song” was even featured in the movie Dumb and Dumber. However, because the album did not sell as well, the band separated in 1995.

The band reunited in 2008 and released a new album and a live cassette, but they have still never been able to repeat the success that Cereal Killer Soundtrack brought. For those of us who grew up in the 1990′s, this is one that will always stick with us. For those of you in the younger generations or who never got to really dive into this one, make sure you take some time to give it some listens. This is type of well written; well played comedic metal is not something you hear this day in age. Here’s hoping they can find some of that success again for the newer generations.

Rating: 4/5 - Metal Descent


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy