Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
|Me First and the Gimme Gimmes|
|Origin||San Francisco, California|
|Genres||Punk rock, pop punk|
|Labels||Fat Wreck Chords|
|Associated acts||Lagwagon, NOFX, Foo Fighters, Swingin' Utters, No Use for a Name|
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (often shortened to just "Me First" or "The Gimmes") are a punk rock supergroup and cover band that formed in San Francisco in 1995. The Gimmes work exclusively as a cover band. The band is named after a children's book of the same name by Gerald G. Jampolsky and Diane V. Cirincione.
The band's first release came with 1995's Denver, a 7" single released on band member Fat Mike's record label Fat Wreck Chords, featuring two John Denver covers. 1996 and 1997 saw the band release four more singles, each on a different label and named after the artist covered on that particular release, as well as some compilation appearances. Their first full-length album, Have a Ball, was released July 29, 1997.
Each album by the band has a different theme: Have a Ball focuses on classic 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s songs by singer/songwriters like Elton John, Neil Diamond, and John Denver; Are a Drag consists entirely of show tunes, Blow in the Wind consists of 60s classics, Take a Break consists entirely of contemporary R&B songs by artists such as Boyz 2 Men, Lionel Richie, and Vanessa L. Williams; their fifth album, Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah, was recorded live at an actual bar mitzvah and consists of pop music from the 1960s through the 1980s by artists such as REO Speedwagon, Styx and The Beatles, as well as traditional songs like "Hava Nagila".Have Another Ball! has the same theme as their debut which is 60's-80's music.
They entered the studio on April 3, 2006 to work on their sixth album, Love Their Country, which was released on October 17, 2006. The theme of this album is country and western, and includes covers of tracks by Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams, Sr. and Johnny Cash. Prior to the release of the album, Fat Wreck Chords released a digital label sampler, iFloyd which included "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" by the band.
In late 2006, Fat Wreck Chords released another digital label sampler Christmas Bonus, containing a previously-unreleased cover of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans". In August 2006 Me First and the Gimme Gimmes were scheduled to play three dates at PNC Park after Pirates games, but after they got booed on the first night, the next two nights were cancelled. They were to play along with fireworks during the post-game "Skyblast" shows.
On December 5, 2007, Fat Wreck Chords released a flash MP3 holiday bonus sampler called Hanuk-Comp containing "The Boxer" which was originally released on the "Garf" single (released in 1997). There is also a downloadable podcast that features commentary from Fat Mike and Floyd during breaks between songs in which the next album is revealed. It is named Have Another Ball! and contains all the B-sides from Have a Ball. The album was released on July 8, 2008. Fat Wreck Records released "Go Down Under" on February 1, 2011. The EP features 5 songs from musicians that originated in Australia. Their last album was released on September 13, 2011, in which they covered only Japanese music, aptly titled "Sing in Japanese", to coordinate with their upcoming tour in Japan. Although mentioning the band "are planning on doing ep’s in Spanish, Italian, German and French in the near future" in September 2013, there has been no official or unofficial notice as to when the next album would be released or what songs they will be covering. However, in a Reddit AMA on January 28, 2014, Fat Mike revealed the next album theme would be "Diva's", with covers of songs of Streisand, Aguileira and Lady Gaga.
- Spike Slawson (of Swingin' Utters and Re-Volts) – lead vocals
- Fat Mike (of NOFX) – bass, backing vocals
- Chris Shiflett (of Foo Fighters ex- No Use For A Name) – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Joey Cape (of Lagwagon) – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Dave Raun (of Lagwagon) – drums
"Fill-in" members for tours
- Brian Baker (of Minor Threat and Bad Religion) filled in for Shiflett in 2006.
- Chris Shiflett's brother, Scott Shiflett (of Face to Face and Viva Death) has been filling in for him on the band's most recent tours.
- NOFX guitarist Eric Melvin filled in for Fat Mike on bass during the 2007 European tour and 2008 and 2013 Australian tours.
- Adam Stern from Youth Brigade and Royal Crown Revue filled in for Fat Mike on bass; Mark Mortenson from Screw 32 filled in for Dave Raun on drums; Grant McIntire also from Screw 32 filled in for Joey Cape on Guitar; and Barry d'live Ward from Rich Kids on LSD and Crosstops filled in for Chris Shiflett on guitar during the 1996 Tour.
- Warren Fitzgerald of The Vandals & Lindsay McDougall of Frenzal Rhomb filled in on guitars during the bands participation in the 2003 Livid Festival in Australia.
- Jay Bentley of Bad Religion filled in on bass for Fat Mike during the European Tour, in early 2014.
The Gimmes have a gimmick of wearing quirky matching costumes during their live shows. Some of the themes match the albums, such as when they dress in cowboy outfits to accompany the album Love Their Country or in drag as various characters from musicals in Are a Drag. They have also worn pajamas, red suits, cheerleader outfits, shiny suits and fezzes, and, during one show in Camden, NJ on the Warped Tour, dressed as the band AFI (who in turn dressed as The Gimmes). Easily the most common and popular costume set are their matching Hawaiian shirts of varying styles and colors over the years.
- Have a Ball (1997)
- Are a Drag (1999)
- Blow in the Wind (2001)
- Take a Break (2003)
- Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah (2004)
- Love Their Country (2006)
- Have Another Ball (2008)
- Are We Not Men? We Are Diva! (2014)
- "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Cover 'Desperado' | Spin Magazine Online". Spin.com. 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "INTERVIEW: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes: Punk Rock's Ultimate Cover Band". In Music We Trust. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Bad Astronaut record titles and release dates". Punknews.org. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "News: Fat Wreck Chords". Fatwreck.com. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- Fat Wreck Chords Sampler 2006
- Fat Wreck Chords :: Christmas Bonus
- "Fat Wreck Chords :: From The Dreidel To The Grave". S3.fatwreck.com. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "Community: Fat Wreck Chords". Fatwreck.com. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes :: Go Down Under – Records: Fat Wreck Chords". Fatwreck.com. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes :: Sing In Japanese - Records: Fat Wreck Chords". Fatwreck.com. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "Fat Mike AMA". Fat Mike. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.|
- Fat Wreck Chords label official web site
- "Allmusic entry for Me First and the Gimme Gimmes". Allmusic. 2007. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
- Audio interview with Fat Mike and Joey Cape
- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Live Review