The Jickets

From This Might Be A Wiki
Larry Lamé aka Lary 7 onstage before a They Might Be Giants show at Darinka, Spring 1987.

The Jickets, also known under the moniker of "The Squeegies," were a satirical rock band from New York who performed frequently at shows with They Might Be Giants in the 1980s. In 1994, they released a self-titled EP for John Flansburgh's Hello CD Of The Month Club. In 2012, Flansburgh described the Jickets as "an amazing band of a singular nature. Extremely musical, and extreme in most other ways as well."[1]

The band performed under the stage names Chett Grant (lead vocals), Larry Lamé (guitar), Kip Delbert (keyboards), and Petey Phillips (drums). On the Hello CD release, Kjeld Hylfelt was credited with bass on one track, and Kip Delbert appeared under his real name, Sid Gilbert.[2]

The Jickets created an elaborate fictional backstory for the band that centered on "hype-phenom" Chett Grant. Larry Lamé would go on to be known as Lary 7, working as a multimedia artist and joining in other bands such as Swans and Soft Focus. He hailed from Buffalo, NY, and was a student of the pioneering avant-garde artist and University of Buffalo professor Tony Conrad.[3] During the early 1980s, he co-founded the collective Directart Productions Ltd. alongside Fabio Roberti, Michael Wolfe and fellow Jicket Sid Gilbert.[4] Directart would go on to produce music videos and films involving members of the Jickets, with most of them being showcased at the Lower East Side venue Darinka during the mid-1980s.[5]

On Oct. 19, 1985, They Might Be Giants joined The Jickets for a performance at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, billed as "Andy Warhol's Lower East Side Sampler," tied to a never-completed recording project. A Hallwalls calendar item promoting the show read:

The Jickets (Petee-Filips, Larry Lame, Chett Grant and Kipp Delburt) organized the "American Spirit Tour" in reaction to the unprecedented popularity of lead singer Chett Grant, star of motion pictures, television and radio. They invited their friends John Flansburgh and John Linnell of They Might Be Giants to join them (with their sound man Bill Krauss). The Giants, of course, are no strangers to many of you who have checked out their 24-hour "Dial-a-Song" service. Together with Ethyl Eichelberger The Jickets and They Might Be Giants are the "American Spirit" of new music on tour!

They Might Be Giants and The Jickets often performed on the same bill at Darinka. On May 2, 1986, TMBG took part in "The 21st Annual Chett Grant Tribute Party" at Darinka. The show's program listed They Might Be Giants as performing a "Verbal/Musical Tribute," with the note, "Discovered by Chett, now a leading rock team." The event also included the premiere of a music video for The Jickets' song "Yes It's Me (Look It's Me)," with guest stars Gary Ray (owner of Darinka), Kjeld Hylfelt, Tommy Turner, and John Linnell.

Program for Darinka's "21st Annual Chett Grant Tribute Party," May 2, 1986.

A Jickets demo tape circulated in 1987 and was reviewed in Cash Box; it included the songs "Tell the Seeker," "Heterosexual Love," "Manhattan Bridge," "Yes It's Me (Look It's Me)," and "Jicket Island."[6] ("Tell the Seeker," "Manhattan Bridge," and "Jicket Island" would later appear on the Hello CD release, along with "The William Smith Story" and "Good Day For Ya.")

TMBG producer and soundman Bill Krauss produced the soundtrack for The Jickets' 1988 animated short film Shimmelsteen.[7][8] Krauss went on to produce The Jickets' Hello CD Of The Month EP, released in April 1994.

The Jickets were also responsible for Anne Moore's appearance on the TMBG song "For Science" from the 1988 "(She Was A) Hotel Detective" EP. As Flansburgh explained, "Anne Moore was a friend of the band the Jickets who we opened for a number of times, so we knew her from those shows. She was game, so we just had her sing the part."[9]

External links[edit]

  • Bloody Stump (1983, short animated film featuring The Jickets) - Watch it on Vimeo.png
  • Chett Grant: Portrait of a Man (1984, mockumentary on "hype-phenom" Chett Grant) - Watch it on Vimeo.png
  • Video for "Good Lovin' Guitar Man" (1984, also featured in Episode 8A of They Might Be Giants Podcast) - Watch it on Vimeo.png
  • Video for "Heterosexual Love" (1984) - Watch it on Vimeo.png