Jerome T. Youngman
Jerome T. Youngman
|Birth name||Thomas Cass Youngman|
|Also known as||Super Jerome, Mr Yummy, Reverend Jerome T. Youngman|
|Born||September 15, 1951|
Detroit, Michigan, United States
|Genres||Protopunk, garage rock, hard rock, punk rock, glam rock, post-punk, punk blues|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, Composer, TV Presenter|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums|
|Labels||Capitol, Elysian, 500 Pound Weasel, Fleabus, Bomp! Records, Record Plant|
|Associated acts||Super Jerome's Magic Band, Motorcity Mutants, Punk, The Flys, Ripper, Hooks, Too Many Gods, Mutant Press|
Jerome T. Youngman (born Thomas Cass Youngman, September 15, 1951, Detroit, Michigan), is an American rock singer, songwriter, and record producer, best known for his hits, "Creeps at my Door" and "Blood for Oil", and TV host of the Talk show Bring it to Jerome.
As a social worker, Youngman has worked with runaway teenagers, abused children, mentally ill, gangs, drug addicts, and homeless families. In Hollywood, California, Youngman worked for the Travelers Aid Society, at the Teen Canteen drop-in center as a counselor and outreach worker with runaway homeless teenagers. In Detroit, he worked for the Family First Program. His job was to walk the streets and visit homeless shelters to counsel and recruit homeless families to the Target Home program. Youngman has also worked for several Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs that provided supportive services to the mentally ill community. Youngman also worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as a long term elementary school substitute teacher in East LA and Watts for 10 years. In 1992, after completing the TCI TV production class in Royal Oak, Michigan, Youngman and wife, Rocio, created the cable TV show, Bring it to Jerome. The program ran on various networks nationally from 1992 to 2004 until Youngman returned to Los Angeles. Reviews referred to the show as "a counterculture music/art talk show, "Romper Room on drugs." Metro Times wrote "local band Mutant Press now has their own TV program. YIKES!!!!!!". Metro Times voters also voted Bring it to Jerome as "the best new cable TV show" in their "Best of Detroit" issue in 1995.
Super Jerome's Magic Band
In 1965, Youngman's family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan where he attended Loy Norrix High School. In 1967, at the early age of 16 years, he started a band with school mates called Super Jerome's Magic Band. This eclectic punk blues band consisted of two saxophones,a trumpet, guitar, harp, bass guitar, and drums. Super Jerome’s Magic Band performed and rehearsed at Kalamazoo College Blackspot and performed many times at the Crazy Horse club in Kalamazoo. At their appearance on May 5, 1968, "they completely destroyed two guitars, a television set, and a washing machine as m-80 fireworks exploded and the drum section from the Loy Norrix marching band marched back and forth across the stage dodging the bits of glass and other flying debris. Youngman explained that the band was more out for the personal satisfaction of assaulting the culture rather than making money."
Motor City Mutants
After a near-fatal car accident in September 1969, Jerome retreated to Amsterdam to recuperate and conceptualize his next musical project. What emerged in the Summer of 1970 was the Motor City Mutants, a high-energy, urban, punk blues band. The band debuted on January 1971 at Ann Arbor Union Ballroom. This performance featured the dissection of several dead animals the band found along I-94 on the way to the performance. Motor City Mutants original band members were Mutant Bob Tremain on electric piano, Julius Rodgers on drums, James Graves on vocals, Don Klos on bass guitar, Tom Morwatts and Youngman on guitars. The Motor City Mutants performed at many Michigan venues including the Grande Ballroom and quickly gained a hardcore following. The band lasted for over ten years. In January 1974, Youngman left the band and moved to Hollywood, California.
Punk was Youngman's first Hollywood band in 1974. Punk was managed by Roy MacMillan from Dynamic Recording in West Covina, California where the band shared rehearsal space with Van Halen and pre Wall of Voodoo band Sky People. Band members were Youngman on guitar, Steve (Liberty) Loria on bass, and Lee Jenkins on drums. In October 1974, Punk performed at Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco on the Sunset Strip. Punk broke up a year later after Youngman's suicide attempt that injured his left hand.
His suicide attempt caused permanent neural damage to his left hand and he was unable to play guitar for over a year. During his recovery, best friend and drummer, Phil Cohen suggested they form a new band with Youngman playing keyboards. Youngman and Cohen created several new songs including "Photo Dating Queen", and The Flys were born. Youngman gradually began playing guitar again, but could only play two string bar chords due to his inability to feel his left hand. In 1976, The Flys opened for The Ramones at Svens Smoke House in Redondo Beach, California. The Ramones inspired Youngman and his confidence soon returned. A leaner, more minimal guitar style began to emerge.
His next Hollywood project was called Ripper. Ripper played most of the Hollywood clubs, including the Troubadour, the Starwood, and the Masque. The band soon disintegrated because of major personality problems and the lack of quality vocals. Ripper recorded three songs at Ratz studio. Youngman's "Creeps at my Door", "Trapped like a Rat", and "Unter der Faust", a German version of The Rolling Stones "Under my Thumb". This German version puts a fascist twist to the original sexist version, since "Unter der Faust" means under my fist. The original Ripper recording of "Unter der Faust" featured Youngman's piano playing, lead guitar, and heavy-duty style rhythm guitar, and the recording was also to feature "Creeps at my Door". After moving to New York City, with drummer Quito Ecuador to form Hooks, Youngman's rhythm guitar tracks were deleted. This deletion turned the heavy punk version into a light new wave pop recording. The songs were released on Bomp! Records and "Creeps at my Door" was omitted from this record.
Hooks was a five-piece band that was dedicated to the simplicity that is the heart of rock and roll. Hooks began its musical odyssey in Hollywood in December 1978, when singer Sharon 7 teamed up with Youngman and drummer Quito Ecuador to record a demo of the Exciters' 1960s hit, "Tell Him". The results were a tremendous updating that featured the embryo of the sound that was to become the trademark of Hooks. Seeing that there was chemistry between the players, Sharon 7 suggested that Youngman and Ecuador move to New York. Keyboardist, J. Elliot joined them and after months of searching for a bass guitarist, Hooks found Lew Mazzeo.
Hooks single "Lipstick on Your Collar" and "Young and Boring" was produced by Roy Cicala and Sam Ginsberg of the Record Plant. Hooks were regulars on the N.Y.C. club scene playing clubs like CBGB's, Max's Kansas City and the Ritz. Hooks appeared live with Duran Duran, the Ramones, Iggy Pop, Adam & the Ants, Heartbreakers, David Johansen, King Crimson, The Beat, Sylvain Sylvain, Klaus Nomi, and others. Hooks was featured on a NBC Nightly News segment in 1982 that explored the phenomena of the Music Building on 8th avenue', in the heart of NYC Garment District. Madonna lived in the Music Building with her girlfriend, Camille from 1980 to 1982. In 1982, she recruited Youngman, Quito and Lou to create two original songs for her and back her up for a live performance on the Uncle Floyd Show. Youngman left Hooks in 1983 after disagreements with the record producers and returned to Detroit to complete his academic studies. In April 1983, he obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Wayne State University. A week after graduation, Jerome quickly returned to Hollywood and formed Too Many Gods.
Too Many Gods
In 1983 Youngman moved back to Los Angeles. In 1985, he released his first solo effort, a gold 45 record I Need More as Reverend Jerome T. Youngman. He then created a band of machines called Too Many Gods, the first one-person techno punk blues band. For the first time, with the invention of MIDI in 1983, a one-person pre-programmed live performance band became possible. With the assistance of Shelly, a dancer, Too Many Gods became regulars at the Limbo Lounge in the West Hollywood underground punk disco drag queen scene. Too Many Gods evolved into Mutant Press.
In 1990, Youngman started Mutant Press, a political hard rock techno/punk blues band in Hollywood, California. Mutant Press's first job was headlining international act at the LUC club in Mexico City in 1990.
In 1992, the Mutant Press project moved to Michigan. He obtained a social worker license and worked for many Detroit social service agencies with homeless and mentally ill populations. From 1996 to 2004, he managed 500 Pound Weasel Records, his recording studio in Southfield, Michigan. He released fourteen Mutant Press albums, and produced over 200 CDs for local rap, hip hop, and punk rock artists.
Frank Moore & Mikee Labash (Love Underground Visionary Revolution) from San Francisco joined the creative team after the 2004 Mothers’ Day performance at Kimos. The same year, artist Mikee Labash created the art for the album Evil. In 2004 after the death of his parents, Youngman returned to Long Beach, California and produced the Mutant Press album Idiots Rule with Steve Loria (Spirit) on bass guitar and Phil Cohen (The Heaters) on drums. Josie Cotton performed a cover of the Mutant Press song "Creeps at my Door" on her 2006 release entitled Movie Disaster Music.
Mutant Press has received outstanding reviews. In 2003, Blood for Oil appeared in Robert Christgau's Choice Cuts in The Village Voice. Amy Goodman opened her show Democracy Now! with this song. Blood for Oil was first recorded for the 2003 album of the same name that was a Mutant Press tribute to the Fugs.
- No Deposit No Return (Hooks) (1981)
- Safe Sex Sucks (Mutant Press) (1990)
- Bob had a Gerbil (Mutant Press) (1992)
- I'm Ultra Black (mutant press) (1993)
- Damage Guy (Mutant Press) (1995)
- Bring it to Jerome (Mutant Press) (2000)
- Strung Out On You (Mutant Press) (2001)
- World of Fuzz (Mutant Press) (2002)
- Mutant Press (Mutant Press) (2003)
- Blood for Oil (Mutant Press and Friends) (2003)
- Hole in my Heart (Mutant Press) (2003)
- Evil (Mutant Press) (2004)
- Slave to Fashion (Mutant Press) (2005)
- Idiots Rule (Mutant Press) (2006)
- Music for Elevators (Mutant Press) (2007)
- Don't Mess with Mutant Press (Mutant Press) (2008)
- How y'all Doin'...? (Mutant Press) (2010)
- Kill for Peace (Mutant Press) (2011)
- Sister Ray (Mutant Press) (2014)
- Let the Kids Dance (Mutant Press) (2016)
- Hand of Fate (Mutant Press) (2018)
- "Unter der Faust" (Ripper) (1977)
- "Lipstick on Your Collar" (Hooks) (1980)
- "Young and Boring" (Hooks) (1980)
- "Creeps at my Door" (Hooks) (1981)
- "I Need More" (Reverend Jerome T. Youngman) (1985)
- Dead Leaves (film) (2004) Film Director: Constantin Werner
- Rob and Big MTV television show (2006)
- Bring It To Jerome (Best Cable TV Show) Metro Times Best of Detroit Reader's Poll (1995)
- "Travelers Aid of Los Angeles". 2 March 2001. Archived from the original on 2001-03-02. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- Margaret Sutherland, (May 16, 1968), Loy Norrix High School Newspaper
- "The Fetish Rituals Of Obsession Of Mutantmother Lovers Of The Motor City And Other Armpits Of Civilization!". Eroplay.com. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
- Schulte, Thomas. "Outsight Best of 2007 • Ink 19". Columns.ink19.com. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
- "New York Music News, Concerts and Reviews". Village Voice. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
- "Consumer Guide: February-March 2007". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2016-06-28.