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“Joining The Fanclub Fold: Writing For The Jellyfish Boxed Set” A great place to start, this is the story behind what I wrote for Not Lame’s 2002 release, Fanclub. I put up my fan perspective from the booklet, my original essay and a lil’ about how I got involved.
CONCERT SCRAPBOOK Slowly scanning in memories from 1984-1994. Quite a few Jellyfish things I haven’t covered here yet.
JELLYFISH IMAGES All kinds of random JF-related pictures (Facebook link)
LIVE FISH: Jellyfish Concert List Fairly complete but could use a lil’ help.
I. BEGINNINGS & BEATNIKS Andy & Roger’s childhood (including medical reports and old report cards) and the first big rock band they were both in, Beatnik Beatch.
IA. BEATNIK BEATCH: Albums overanalyzed
II. NEWBORN JELLYFISH The band gets together and records their first album.
III. BELLYBUTTON TRACK BY TRACK details of the band’s debut.
IV. HIT THE ROAD, JACK The band starts touring.
V. UPDATING SOMEDAY! HELLO, HELLO Show #1: You never forget your first time. (scrapbook pictures)
VI. UPDATING SOMEDAY! WELCOME BACK FALKNER Show #2: Jason’s first show back with the band after being on the disabled list for 3 months and they win an award only slightly less prestigious than the Grammy. (scrapbook pictures 1 2)
VII. UPDATING SOMEDAY! TAKE ME TO ONTARIO Show #3: A dream pairing for many, the band opens for Redd Kross in Ontario, California. (scrapbook pictures)
VIII. UPDATING SOMEDAY! BLACK BIRDS FLYING OVERHEAD Show #4. The band goes to Europe and tours America with the Black Crowes. In Santa Barbara, I catch the first of 3 shows with the Crowes. (scrapbook pictures)
IX. UPDATING SOMEDAY! OUTSIDE BROADCAST Show #4A. I sneak into a San Diego radio station to see the boys and then attempt to bootleg their show that night. (scrapbook photo)
X. UPDATING SOMEDAY! GREEK FINALE Show #5. The Black Crowes tour ends with a show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Plus, the boys go on a love problem call in radio show. (scrapbook pictures)
XI. UPDATING SOMEDAY! FISH FEST Show #6. The band returns from Europe and winds down the Bellybutton tour at a street festival in San Diego with School of Fish & an unknown No Doubt.
XII. GRAY AREAS Ah, artistic differences. Jason leaves the band.
JOINING A FANPAGE: JELLYFISH TALES Archived old version from 1996 with links to the above tales and more, written by a young man new to the internet and desperately needing an editor. Click at your own risk of boredom.
Plus do check out GRAYS TALES: The Very Best Year…sorta
The most widely read thing I’ve ever done was a website I started and never finished about the band Jellyfish way back in the mid-1990’s. I’ve been meaning to repost it so people could find what I’d written without knowing to look for it on archive.org but that sounds like….work. The least I could do is point to its zombie parts and slowly finish it off….
Jellyfish was my favorite band during my college years. The pop band from northern California never became as hugely popular as their fans thought they deserved but for a cult following, what they had was pretty huge…and rabid. By being in their home state, I ended having a lot of fun nights staring up at the group and, for the pre-internet age, I learned a lot about them for someone who didn’t actually know the band. In late 1995, my father and I went to a local internet provider to learn about the world wide web and start a website for our business. I remember two things about that visit. One, I learned later, was they thought we were a gay couple. What can I say? Us Gimbels are FABULOUS. The second was that when they were teaching us to surf the net, they asked me to pick a topic and I said Jellyfish. A girl who was a fan overheard me, came over and clicked over to a site about the band which she already had bookmarked on her homepage. It was a revelation to see so much information on them in one place, but between all the useless facts in my head, the rare tapes I’d accumulated and the scrapbook I’d kept, I felt it was my duty to share.
So I started up a personal page called Dumyhead Central and started putting up random music tales I thought people might enjoy. I never learned HTML or design so almost the entire site was plain text with a few, if any, poorly scanned photos. I wanted to do so many things that I never got too far with any of them. Word spread quick about the Joining A Fanpage: Jellyfish Tales section and I was inundated with emails, guestbook posts and requests to trade tapes. In the first year, I’d managed to get almost any rare material worth getting and had to cut myself off because I was juggling too many things to return the tapes I owed in any reasonable amount time. If you’re reading this and I still owe you something, drop me a line. I’ll make it up to you somehow. Most of all, I got burnt out on a short-lived band that had only put out two albums. I’d worn out those two records a few too many times when they’d come out but communicating with fans and getting to see and hear some rarities had rekindled my love of the band. Then I got burnt out again with all the power pop nerd pestering. My tastes changed too. I still have never heard a band that sounds like Jellyfish that I like….ok, maybe Cotton Mather. My Jellyfish listening is probably annual these days so I still enjoy the flood of memories that comes with it.
Besides getting jaded, I’d become friends with keyboardist Roger Manning, his girlfriend Charlotte, and original guitarist Jason Falkner. I was over asking them questions about Jellyfish long before we’d started hanging out so it was easy to talk about anything else. One day hanging out with Roger’s girlfriend Charlotte, she asked me if there was anything I wanted to hear and showed me a wall of cassettes with every rare thing a fan could want to listen to. I couldn’t think of anything but before we went back to watching bad 70’s variety shows and 80’s cable access, she played me a tape that Roger sent her in college of a new song he was working on. He put down the handheld recorder and said that the chorus was terrible but they’d change it later. It was “Bye Bye Bye” and the chorus was the only thing they kept. When Roger and Jason’s new wave side project, TV Eyes, debuted in LA, someone yelled out for Jellyfish before the encore and I instinctively yelled “FUCK JELLYFISH!” and kinda meant it. Jason and Roger thought it was hilarious and couldn’t believe they didn’t know it was me right away. Sue me. I like TV Eyes better in a lot of ways.
I got about halfway through the Jellyfish Tales part of my website before I just couldn’t put any more time into it. I was finally making my own music (hello, Rookie Card who doesn’t sound a thing like JF) and having a blast so the website sat there for years, untouched as thousands of people read the stories. The web account was cancelled when we changed servers but it stayed up for a few more years, even though it should’ve been taken down. Finally, it was yanked into oblivion until someone told me about archive.org which is a huge, unreal backup of the entire world wide web. God knows where the disks are with my html text files(!) but who needs them when I can see it up online!? Again, I started to feel guilty about folks not being able to find the old site and it was part of the motivation to start this blog. When I started scanning pages from my concert scrapbook, the Jellyfish pages were getting the biggest response so it got me fired up to set something up and finally finish the Jellyfish Tales.
So here are some text links to the archive.org pages, easily copied from the source code, thankyouverymuch. May they never disappear (ulp). As I get to scanning pages from my scrapbook, I’ll post new parts of the Jellyfish story from what little I can remember and link to them from here. When I started the site in 1996, the band had only expired three years prior. When I read it now, there are always things I’d completely forgotten about. Well, nineteen years have passed and this Geezer’s memory isn’t what it used to be. I was ridiculously flattered to be asked to write something for the band’s 2002 boxed set and admittedly, had to lie quite a bit about my state of obsession. But I’m fired up again, for now, so hopefully I’ll produce. If you’d like to be notified when I post something new, just “like” the Yer Doin Great Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/youredoingreat .
WEBSITES THAT HAVE BEEN UPDATED SINCE 1996
Yer Doin Great’s Facebook page, my blog, where you will be alerted if we ever get around to adding anything here
Jason Falkner’s official website
Roger Joseph Manning Jr’s official website
Chris Bray’s Jellyfish Homepage (STILL up since 1994)
Britty’s Andy Sturmer Facebook fanpage
Omnivore Recordings recently released vinyl versions of both Jellyfish LP’s and the first ever official live Jellyfish album (one of my fave recordings I’ve ever heard I might add).
My Ode To Jellyfish, a 3 part story from the Hooks & Harmony site.
I’ll link to any Jellfyish related page that is nice enough to point people to this page. I dare you.