Liner notes

Blow in the Wind

YES, IT'S THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN of these ever-lovin', swarthy playboys of punk rock, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes! This album encompasses their true popular influences and showcases their masterful musicianship with a unique new angle this time around. How so? Well, this cognac consuming quintet is comprised of swingers, first and foremost. Swingers enjoy sex, drugs, and Rolling Rock. Having already toughened up the soft rock hits of the 70's and giving the bum's rush to the hits of Broadway, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes needed new territory to conquer. And what musical era encompasses all of the aforementioned vices in one convenient lil' decade? You don't have to be Maxwell Smart to figure out it's the Sixties! However, judging by this album's happy-g-lucky exterior, one could scarcely imagine that during the recording process this band immersed themselves so intensely into the 1960's experience that each Gimme Gimme suffered his own bout of retro identity crisis.

To begin with, few know that Fat Mike's last name is Stevens, but that helps to explain his outburst soon after recording the Cat Stevens classic, "Wild World". Having the same last name, Fat Mike jokingly began referring to himself as "Fat Stevens". As the recording sessions mercilessly dragged on, the endless isolation of the studio caused Mike to snap. He began believing that he actually was Fat Stevens, an accoustic guitar-toting Islamic extremist. The pinnacle of his dementia was realized while recording the Beatles song for this album. As Spike sang "All My Lovin'", Mike, in his fragile state of mind, mistook the vocals as "Allah My Lovin'". Taking offense at what he mistakenly believed to be Spike making a sexual advance on Allah, Mike condemned Spike to death for his heresy. Fortunately, Mike's only available weapons were a smattering of plastic cocktail animals from the Tonga Room. He was easily-subdued and shipped off for intensive deprogramming, some of which required wearing an "I love Salman Rushdie" T-shirt.

Speaking of odd clothing, during the photo shoot for the previous Me First and the Gimme Gimmes album, Are A Drag, lead vocalist Spike appeared to be comfortable in the women's clothing he was jokingly given to wear. So comfortable, in fact, that he insisted on wearing this attire around the clock and soon enough also began making absurd demands. First, he insisted that his name be changed from Spike Slawson to Janet Reno. The courts failed to comply. Then Spike approached Payless with the idea for a line of platform shoes; they would be manufactured only in sizes 14 and up, specifically made for cross dressers, and would be called Spike's Heels. No dice. Next, he was banned from every karaoke bar from San Francisco to Karlsruhe for constantly insisting that patrons reach under his blouse to feel his "swingin' udders". Spike finally realized that this fantasy world of his was as sad and pathetic as a Walter Keane exhibit. He hung up his eccentricities and rejoined the martini swilling, womanizing "Fat Pack" once again. But one can only ponder what was really going on in Spike's mind while he enthusiastically crooned tunes like "My Boyfriend's Back" and "Stand By Your Man".

There has never been a shortage of eccentricity when it comes down to this band and no one puts the "short" in shortage like guitarist Joey Cape. While the band relaxed between recording dates in L.A., this player found his calling at the home of the man who epitomized swinging in the 1960's : Hugh Hefner. Joey was exuberant after being invited to entertain the world famous Playboy Mansion. But Joey soon discovered that despite being a renowned rock star, Hef's idea of entertainment did not involve rock 'n roll. Joey was coerced into dressing up exactly like Hef and being his "Mini Me" at Playboy parties. His popularity grew once he demonstrated his proficiency at limbo... he simply strolled underneath the bar. The Mini me role was humiliating but Joey soon benefited from being a pint-sized playboy. Every height-challenged Hollywood hussy was like butter in his stubby lil' hands. Rhea Pearlman, Linda Hunt... You name 'em, he had 'em! Everything was aces at Hef's pas until one drunken night when Joey was bounced from the mansion for suggesting to Linda Ronstadt that she "ride his Stone Pony".

On the subject of promiscuity, guitarist Jake Jackson, the randiest member of the Gimme Gimmes, not surprisingly became obsessed with the Summer Of Love. In his quest for "free love" he frequented People's Park, the token 1960's hippie hangout. There was no free love to be found, although a few odiferous streets folks were more than happy to trade love for "buds and doses". Although it was more like "barter love" and slightly traumatic, Jackson conceded to his primal urges. But the real problem began when he first hopped into the sack with one of these transients... for the first time Jackson was not able to perform! Limp as a wet noodle, an embarrassed Jackson wandered the streets of S.F. in despair, eventually stumbling into an herbal medicine shop in Chinatown. Surrounded by jars of herbs to cure every conceivable ailment, he was convinced this store held the cure for his problem. For an entire day, Jackson boiled, broiled, and was foiled by everything from badger's earlobes to shark anuses. Nothing worked, and in a fit of frustration he stormed back to the herbal medicine shop to complain. As a consolation the shopkeeper offered Jackson a traditional Chinese figurine of a "foo dog". The dog was an ancient charm, said to bring good luck; it would make him a fighter... in other words, he would now possess the strength to ward off things that were of "no use" to him. Regardless of whether Jackson's flaccidity was simple due to sleeping with toothless women or the result of some ancient Chinese secret, ever since he became a "foo fighter" he had had no problem getting laid everyday!

And Dave? Well, true to form, drummer Dave continued to receive no respect from the Gimme Gimmes. Despite providing the backbeat, not to mention the backbone, of this album, the other guys still thought that having Dave with Mes First and the Gimme Gimmes was about as useful as The Beach Boys with John Stamos. The band still refused to learn Dave's last name if they even thought of him at all . Fed up with being constantly ignored, he abandoned the recording sessions one day and headed to Haight Street to gather inspiration. There he befriended several hippies during a heated hackey-sack game. Donning tie-dyed attire, Dave met with them daily to form drum circles in the park. These people accepted Dave as one of their own, although he had to reintroduce himself everyday as they still couldn't remember his name or who he was. The spiritual enlightenment of the drum circle attracted a local Guru who invited them all up to his abode for their "daily beatings". Unfortunately, once inside the Guru's residence, they were all bound, gagged, and held hostage for ransom. True to his word, the Guru engaged in daily beatings... he gleefully beat the hippies everyday. Most of them, who were 18 year old runaways from rich families anyhow, were quickly released to their parents for exorbitant rensoms. Dave didn't have a rich family, but being the instantly-fogettable type, he used his continuing anonymity to his advantage for once and managed to escape undetected. Dave ran back to the studio, relieved to see his bandmates once again. Not surprisingly, the Gimme Gimmes were not relieved to see Dave again because they had never realized that he was gone.

So, there you have it, another epic saga behind another epic album. Now all that is left is for you to sit back and relax to the soothing sounds of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes as they Blow In The Wind. And boy, do they blow!

Christopher Dodge,
Professor of Musiconcology M.D.,O.D.D.,F.O.

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