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Gabba is a London-based British tribute band performing ABBA songs in the stripped down punk style of the Ramones, a style of pop punk they dubbed discopunk and claim to have invented. They formed in 1996 and took their name in 1999. They have released three albums as of 2006[update].
Gabba was informally formed in 1996 by Stig Honda, alleged "professor at the Osaka Rock 'n' Roll High School", who enrolled five students from all over the world to fuse the disco pop of Abba and the punk rock of the Ramones, creating "disco-punk".
In 1999, the band took its name of "GABBA, The Discopunk Sensation". The name is an acrostic on the members' nicknames, echoing both the Ramones' "Gabba Gabba Hey" and the name of Abba.
Their second recording and official debut album, the CD Leave Stockholm (1999), was produced by Stigma Records (UK) and sub-distributed by Rough Trade Records.
According to a band statement , " [In 2001] GABBA release their complex 3rd album, the Spanish language "Tijuana Dance". However, the album was banned and withdrawn from sale after just 1 week for being "Anti-Establishment", due to some confusion over Bee Bee's appalling Spanish translations which inadvertently accused the Queen of England [sic] of being a Nazi Stormtrouper (in a stupor, no less). It is unclear if the album will ever be released again. "
Some of the facts on their Internet Website are similar to real facts of ABBA and Ramones:
- They write that they wanted to win the European Snog Contest, but they got the wrong application form, so they won the Eurovision Song Contest. This is the reference to the Eurovision Song Contest 1974, which ABBA won.
- The song for the "wrong" contest was Ring Ring "which was basically Sing Sing (Like Joey Ramone) but with new lyrics by Neil Sedated" (from the site http://www.gabba.co.uk/disco.html). ABBA tried first time to be at the contest in 1973 with Ring Ring, but they were sent out in the national vote.
- Also about the Spanish language album "Tijuana Dance". ABBA had recorded a spanish album.
- This GABBA-album was banned cause of lyrics about a "Nazi Stormtrouper". In 1980 ABBA was very popular in Russia (Soviet union), until "Super Trouper". A radio announcer translated the title of the song word-by-word on air. He translated it as a Super (like "perfect", "very good" etc.) Trouper (Trouper from Stormtrouper).
- Once in the news in 2005 the site wrote: Geeky & Bjoey haven't spoken for almost 5 years. In fact Joey Ramone and Johnny Ramone didn't talk since Johnny married Joey's girlfriend. Joey's reaction to this was the song "The KKK took my baby away!"
- In reference to the website, in New York is a musical based on the songs of GABBA called "Papa Mao Mao", which of course is a reference to both "Mamma Mia" and the backing vocals (Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow) of the Ramones' version of the Trashmen's Surfin' Bird.
They have been aired mostly in the UK, on Steve Lamacq's BBC Radio 1 The Evening Session, on BBC Television's The Beat Room, on BBC Radio Scotland's The Beat Patrol, and webcast on Virtue TV (now Interoute TV).
They have been written about in magazines such as Mojo, Melody Maker, NME, Time Out, Music365.com, CMJ New Music Monthly, The Ramones UK Fan Club Newsletter, and the London Evening Standard.
They have played along bands such as Negativland, The Rezillos, and Chicks on Speed, in various outlets in London, and at the 1999 Xmas parties of Rough Trade Records and Fierce Panda Records.
In related media, their autobiographical musical short film "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment" (written and directed by Cliff Homow , alias "Cliffy Hormone", and Midge Devitt) won the 2003 "Special Independent Film Award" at London's counterculture Portobello Film Festival.
- On stage, acrostically
- Geeky (Japan) - guitar (represents Johnny Ramone)
- Anneky (Sweden) - vocals, chorus (represents Agnetha Fältskog)
- Bjöey (US) - lead vocals (represents Björn Ulvaeus and Joey Ramone)
- Bee Bee (Germany) - bass, vocals (represents Benny Andersson and Dee Dee Ramone)
- Abby (German from Thailand) - drums, vocals, chorus (represents Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Tommy Ramone)
- Stig Honda (Japan) - business manager, lyrics (represents Stig Anderson, ABBA manager)
- Phil Smegma (UK) - production manager (represents Phil Ramone and Phil Spector, Ramones producers)
- Monte Malmönik (Sweden) - road manager (represents Monte Melnick, Ramones roadie)
(The countries of origin are alleged by the members, who could possibly be all British.)
- (199?) Missile to Malmö (deleted)
- (1999) Leave Stockholm (CD out-of-print, now in MP3s and BitTorrent)
- (2001) Tijuana Dance (banned)
- Singles and songs on compilations
- (2001) "Gabba Gabba" on Life's a Gas (international tribute album to Joey Ramone)
- (2005) "Gabba Gabba" single on iTunes UK
- Gabba claiming to be "the inventors of Discopunk" in the October 1999 item
- An old version of Bjöey's profile mentions he went to Osaka in 1996 - cached in 2000 at Archive.org
- "Up and coming music bands" at Alternative-Links - cached in 2005 at Archive.org
- Gabba's list of TV, radio, and live tour shows
- Screen copy of the article in Mojo (September 1999) by Jim Irvin - cached in 2001 at Archive.org
- Screen copy of the article in Melody Maker (July 10, 1999) - cached in 2001 at Archive.org
- NME (August 14, 1999)
- Screen copy of the article in Music365.com (June 10, 1999) by Steve Jelbert (from The Independent) - cached in 2004 at Archive.org
- Screen copy of the article in CMJ New Music Monthly (Issue 83, July 2000) - cached in 2003 at Archive.org
- Screen copy of the article in The Ramones UK Fan Club Newsletter (Number 24, February 2000) - cached in 2001 at Archive.org
- Portobello Film Festival report of the 2003 awards - cached in 2004 at Archive.org
- Official links
- Gabba.co.uk - official website: news, history, bios, discography, videos, free MP3s, forum, etc.
- Gabba's short film "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment" - infos and free download (4 mins, WMV and QuickTime)
- Resource links