Ugly Kid Joe Overview

Ugly Kid Joe was an American United States hard rock band from Isla Vista Isla Vista, California , California. The band’s name spoofs that of another band, Pretty Boy Floyd Pretty Boy Floyd (American band) . Ugly Kid Joe's sound touched on a range of styles, including rock Rock music , hard rock and heavy metal Heavy metal music . In conclusion to the band's overall sound and vision, the members of the band have cited many times, that they were simply a manifestation of their environment and lifestyles—mounting from their geographic location of Southern California.



The band received po***rity in the early- to mid-1990s, with their mix of satirical humor and heavy metal Heavy metal music sound. Their logo was a cartoon embodiment of an "ugly kid" wearing a backward baseball hat and giving the finger. Heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, they covered several of their songs, including "Sweet Leaf" and "N.I.B.". They toured the United States several times—their second tour was in support of Scatterbrain Scatterbrain (band) , and later opening for former Black Sabbath lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne.

Early years

The band honed their chops playing the vibrant Isla Vista UCSB street parties in the late 80s / early 90s (the band's original name was Overdrive), before moving on to bigger venues in Los Angeles and beyond. They were first managed by Steve Sahlein, a roommate of original lead guitarist Erik Phillips. Sahlein often funded early "pay for play" gigs in L.A in the late 80's, and often had Whit as a guest on his couch. Sahlein co-produced the band's first demo recorded at t-ride studios in Palo Alto CA. Sahlein submitted the demo to several major labels and music execs, including industry attorney Dennis Rider, who helped UKJ get its record deal with Star Dog Records (Mercury).

The band finally garnered some success in 1992 with the single "Everything About You Everything About You (Ugly Kid Joe song) ", which peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart and was in the Billboard Top 100 for 1992. Later in the year the song was used in the movie Wayne's World Wayne's World (film) . Further singles did not fare as well, however, but the positive response to the band’s live performance of Harry Chapin’s "Cats in the Cradle" on MTV prompted a studio version, and it subsequently released as a well-received single that sold over 500,000 copies in the United States alone and peaked at #7 in the UK Singles Chart.

Commercial success

After a world tour in support of their 1992 album America's Least Wanted, the band searched around for a replacement drummer, as Mark Davis left to pursue a life away from the spotlight. Davis was eventually replaced by Shannon Larkin, formerly of Souls at Zero Souls at Zero (band) , Wrathchild America, and Wrathchild. His contributions led to a grittier sound for the second album Menace to Sobriety Menace to Sobriety (Ugly Kid Joe album) , released in the summer of 1995.

Menace to Sobriety received much praise from the press and fans, and UK United Kingdom rock magazine Kerrang! ranked it as a contender for album of the year. Despite success overseas and a successful European tour, the album was given little encouragement from Mercury Records and subsequently failed in the United States.

Later years

After being dropped by Mercury Records, Ugly Kid Joe formed their own independent label Evilution Records for the release of their next album. With distribution support from Castle Communications, the album Motel California was released in late 1996, and again the band toured Europe to smaller crowds. The tour was named Late check-out Tour, underlining the band's characteristic sense-of-humor. Motel California, an album lead vocalist Whitfield Crane described as "heavy, funky, and has everything in it", initially received lukewarm reviews and sold poorly, though it has gained a minor cult following in recent times.

Ugly Kid Joe disbanded in 1997. Drummer Shannon Larkin is currently a member of Godsmack, while lead vocalist Whitfield Crane has collaborated with some Godsmack members on a new project called Another Animal.

The song Everything About You will be included in the Band Hero Nintendo DS soundtrack.

Klaus Eichstadt stated in the December issue of the German edition of the music magazine Metal Hammer, that Ugly Kid Joe plan to reunite in summer 2010. He didn't make clear however, whether they just come together for a few gigs or even plan to record a new album.
Final lineup

*'Whitfield Crane' – lead vocals (1989–1997)>
*'Klaus Eichstadt' – guitars, backing vocals (1989–1997)>
*'Cordell Crockett' – bass guitar, backing vocals (1991–1997)>
*'Dave Fortman' – guitars, backing vocals (early 1992–1997)>
*'Shannon Larkin' – drums, percussion (1994–1997)>

Former members

*'Phil Hildegaertner' – bass guitar, backing vocals (1989–1991)>
*'Eric Phillips' – guitars, backing vocals (1989–early 1991)>
*'Roger Lahr' – guitars, backing vocals (early 1991–early 1992)>
*'Jon Spaulding' – drums, percussion (1989)>
*'Mark Davis' – drums, percussion (1989–1993)>
*'D.D. "Doomsday" Taylor' - drums, percussion, (1992)>
*'Bob Fernandez' – drums, percussion (1994)>

Session musicians

*'Carrie Hamilton' – piano on As Ugly as They Wanna Be (1991 — "Everything About You")>
*'Stephen Perkins' – percussion on America's Least Wanted (1992 — multiple tracks)>
*'Dean Pleasants' – rhythm guitar on America's Least Wanted (1992 — "Same Side")>
*'Jennifer Barry' – backing vocals on America's Least Wanted (1992 — multiple tracks)>, backing vocals on Menace To Sobriety Menace to Sobriety (Ugly Kid Joe album) (1995 — multiple tracks)>, backing vocals on Motel California (1996 — "Would You Like To Be There")>
*'Rob Halford' – backing vocals on America's Least Wanted (1992 — "Goddamn Devil")>
*'Julia Sweeney' – additional vocals on America's Least Wanted (1992 — "Goddamn Devil", "Everything About You")>
*'Brad Divens' – backing vocals on Menace To Sobriety Menace to Sobriety (Ugly Kid Joe album) (1995 — multiple tracks)>
*'Tom Fletcher' – backing vocals on Menace To Sobriety Menace to Sobriety (Ugly Kid Joe album) (1995 — multiple tracks)>
*'Lemmy' – backing vocals on Motel California (1996 — "Little Red Man")>
*'Angus Cooke' – cello on Motel California (1996 — "Undertow")>
*'Tim Wheater' – flute on Motel California (1996 — "12 Cents")>




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