Tracker Pixel for Entry

Punk rock puppets and technical difficulties

by John Showalter | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Music | November 16th, 2017

I’m told that there is nothing quite like a live Green Jelly show, where anarchy and foam puppets reign. So perhaps it’s in the spirit of the upcoming show that my intended interview with the mastermind and vocalist behind the band, Bill Manspeaker, went off the rails.

The intent was for me to fire off some questions to Bill on Cam Dewald’s KRFF radio show. Cam, as well as being the bassist for local death metal outfit Gorgatron, is also a part-time drummer and bassist for Green Jelly. Two other local musicians are part of Green Jelly, as well, Nate “Natanic” Pehler, the guitarist of Brutalur; and Mitch Martin, the drummer for Demifiend.

In fact, Green Jelly is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most band members, at somewhere around 770. Green Jelly is as much a state of organized chaos as it is a band, and the constantly touring Bill Manspeaker has band members on reserve all around the country, depending on where he is performing.

Bill Manspeaker called into the radio show and reminisced with Cam and Mitch about how they joined the band.

He also went on a tirade about the scam that is the record industry, and encouraged everyone listening in to “steal every song of mine on the internet.”

However, about ten minutes in, Bill’s son, named Chaos, ran off with Bill’s phone and try though we might, we couldn’t get him on the air again. Cam was more than willing to answer some of my questions about Bill and his musical project, all while trying to do his best gruff Bill voice (it wasn’t half bad).

Green Jelly got its start back in 1983 with Bill Manspeaker and his friends in Buffalo, New York. “All of my friends were terrible musicians. We just smoked weed and played terrible music” said Cam/Bill. Together they had a singular vision, to be the worst band in the world.

Bill’s break came when he drove all the way across the country to Los Angeles to appear on the Gong Show and get gonged, thus sealing his spot as the worst band ever. He got the gong after thirty seconds.

Shortly after, he was approached by a record label with a five million dollar check. Bill put together his own studio (Green Jelly Studios) and recorded the first video-only album, “Cereal Killer.”

“We were just ripping off our favorite songs. It got us sued, but it also got us a Grammy nomination.” Green Jelly faced their share of legal troubles for doing their own idiosyncratic covers of popular songs and even for their name, which was originally Green Jello, but after a legal spat with Kraft Foods, appeared afterwards as Green Jelly with a stylized umlaut over the Y. You know, like Haagen Daas did, two dots over a letter.

Recording Green Jelly albums wasn’t all that Bill did, however. At his studios he also helped arrange the hugely successful KISS reunion tour in 1996 and recorded music videos with popular 90s musicians such as Marilyn Manson. Between 1998 and 2008, Bill called a hiatus on his Green Jelly activities and started a rave club on Hollywood Boulevard called “The Quest,” but he couldn’t be kept away from his passion for terrible music for long, and he has been touring ever since.

As mentioned before, Green Jelly concerts are a form of organized chaos, and their upcoming show at the Aquarium is no different. Bill tries to get as many people on stage as absolutely possible (Cam reminisced about how someone kicked over his drum set because the stage was so packed).

Not only is there a huge degree of audience participation, but there are puppets galore, often made of nothing more than foam and duct tape and often related to particular songs. In fact, those who show up early are encouraged to make their own puppets for the show and some of those who come on stage will wear giant, garish puppet heads. It truly is an experience that’s difficult to replicate and makes every performance utterly unique.

Those who show up are guaranteed to have a punk rock puppet party they will never forget during a night of duct tape and foam-filled insanity filled with comedic, tongue-in-cheek musical humor.

And remember, they are the worst band in the world, and they like to be reminded of that fact, so let them know that “Green Jelly SUXX!”

You should know: Green Jelly say they are playing at The Aquarium this Thursday the 16th of November at 9pm. However, The Aquarium’s website says “There were no results found for ‘Green Jelly.’”

This may indicate they have no contract or agreement with the Aquarium and mean to invade the stage, take it by force and occupy it. If you go: please let us know what happens.

RECENTLY IN

Music

Tracker Pixel for Entry SkootersPlumbing

Recently in:

OXBOW N.D. – Marcus Larson stops along freshly tarred Trent Jones Drive, careful not to spill his coffee swishing in a ceramic mug. He’s aware his 1991 Chevy pickup doesn’t belong amongst the neighborhood’s Porsches and…

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County (HCSCC) has been dedicated to the preservation of the history of Clay County. Since their mission is “To collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history and culture of Clay…

Thursday, December 21, 6-9pmSanctuary Events Center, 670 4th Ave NGet in the Christmas spirit singing your favorite Christmas songs with friends and family. Music provided by the Good Shepherd band (Lutheran Church of the Good…

According to a New York Times article titled: “Tinder, the Fast-Growing Dating App, Taps an Age-Old Truth,” close to 50 million people use Tinder. On average they spend 90 minutes a day assessing their matches. Men are three…

What the hell is happening to this country?For a long time the United States has been considered to be the richest and most powerful country in the world. Our president has been the leader of the free world for decades because of…

cjlarson75@gmail.comNewly remodeled since July of this year, the Spirits Lounge inside the Holiday Inn in Fargo takes the lounge concept to a level of comfort that isn’t often seen in town.On one side of the room, underneath two…

On the Corner of University and Northern Pacific sits a building that has just been revitalized. Once a horse barn, this large picturesque structure now houses Wild Terra Cider and Brewing. When the new owners Breezee and Ethan…

“The DIY scene welcomed me in at the age of 15 and I never left. The DIY scene has allowed me to travel to 49 of the 50 US states. I have made friends all over this country that I will have for the rest of my life. People…

On her biggest canvas to date, filmmaker Dee Rees paints a vivid picture of two American families in “Mudbound,” a deeply satisfying drama based on Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel.Adapting the screenplay with collaborator Virgil…

hanhe@mnstate.eduThere are a variety of types of events and groups in our communities that encourage and support women. Robin Swanson, organizer of Her Story, wanted to create another special event for herself and other women. “I…

Theater B is now opening its second show of the season with a play entitled "I Will Not Go Gently" by Jennifer Childs. "This clever one-woman show plays with our sense of nostalgia and shines a light on our quest for self…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Believe it or not, “The Holidays” are upon us. If you’ve been to Target lately, and I know you have, you may have noticed that the Christmahanakwanzika stuff is already up (if you’re unsure of that term, Google it).In fact,…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Tony Gehrigtonygehrig@gmail.com I do not blame any company for seeking incentives. Rather, I blame the government for giving them away. Incentives represent an unfair and unsustainable tax system that affects real people.Some…