Ugly Kid Joe: Whatever Happened To the Band?
Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories they take a look at the Ugly Kid Joe and whatever happened to the once popular 90’s act. Check it out below!
Ugly Kid Joe would be characterized by the media as a relic of the hair metal era while others referred to them as a comic hard partying metal band, but in reality the group’s individual members came from diverse musical backgrounds influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Motley Crue, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Motorhead and many others. They also weren’t afraid to mix humor with their music they quickly became overnight rockstars and made history. But, whatever happened to the group? Stay tuned to find out! Ugly kid joe began with guitarist Klaus Eichstadt and frontman Whitfield Crane who grew up in Palo Alto California and formed a band in the late 80s. Initially called Overdrive, before settling on Ugly Kid Joe, The band’s name was a goof on the glam rockers Pretty Boy Floyd, for whom the band were supposed to open at one point in time. Ugly Kid Joe would play gigs around the Santa Barbara area and gave their demo to a local DJ named Will Carlin who then passed it onto an entertainment lawyer who became the band’s manager and got them a deal with mercury records. Shortly after signing to Mercury in early 1991, the pair realized they needed to round out their lineup with better musicians. During the band’s career their lineup’s core has always centered around Eichstadt and Crane with a revolving cast of characters coming and going. Their debut release, an EP titled As Ugly As They Wanna Be, was a spoof of the hugely controversial 2 Live Crew album As Nasty As They Wanna Be. It took a week to record and cost the label around $12,000 to make. Mercury Records was hoping for the EP to sell maybe 15,000 copies and it soon enough became the first debut EP in history to go multi-platinum thanks in large part to the single ‘Everything about you’ which rocked mtv and radio airwaves. The album rocketed to the number 4 on the billboard charts and peaked at number 3 across the pond in Britain. The band also licensed the song to the first Wayne’s World movie. According to billboard magazine, there was a special way that the label promoted the album. When the band first got signed Mercury records, the label helped get the album into small mom and pop shops where traditionally bigger labels hadn’t sold albums to. According to Bob Skoro, who was the head of A&R at mercury records who would tell Billboard magazine “None of the major distributors sell to mom and pop shops. That’s where the young rock and metal lovers go. That’s where the buzz starts” In addition to that it would be a station in Denver KBPI who moved the single Everything About You from their metal show to regular programming. Within a few weeks, Ugly Kid Joe became the second highest requested song after Metallica. Soon enoughthe band played denver and local retailers could feel the excitement behind the group and MTV followed soon after. The EP took on a humorous tone with tracks like “Madman” describing an axe wielding man on the lose in Disneyland. The band at one point was supposed to write music for the 1992 film Encino Man, but once Don Eisner at Disney heard the song he axed the deal. Critics weren’t always fans of ugly kid joe. The Chicago Tribune stated the following about the EP’s single Everything about you “the single, which has a novelty-song kind of appeal, pretty much sums up the entire 25-minute disc, which is a cacophony of funk, rap, lame choruses and old jokes.” Despite critics not being fans of their’s, the band did get some high profile touring slots opening for the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Def Leppard. The band would soon follow up their EP with their first full length studio record 1992’s America’s Least Wanted. The album featured a surprising cover of Harry Chapin’s Cat’s in the Cradle which was a huge hit on rock radio and became the band’s second top 10 hit. The single Everything About You which was released on their first EP in addition to the song Madman would also appear on the LP. Despite the fact that the album was the band’s most commercially successful of