In 1981, 17-year-old Bill Manspeaker and three friends formed the novelty Punk band Green Jellö with the express intent of being the world’s worst band; their name reflected the notion that lime Jell-O was terrible.
The friends quickly gained notoriety for their passionate musical incompetence and interactively destructive stage shows, as the band’s food throwing incidents morphed into audiences bringing bags of green Jell-O to return fire. Green Jellö’s outrageous stage antics escalated, they opened for The Ramones and Johnny Thunders, recorded Let It Be, their debut EP, and appeared on The Gong Show, where they were, naturally, gonged.
In 1987, Green Jellö relocated from Buffalo, N.Y., to Hollywood, met GWAR, amped up their stage costumes, recorded their debut full-length, Triple Live Mother Goose at Budokan, and accidentally became better musicians (Tool’s Danny Carey was Green Jellö’s drummer for five years). They were subsequently sued by Kraft Foods (over the band name) and Kellogg (over the Cereal Killer cover art) and had to rename the band Green Jellÿ, maintaining the original pronunciation.
After 30-plus years and 30-plus members, Green Jellÿ still sucks … in the best possible way.
Green Jellÿ performs 8p.m. Saturday, April 12 at Madison Theater in Covington. $10. madisontheateronline.com.